We have all had it at one point in time where we are doing something and all of a sudden we feel paralyzed with being overwhelmed, fear, trepidation, etc. That over all anxiety for some situation that makes us not wish to go any further in the direction we had chosen. Sometimes, it is so overpowering, that we lock ourselves up in our homes and wish that we don’t ever have to leave again.
Anxiety is the number one mental illness in America, even surpassing depression now. So many people are scared to leave their homes because of the “chance” something detrimental will happen to them. Over forty million people over the age of eighteen suffer from some form of anxiety. Sometimes, it can be so debilitating that a person cannot leave their home, eat in a public place, or even go to school functions with their children.
When I was eighteen, I was one of those people. I had a severe case of Anthropophobia- fear of people. I couldn’t walk into a room without having the overwhelming sense that they were all making fun of me or didn’t like me. I was always running from rooms and leaving areas because of it. It was hard to work, go to school, and let’s not even mention eating out at a restaurant with my husband. My family thought it so bad that they actually had me hospitalized to try to treat me.
The hospital, in its wonderful wisdom, put me into group therapy. Can you imagine? I was forced to sit in a circle with a group of people who in my opinion thought I was crazy. They thought I was a lunatic and they wanted to plot against me to hurt me to get me out of the group. Needless to say, that was not the proper treatment for me.
They put me on medicine to help with my anxiety. I was taking a medicine that when they gave me my first dose they said, “If you don’t kill anyone in the first two weeks, you will be fine.” I am sure that the person giving out the medicine thought it was a dandy joke, but to me, this was my life. I couldn’t function to make a decent life for myself, and she thought this was just some kind of “retreat.”
Being a mother, I am constantly battling with myself to keep my kids safe, but not be so overprotective that they do not have a life of their own. It took me some time, but I worked my way though my disorder. I still have fights with it on occasion, but I am much better. I have made friends, work with a great group of people for a meet-up, and am even working on starting to teach others about paganism. I actually can stand in front of a group of people and speak, though I have been told that the nervousness rushes off me like heat from flames. But these things are things that at eighteen were nothing close to what I would ever think I would be able to do with my life.
I have learned a few things though about my anxiety. I have also found that I am not the only one. Just in the last two weeks I have found two others that are like me, though I think they still have some work to do. I wanted to help them out with their issues, as well as work on my own a little more, so I started doing research.
One thing I learned is that passion flower was once used as a folk remedy for insomnia and anxiety. It can be used in a tea with black Irish tea and valerian root to calm the nerves. It has been good and causes less drowsiness than medication that is given regularly for anxiety.
There are also stones that you can carry that will help the body work the anxiety out. Aquamarine is a beautiful blue stone and easy to find in rings as it is the birthstone of March. Aventurine is always a good choice as well. Picasso marble, rhodonite and schorl can also calm anxiety. Green moss agate, which is easy to find and very beautiful, can also be carried around to help with it.
It is always good to mediate and perhaps do yoga. It causes you to have the ability to ground yourself in situations where you feel overwhelmed. Even simple exercises that you do on a daily basis would help. It causes endorphins to enter your bloodstream which help balance you out and makes people happy. We will never forget Elle Wood’s on Legally Blond, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”
One of the worst problems I have is my endless cycle with soda. I get stressed, I reach for my faithful friend Dr. Pepper or Coca Cola and down it goes. With that being said, caffeine should be on your no-no list if you are prone to anxiety. It does not help you at all, even though I know I feel much better. Problem with it is, it doesn’t let you sleep, which causes you to lay awake and worry even more about the issues that are bothering you. Instead of reaching for that ever faithful soda, or that extra coffee, reach for chamomile tea instead. It will help your body relax and drift off to sleep.
Upon my research, I was told about something that I found very interesting. Someone told me about “Worry time.” It is thirty minutes a day you set aside to just worry. You use that time, and that time only, to sit and worry about your problems. If you find yourself harping on a particular issue at a different time, just remind yourself that you have set time aside for that, and it isn’t the time right now.
My last suggestion is lavender salt baths. Lavender calms you. Baths have been known to cause you to relax and distress. So take that time, run you a tub of warm water and sit and soak your troubles away. The smell from the lavender as well as the water will help your body in so many ways that your mental state will learn to relax too.
Now, I am not saying that all these things will make you 100% cured. I can’t say that I am even cured that much, but it will help. I do want to share something with you though. A lot of anxiety, at least in my life, is from me. I don’t share my issues. I don’t reach out to those that love me and try to unwind by asking for help, or even by letting them know what is bothering me. I have always believed that my strife is for me to deal with and there is no reason to bother anyone else with it. But simply put, that is beyond stupid. I am only hurting me in that sense. The people that love us, they are there to help us, confide in us, love us, and protect us when they can. Not letting them into our little world, it only hurts us more. We already have way too much in life to handle, and that is why the Goddess brings them into our lives. She knows we need others to survive. We were started by living in a village, and unfortunately we have gone too far into being a solitary family unit that our village aspect is no longer in effect. We do have family and loved ones though and they want us to be there for many years. Don’t push them away, but open your mind and hearts to them. Even stubborn women like me can learn to do that.
Many blessings to you all my readers. I hope that my suggestions in here help you on your way to leading very open and productive lives. Remember, relax and breathe. Take one day at a time, and tomorrow will seem like a breeze.