My body was shaking, my palms were sweaty, and my heart was racing. One. Single. Thought… kept going through my mind, I felt so overwhelmed and consumed by this one thing.
I laid there in bed wondering if this was my new normal.
Every day felt like I was racing against the clock. I craved stillness, but I was afraid to sit in my own silence.
I often woke up in a panic… and one day I realized I was losing MORE sleep because of anxiety rather than my newborn baby.
This was the worst anxiety I had ever experienced.
Honestly, the first few months after my daughter, Josie, was born are still a blur. I have so many regrets…. I missed out on enjoying newborn snuggles and finding laughter in all the things my 2-year-old, Emmie Kay, was learning.
Reflecting on this season is hard. But, I don’t want all this pain to be forgotten because I know that even anxiety can be used for good.
So… here I am ready to share my Journey on Healing from Anxiety..
What you don’t know is that I have struggled with anxiety since middle school. This has been an ongoing battle for years. Truthfully, I thought I had finally rid myself of it just a few months before my Josie girl was born.
I had finally worked through my post-birth trauma from my first daughter (you can read her birth story here) and I felt like I had hit the sweet spot in life. Our family was growing, my husband’s business was booming, and I was finally taking care of myself.
And then we welcomed Josie into this world. (You can read her birth story here)
Much to my surprise, two days later… my world shattered into a million little pieces. Josie was diagnosed with CHD. (Read how we found out here)
This diagnosis should have sent me into a downward spiral… and it almost did… but it’s what led me to true healing.
Warning… This is going to be really hard.
You will probably read this post… and feel super inspired. But know that you will hit a phase where you will want to quit. You will feel like healing is impossible. You will believe that anxiety is your new normal.
I want you to see that I am living proof…. that you don’t have to live this way. So follow me on Instagram and get on my email list, so you never lose sight of what’s possible.
Without further ado, here is everything I’ve done to heal my anxiety.
Everything I did to Heal My Anxiety (for good)
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If you are anything like me, you would do anything to get rid of your anxiety. My best advice is to make small changes and let go of the things that don’t work for you. Get curious about what your body is telling you it needs.
I have spent TONS of money this past year on my health. It’s something that my husband and I felt was important, so I could be the best mother for our girls. Financially this made no sense, but I quickly realized that money is fleeting…. and my health was much more important.
With all this being said, let’s get into it!
#1 Realizing I’m not Trapped
I remember after the doctors told me that she had CHD, it felt like the person I wanted to be got poured down the drain.
In my mind, I now had to rely on the medical system…. there went all my dreams of being crunchy.
I also assumed that being a parent of a child with CHD meant that I needed to worry.
Newsflash…… your circumstances don’t control you. You control you.
Realizing this gave me hope that I could heal my anxiety. This lead me to realize my next point…..
#2 You aren’t a Victim
Anxiety doesn’t have to control you. Like I said, you control you. Well, really God is in control of everything, but I’ll share more on that later.
Most of us who struggle with anxiety, view ourselves as victims. When I started noticing these thoughts and tendencies, it dramatically changed how I felt.
I can remember feeling so empowered after I realized that I had control over my thoughts…. and I didn’t need to be a victim anymore.
#3 Your Mind Runs on Autopilot
Imagine you walk the same path in a cornfield for a month. Eventually, you are going to beat down the dirt and you will begin to recognize the path. It will become easier and easier to get through the cornfield because you become more familiar and recognize the path. Then one day you realize you walked through the cornfield without even realizing it, you made it to the otherside.
This is how our brains work.
The good news is that we can form new paths. The bad news is that noticing and getting rid of old paths is hard.
This is going to take time, but you will need to learn how to refocus your mind…. so it doesn’t default to anxiety.
#4 Your Brain Looks for What You Focus On
Piggybacking off the idea that your brain runs on autopilot, your brain is programmed to look for what you focus on.
If you’ve watched the movie Focus with Will Smith, you will remember in the closing scene he makes a bet……. If you haven’t seen it, you can watch the clip below:
Basically, our minds will subconsciously act on what we’ve been programmed to focus on. If you’ve been told you have anxiety….. or you have convinced yourself you have anxiety….. your mind is going to look for all the ways you are anxious.
So, how do you change what your mind looks for?
#5 I am Statements
I used I am statement years ago when I tried to kill anxiety with positivity. But this isn’t like that… so hang tight.
Step 1: Describe the mom you want to be using I am statements….
- I am Calm.
- I am Joyful.
- I am Compassionate.
- I am Gentle.
- I am Patient.
- I am Understanding.
- I am Nurturing.
[Here is a list I found helpful when choosing some I am Statements]
Step 2: Pick 3-5, write them down, and put them somewhere you will see them throughout the day.
