I’ve never considered myself an anxious person, but during the first half of this year I noticed that this uncomfortable feeling was taking over me.
We tend to have a lot in our minds, to not be satisfied with where we are at and to always want more. This is not a bad thing because it can all translate into a healthy sense of ambition, but if we focus all of our energy in everything we don’t have instead of moving towards ways to fix the things we don’t like, anxiety can come to float.
Anxiety can manifest itself in many ways: with a bad attitude towards our loved ones, overeating, having negative thoughts and so on. Well, I was experiencing all of the above.
It wasn’t until about a month or two ago that I realized that I needed to start taking control over this situation. I’ve always considered myself a happy person so I started asking myself: which areas of my life am I not satisfied with that are triggering these thoughts and behaviors? I have a healthy family, loving husband, beautiful dogs, a house, food, clothing… So many blessings! Then, why am I constantly thinking that things are not going to go the way I want them to go? Why am I focusing my energy on the things that could go wrong instead of focusing on all the possibilities that may be ahead of me? Why am I still eating after I know I’m full if I know that my body is my temple and that I need to take care of it?
These are questions that we can all ask ourselves at any point and once we find the answers everything starts to flow much easily.
When we are anxious and don’t give our brain some time to stop and relax we’re not living in the present moment, instead we’re living in a future that may never come so It’s basically a waste of time.
After including different practices to my everyday life for the past couple of months I feel back in control of my thoughts, emotions and feelings. I’m not going to deny that a bit of anxiety or fear for the unknown may arise at times but I have a sense of general peace. I’m learning how to bring myself back to the present moment and to savor it because no matter how much we worry the future is exactly that: the future!
Here’re the practices that I’ve been incorporating and that have help me tons... Maybe they can help you too!
1. Meditate 5-10 min every morning: as soon as I open my eyes I play a guided meditation in my phone to start the day with a positive mindset. There’re many apps but my favorite is Calm.
2. Say a blessing before each meal: We always do this but now instead of only giving general thanks and ask God to give to those who have less than we do I’m taking my time and getting into specifics. For example giving thanks for the sun, the rain, the farmers and all the resources that made possible for me to enjoy this food.
3. Chew each bite 30 + times: It’s hard but it keeps me grounded and helps to not overeat just because we are anxious.
4. Pray every night: Bobby and I always pray together every night but, again, now I’m taking more time to do so. I light up a candle for the images I have on my bed side table and get on my knees like I used to when I was a child. Bobby’s daddy inspired me to start doing this again.
5. Meditation classes once a week. I haven’t been super diligent with this but when I can I go to the only meditation class in town that’s on Sunday nights. Taking a full hour to just be present is wonderful for anyone’s soul.
6. Volunteer: I’ve been volunteering some of my time with different organizations, which has been a great way to give back.
7. Attend church once a week: Bobby’s Baptist and I’m Catholic so we alternate. In the past there were months when we never went to church, others that maybe we went twice but lately I’ve been making a point of going to either or every Sunday. It makes me feel good and again it’s a hour to connect deeper to our creator. If you don’t attend any church maybe you could try joining one or just find a meditation class in your area!
Hope this helps and help you stay mindful!