Anxiety. It’s that knot of tension, that sickening feeling in our stomach. It’s irrational and can make us feel crazy. And while a lot of anxiety disorders will require treatment from professionals, there are also some things we can do by ourselves to help improve our anxiety.
Today, we’re going to talk about using gratitude to help ease our anxiety. This post comes from Lucy at Succeed Now.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed with anxiety and have no idea how to handle it? That’s exactly how I spent a period of my life not that long ago.
It all started with a few doubts and worries, getting upset easier than normal, feeling agitated, aggressive and a few other symptoms. I remember the day I finally made the phone call to the doctors and admitted to myself that I needed help. I was in a supermarket with my mum and sister and ended up in a huge argument. I have no idea how it got to that, I couldn’t control my feelings and situations regularly spiraled out of control.
I was left alone in the car, sat in the driver’s seat, crying on the steering wheel, and realized that I couldn’t go on like this. It wasn’t fair for my family and it wasn’t fair to me. I called the doctors and as soon as they answered I couldn’t control my crying anymore. They booked me in to see a doctor that week.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The doctor’s appointment was hard, I spent most of it crying and couldn’t explain why I was upset, what had caused it or what it was about. I didn’t have a clue why I was feeling the way I was. He referred me to a counselor and I started weekly appointments with her the week after. I had to fill out a questionnaire that rated me at severe anxiety and depression. I didn’t even know what they were and what was happening to me.
The counseling sessions really helped, it made me recognize my fears of driving and activities alone, especially shopping. I also had a lot of support with anger management and knowing how to control my mood and prevent arguments from happening which made it a lot happier at home.
I started recording in a book how I was feeling every day, what had happened, how I reacted and what had gone well. I found that writing out my feelings really helped. I also talked to my mum regularly which made me feel really supported and comfortable with seeing the counselor knowing that I had her support.
I would recommend that more than anything, telling someone what you are going through – a family member, friend, work colleague or you can tell me if you’d prefer. Just telling someone what you are going through and having that support will really help you on your journey to managing and overcoming any challenges you are facing.
How I Found Gratitude
I learned how powerful gratitude is while reading a blog post. I remember reading it thinking wow how simple, just being grateful what I have will improve my mindset.
So, I gave it a go. I started by reflecting every morning, taking time to think about what I was grateful for. Really connecting with it and feeling the emotion. I found that this time of reflection was helping me to appreciate all that I did have in my life and realize how blessed I am. This in turn made me feel happier as I was focusing on what I had rather than what I was lacking or how I was feeling.
Related: Anxious Momma’s Guide to Going Out
I then developed this into journaling my gratitude, I started writing down three things I am grateful for every morning. I really took this time to focus and reflect on my life and everything great in it. It helped me to start the day in a positive mood. If I woke up feeling negative this would make me feel happier instantly.
What You Can Do
Try it now, take a few minutes to reflect on everything you are grateful for in all areas of your life. Take time to really connect and feel the emotions with it. Keep this feeling with you for a few minutes until you feel full of gratitude.
How do you feel now? Do you feel happier than before? Do you feel positive about your life? Do you feel that you are blessed with what you’ve got?
Now I’m not saying that simply being grateful will mean bye-bye anxiety, obviously, there is a lot more to it than that. But it’s a great start. So, schedule 5 minutes into your morning to reflect on what you are grateful for.
For more advice on gratitude and other areas of personal development feel free to have a read of my blog, here are a few of the most popular:
– Five Ways to Practice Mindfulness
– The Best Ways to Practice Gratitude
– Building My Confidence
About the author
Lucy Smith is a personal development coach supporting others in their journey to overcoming anxiety, fears and limiting beliefs and improving their mindset. You can find her at www.succeednow.co.uk where there is a range of support to help you on your personal development journey.
Do you practice daily gratitude? Have you noticed an improvement in your mental health?