Step 3: After these I am statements…. write down I am safe.
Soon, your brain will start looking for these things over things to worry about.
Going to counseling is the best gift you can give yourself and your family. I used to look at it as a way to vent, without burdening the people I love.
I’ve been going for about 6 years and I’ve never regretted a single session. This is where you can mentally start to heal and have someone who is professionally trained guide you through that process.
I could write and entire blog post just on therapy and how it’s helped me… but this has given me the tools and the space to grow into the mom I wanted to be.
But you can’t rely solely on counseling because the body stores our stress…..
#7 Chiropractic Care
Did you know that I was afraid to go to the chiropractor? I was petrified.
If you find someone who takes a gentle approach (I like seeing someone who specialized in pregnancy and postpartum), you will find that they are all about regulating our nervous system.
When our bodies are stuck in fight or flight, it causes our bodies to react and be in a constant state of stress.
After going to a chiropractor consistently for about two months, I found my stress level was significantly reduced.
I wish I could tell you chiropractic care will cure it all (and for some it does), but for me it was a combination of this and everything else on this list.
#8 Fix Mineral Depletion
Now we are going to start talking about thing I physically did that helped me to get rid of anxiety. You probably could have guessed this, but we lose so many minerals while pregnant and breastfeeding.
It’s important to stay on top of our mineral depletion because this can lead to postpartum anxiety.
You can learn more about Mineral Depletion from this video:
The main things I’ve focused on is Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Vitamin C. I also have been adding Trace Minerals to my water!
#9 Magnesium Baths
I was NOT a bath person until I was pregnant with Josie. Now, I try to take one once a week!
After doing some research on mineral depletion, I found how important magnesium is for our body. It is also known to help calm anxiety. When I start feeling a flare-up, I make sure to get a bath in!
I add a handful of these Pure Magnesium Flakes to the water as it’s filling up!
#10 Earthley’s Anxiety Calm
On some of the worst days, I would take this Anxiety Calm tincture by Earthley. It definitely helped to calm me down and usually would stop me from panicking.
I highly recommend this if you are in a high-stress time and need something to help you calm your body down quickly!
I usually pair this with their calming essential oil roller, I think the combo really helps!!
#11 Adopt to Pro-Metabolic Lifestyle
If you can’t decide what to do on this list…… CHOOSE ADOPTING A PRO-METABOLIC LIFESTYLE.
Two years ago I stumbled on this through Kori Meloy….. and it completely changed my life (for the BEST). It surprised me how “sick” my body was prior to starting PM.
Looking back, my body was stressed out from lack of nutrients… There is no way my body was going to thrive and handle (even) daily stressors well.
I’m currently writing a review on Kori’s Freely Rooted Course. So, I’ll be sure to update this and link it when that’s finished.
The most important things I learned and helped with anxiety
- Adrenal Cocktails
- Yolky Lattes
- Beef Liver
- Prioritize Protein
- No Coffee Before Breakfast
- Eating Frequently
- Eating Enough Calories
#12 Cut Out Toxins
As I started digging into the pro-metabolic lifestyle, I realized that so much of what I owned was “toxic.” Truthfully, it was overwhelming and I didn’t know where to start.
But, over the last few years, I’ve learned a few things… and I believe eliminating a lot of these toxins really helped.
- Start With Anything Topical (Think lotions, face creams, body washes, make-up)
- Replace candles with Beeswax candles (these actually help purify the air)
- Move on to Hair Care
- Cleaning Supplies
#13 Approach Life with Slow Living
Thinking about slowing down when you are anxious can feel like the last thing you want to do….. BUT it’s one of the most beneficial things I’ve implemented.
There are tons of influencers who specialize in slow living, so you can find some awesome resources. I will probably dig into this deeper in the future as well.
But for now, I’ll share 5 ways you can start slowing down today:
- Let your kids lead the way when you walk.
- When doing mindless tasks (laundry, dishes), pay attention to each detail of the process.
- Put Instrumental Music on if silence feels scary.
- Eat Dinner by candlelight.
- Take a minute to notice and ENJOY your first sips of coffee or tea.
#14 Find Small Ways to be Intentional
You will find that slow and intentional living go hand and hand. You really can’t do one without the other.
You will probably notice that there were a couple of ways to be intentional in my tips to starting slow living above.
When I first started trying to be intentional, I really struggled. It was awkward and a bit uncomfortable… but after just a couple of months… I crave it.
Here are some ideas on how you can be intentional today:
- Take a walk and notice nature
- Ask your kids questions over dinner
- Wake Up and Let the Sun Shine on Your Face
- Watch the sunset
- Dance with your family in the living room
#15 Put Away Bright Colors
This might sound silly, but this really helped me to feel less stressed in my home. Especially when you have children, all their toys are really bright and often can bring us overwhelm.
