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  • Writer's pictureCiara Titus

Finding Relief from Anxiety

Anxiety is defined as “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.” Anxiety stems from the fear of the unknown. Having fear is a human function of survival. The brains want to protect itself from discomfort and negativity.

While I’m more content than I have ever been in my life, I still suffer from anxiety. Recently I was plagued for no particular reason with a bout of persistent anxiety that overshadowed my usually chipper self. It occasionally happens. I’ll spend a week or two consumed with a storm of worry and doubt.

The storm comes out of the blue and annoyingly lingers in my mind, teasing me to the edge of panic. I fret about normal things that wouldn’t usually upset me. Things that usually roll off my shoulder seemed to stick. Drenched in despair, my breathing becomes noticeably shallow and my body gets hot and sweaty. I ruminate about the past and worry about the future.

The storm is relentless, but thankfully short-lived. Usually, no one around me even notices the turmoil inside. I suffer in silence. I know so many out there live in this quiet terror as well. The peace and calm do eventually return but before they do I’ve learned to cope by following these strategies.

1. Acknowledge

When negative thoughts come up, I try to understand the deeper source of where they are coming from. Every human experiences self-doubt at one point. Even if someone appears to have a perfect life, they still have their own personal turmoil. I remind myself that everyone has an inner critic and no one is perfect. I then release the expectation to be perfect and know that these feelings are temporary.

2. Forgive

Forgiveness is a simple gift I give myself. I tend to think “I’m enlighted - I’m not supposed to worry about the small stuff. There must be something wrong with me!” But going down that road leads to nowhere - it just makes me suffer more. Instead of berating or chastising myself, or blaming others, I allow the feeling of forgiveness to flow through me.

3. Pray

I’ve learned to depend fiercely on God. I know that I’m not capable of handling everything myself, so I pray to God to take over. Prayer is the easiest and most powerful thing I can do when I am feeling powerless. I know things will work out for the highest good when it’s in his hands. I never used to be the type of person who prayed. I used to prefer taking a pill to fix my despair, but that is just a bandaid on a broken arm. After reciting a prayer, I always feel better. It may take some time and repetitions of prayer, but the anxiety and worry do lift.

Dear God, Heavenly Father,

I humbly ask that you flow through me and give me guidance.

Please give me the strength and courage to be my honest self.

Please allow me to accept myself with compassion and love.

Please guide me in words, actions, and thoughts so they have a positive effect on others.

Please offer relief from anxiety and worry. I know that all is in your hands.

In your name. Amen.

Hopefully after reading this post, you'll see that you are not trapped by anxiety. You have the tools within you to make a positive mental shift happen. Change happened in me, so it can happen in you too. That is what motivates me to write so I can offer little nuggets of wisdom. Something relatable and not complicated. If I can show how much spirituality made a remarkable difference in my life, maybe you’ll want to make the little changes that lead to bigger changes and a bigger connection to God.

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