Denise DuBois: Most of us have anxiety, but how we deal with it matters

Denise DuBois: Most of us have anxiety, but how we deal with it matters

Some of the strongest people I’ve ever met don’t even have it all together. There are times when the calmest people we know can lose it because of anxious feelings or fear or panic. I suffered from anxiety for years. It was never diagnosed because I was never going to the doctor for it. But I had instances of panic.

Anxiety is so common now. Anxiety is diagnosed in 40 million Americans each year according to one study. But how do you deal with it? Some cases are definitely in need of medical attention, but thankfully, I found non-medicinal ways to deal with my anxiety. Maybe you have some tricks you can share when you start to feel those feelings as well.

Here are three ways I deal with it:

1. Work out – and I mean hard. I suffered from insomnia for years. I got less than four hours of sleep each night and it affected my emotional stability. On the outside, I was bubbly and fun. On the inside, I had to talk myself out of panic attacks. No one ever knew it. When I began working out to the max every day, I began sleeping. No longer do I suffer from anxiety or panic attacks. I think it had a lot to do with how much sleep I was getting. But also, exercise is proven to release the good stuff in your body to improve your mood. I think it’s a great way to help ease anxious feelings.

2. Talk to someone who makes you laugh. Any time I was feeling panicked, I always called my mom. She or my dad would answer and they would say silly things to keep my mind off of how I was feeling. They would make me laugh. After a while on the phone, I no longer felt like my head was spinning or like my chest was heavy.

3. Read through the Book of Psalms. I’m not going to lie, bad weather used to make me crazy. I hated any storm that was capable of producing tornados or high winds. I’ve never been in a storm where I was hurt or things around me were destroyed, so I don’t know where that feeling of dread came from. One night, I sat in my hallway with the sirens blaring. I was talking to my mom on the phone and reading through psalms. The peace of God came over me. Now, storms like that don’t bother me much. Whenever they do, I remember God is for me. He is my protector and my strength.

These are just some personal ways I found to help my anxiety. For about two years, I’ve been able to keep those feelings at bay thanks to the things I found that work for me.

Having mental issues isn’t something to be ashamed of. Most of the people around you are probably dealing with the same things because we’ve all figured out this life isn’t exactly easy. How do you deal with your feelings? Maybe I’ll share some of your thoughts, too.

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