When you start to notice anxiety creeping in, look around and notice what distractions you can put away!
Which leads me to my next tip….
#16 Keep Surfaces Clean + Clutter Free
There is a difference between keeping your house clean (not dirty) and just keeping the surfaces clear. I do my best to keep any surface that I’m in often clear and clutter-free.
My areas of focus are:
- Kitchen Counters
- Kitchen Table
- Living Room Entertainment Center
- My bathroom + Bedroom
Aside from that, I don’t pay much attention to the rest of the house each day. I typically do a weekly “deep clean” though!
#17 Change your Lighting
When you can, let natural sunlight in! But there are days that are gloomy and it’s just not possible to live off of the light from outside.
Try changing the lightbulbs in your home to a warmer hue. This gives a calming and cozy feel!
I felt a huge difference in my mood, just by changing this!
Journaling has been my cure for anxiety for years. It’s what I’ve always been drawn back to.
Typically I enjoy prayer journaling, but from time to time, I need to just get EVERYTHING out with no rhyme or reason.
For a while, I would journal out my feelings and then rip it up. The physical act of throwing it out helps me to let go of the worry that I’m hanging on to.
#19 Worry Won’t Change the Outcome
This was a HUGE realization for me. If I continued to worry, it wasn’t going to change what the outcome was.
For example, when Josie was diagnosed, I was worried about WHEN she would have surgery. Now I’m focused on preparing for the surgery and learning about how I could support her body in the meantime.
Which leads me to…..
#20 Gain Knowledge
Fear typically arises because we don’t understand something or we don’t have enough knowledge on the subject. Instead of shying away from the worry, get curious about it.
I was consumed with fear surrounding my daughter’s heart. Instead of being fearful and being triggered everytime someone mentioned her diagnosis, I began researching! I can’t tell you what a difference I felt after reading “Human Heart, Cosmic Heart.”
Another example of when this worked is surrounding birth. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was terrified. By the time I went into labor, I was so prepared and had done so much learning about it…. that I was actually excited!
Get curious, start studying, and find your freedom!
When I’m constantly pursuing a relationship with God, it changes what I desire.
Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
I truly believe that when we align ourselves with the Lord and ask Him to heal us from anxiety, that doesn’t necessarily mean we will feel instant relief. Although I’ve heard testimonies of this happening!
Instead, it’s important that we start to notice all the things he is laying before us to help us HEAL our anxiety. Maybe that’s Kori’s Freely Rooted Course or a new therapist!
Once you begin praying for the Lord to heal and take away your anxiety, begin looking for ways that He is trying to speak to you!
#22 Trusting God = Let Go of Control
Trusting God with your circumstances can feel impossible in the midst of anxiety. You are holding on to the fear because that’s the only way you can control the situation.
When we bring our fears and anxiety before the Lord, it’s important that we also think about letting go of control.
This fear.. this worry.. isn’t for us to hold on to. It’s not our job to worry about the If’s and Whens…. rather it’s best for us to release them into the hands of our loving father ❤️
You will probably relapse.
Although I don’t experience anxiety often, I do experience worry from time-to-time… But it doesn’t last.
Let me be truthfully honest with you, I had anxiety creep up yesterday… and I almost convinced myself to not write this post. Because I’m not “perfect” at it yet.
That was just the devil trying to sneak his way into my life… and I realized that this is actually a good sign. It means that you are making progress… and the devil is threatened by it.
I can’t promise that you will NEVER experience anxiety again. I truly believe that it’s my cross to bear, but I now have the tools to overcome it… so it doesn’t manifest and ruin my life.
Anxiety Doesn’t Have to Hold You Back
I thought that I needed to be anxious.. that was part of my job as a mom. But this was only holding me back from being the mom I WANT to be…. and mostly the mother my kids NEED me to be.
My biggest advice is to implement things slowly. This gradual change is like medicine to the soul. It will allow your body and mind to make the changes it needs… at a pace that’s comfortable. Slow growth is also how you will find lasting freedom.
Questions I Commonly Get Asked….
Q: How do you deal with anxiety with little kids around?
A: This is so tricky.. especially when you are snapping at them.. and they are reacting to you. I usually set up a movie, audiobook, or music, and let my 2-year-old know that mama needs a few minutes to calm down. It’s probably not ideal, but this has been working for me!
Q: Go to Bible Verses for Anxiety?
A: Lamentations 3:17-27, Jeremiah 17:7-10, Matthew 6:25-34, Hebrews 10:22, 1 Peter 5:6-11
Q: Can I still be a good mom and have anxiety?
A: Absolutely!! The first step is noticing it and the second is being intentional in healing it. None of us will ever be perfect, but we can improve greatly!