I am not in any way a doctor or have an ounce of medical training. I was inspired to write this for my friend who is battling anxiety. Her words resonated deep in my heart because I was there before. In her shoes. Her words could have been my words. “I’m so confused and it’s scary. I can’t figure out what is happening to me. I’ve always been stronger. To feel helpless and not in control of how my body is responding to stress is so hard. And it makes me angry that I can’t control it. I feel like I should be able to just keep going and think my way out of these symptoms. Chest tightening, breathing fast, crazy/foggy brain, feels like walls closing in around me…. It’s been happening when I drive with the kids. Now whenever I have to drive I start to have that fear arise…. It’s overwhelming this feeling… I hear my heartbeat form blood flow in my ear.”
Almost 3 years ago this was me. Many mornings I needed my mother in law to drive my daughter to school because I felt like I couldn’t. Simple things like grocery shopping felt impossible. I was terrified of being laid out on the floor hyperventilating and curled up in a ball.
So I wanted to just provide links to what I have learned along the way of this anxiety journey. First here are some my posts about my story:
I have also learned a ton from Lisa Grace Byrne from The Well Grounded Life podcast. She reads her entire book Replenish on there for free. Here is her chapter on calm mind (techniques to calm your anxious heart): Chapter 2: Calm Mind.
Here are some helpful articles to explain what is happening in the body and ways to deal with it.
- Anxiety in Kids (This was awesome for me and my kids)
- Anxiety: 15 Ways to Feel Better Without Medication (P.s there is no shame in taking medication at all. But these could help before medication and with medication)
So those are some resources but here are some quick steps to what I do in that overwhelming moment:
- I try to stop. I don’t keep barreling through. I begin to breathe deep (Your Soul Needs a Break). This is not the time to rationalize or think my way out of it. Often times kids are around so I tell them, mama needs a quick break or some quiet (if i cant escape to the bathroom cause I’m stuck in the van)
- I often like to read Bible verses aloud. I have written out and kept them in my purse for anxious seasons. I choose verses on peace (some verses here).
- I turn on praise music. Fav Pandora stations are Kari Job and Bethel.
- I ask someone to pray for and with me. I used to feel embarrassed or silly to ask but not anymore.