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Life is full of changes. There is no getting around that; it’s inevitable. It seems like those changes are never timed well either, as if they always happen at the worst possible time in our lives. No matter how much you try to plan your life to go a certain way, it just won’t. Whether it be good or bad changes, for those with anxiety, it can be a lot to handle. You could be getting married, divorced, moving, having a baby, experiencing a loss or death… most of these things are out of our control. Or if we plan them, something is bound to not go our way.
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With me for example, I went through a major anxiety phase when I first got married. I had been through so much within a few months: I graduated college, lost my grandmother unexpectedly, got married (and eloped at that), moved out for the first time – and to an entire new town 7 hours away from anyone I knew (besides my husband), lived with just my husband for the first time, got my first big girl job, and then I threw in traveling on vacation in the middle of it all. (Traveling in the past was one of my main anxiety triggers). Even though most of these things were good and happy moments in my life, it all happened too fast. I didn’t allow myself time to digest one thing at a time, which I’ve learned is something huge that helps me better manage change-related anxiety in my life. It all hit me at once. Before this, I suffered from panic attacks, but then it transitioned into insomnia. When all of this happened, I had such major insomnia that I barely slept for weeks and was driving myself insane. I was shaking all the time. It was horrible. I tried lots of sleep medications from my doctor, all of which did not work. Eventually, I had to go on an antidepressant. (This is for another post, but I always like to make sure to mention that you should never feel bad for taking medications! You need to do what’s best for you. Period!)
My point with explaining this is that I definitely understand how anxiety takes a toll on your body, and how important it is to learn the power of your mind. I’ve learned so many techniques on my own (not by choice on that, therapists around me were booked for months so I did this on my own but if you can find a therapist I highly recommend it!) that have completely changed how I allow my mind to work and have changed my life for the better. For example, I just this past weekend moved to a new town again, along with going through an unplanned divorce in my family (not my husband and I!), and I have been able to handle this change in a better, healthier way. I have been able to sleep and not panic at all. I’ve definitely come a long way! And I’d love for you to be able to tackle your next big changes the same way.
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These are my top 3 tips on how to handle a big change in your life:
If you have a higher power, pray about it! Talk to your higher power out loud. You’ll feel a weight lifted off your chest. You can trust that there is someone, something bigger that is in control. Everything that you’re going through has a purpose and it’s for a reason, even if you can’t see it. And you will make it through this!
Write it out
Whenever I have so much on my mind – which definitely is the case when a big change is going on – I dump it all out in my journal. You’ll feel relieved just putting all your thoughts on paper. For me, I’m definitely guilty of bottling up emotions and pushing it to the back of my head – often times without even recognizing that I’m doing it. I’ll feel so confident that I’m aware of all my emotions about a situation, and then suddenly all of this random anxiety about it will hit me. Journaling helps so much with this. It helps to get it all out this way so that you can see a better picture on how you’re actually feeling, that way you can deal with it sooner and prevent even more anxiety down the road.
Meditation is a life saver. You gain so much control over your mind, in a healthy way. This is so helpful when dealing with big changes because with so much going on, it’s so easy to forget to take care of yourself and your mental health. Take 10 minutes out of your day to pause and stop. Being present in the moment helps block out all the extra noise for a few moments. You can focus on just breathing, or if you need something to listen to I would suggest downloading the Calm app. No promo, just love that app! I used it to teach myself to meditate and they have really great meditation topics to listen to like gratitude, happiness, and even meditations specifically about anxiety.