By Michelle Taylor
I began having anxiety shortly after getting married. I experienced full blown panic attacks six years later. It was hard on me and my family. I personally chose not to medicate, hoping that at some point, I would be able to learn and overcome this to experience greater peace and joy. Why am I writing this now? I want others who are going through anxiety and panic attacks to know that there is a way out.
One of the first things I did to help me achieve success in overcoming anxiety was to pray and pour my mind into books that taught and encouraged my desire to overcome anxiety. I quickly learned that our thoughts have power. When I learned that thoughts can and do change the way our body functions, I realized that it can probably change the way our brain works as well. I started to look back to when I began experiencing anxiety and the thought patterns that I began to experience during that time. I carried a lot of negativity with me. The major thoughts I had were fearful thoughts of bad things happening to me. I began to create these scenarios in my mind of something bad happening to me and I saw how these thoughts continued until I was paralyzed into doing nothing.
Once I noticed the thoughts that kept me in so much fear, I knew I had to change those thoughts. I had to begin creating new thoughts and new scenarios. I began writing in my journal. Writing in my journal has given me the opportunity to pour my thoughts and fears out and fill my mind with more positivity and opportunities. I also began to fill my mind with good things. The music I listened to, the books I read, the conversations I had, were now more focused on bringing light and joy into my life instead of keeping me in the darkness that I had felt for so long.
Trying to fill my life with more positivity and feeling the effects of what doing this meant, I began to see the struggle of others around me. Part of the process of life is when we begin to experience something in our lives that brings us joy, we want to share with others. I wanted people to experience the shifts in their lives that I was seeing in mine. I served others when possible and when the opportunity arose I would teach others all that I knew about changing our lives and how to experience all that we want in life. Seeing the eyes of others fill with hope when there has not been any before, brings me joy for them.
We all experience fear and anxiety, especially when we have stressful moments in our lives. It isn’t about ignoring the fear, it is about working through it and recognizing we can choose how to feel no matter what is happening around us. The more we see the possibilities around us, the more we are able to use whatever experience we go through, positive or negative, as a springboard to move us forward towards the things we want to achieve. Getting through those scary moments can give us strength that we never knew we had before. There is hope, there is joy, and there is peace available, when we choose it!
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