Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Trying to free yourself from anxiety in such a trying time as we live in now is in fact easier said than done. I have researched 7 types of anxieties that we all may face from time to time and the most effective ways to freedom.
1. Comparison: The thief of joy. With all the different social media outlets available, it is very intimidating to see friends, family, and even your enemies doing well and enjoying their best life. Remember, the devil is in the details. We are allowed into only part of their worlds via still pictures, staged, and “safe” videos and/or live streams. Remember that everything may not always be as they seem. We’re missing the details! Don’t concern yourself with what you “think” is their success.
Solution: Limit the time you spend scrolling, log off, and delete the app for a few days at a time until you are disciplined. Don’t compare yourself and your abilities to anyone that you know absolutely nothing about. When I wrote my first book, “Approve Yourself” (available on Amazon Kindle) I stressed to my readers that there is never any need to look to others for approval when God had already given you the green light to live and walk in the grace and favor HE’S placed over your life. You can admire someone’s beauty, happiness, and status without questioning your own. Be secure with whom you are and where you are at this very moment.
2. Self Doubt: The hardest part of the journey is believing you’re worth the trip! It’s time to put on the big girl and big boy undies and suck it up buttercup! It’s time to grow. Change your perspective. I’ve heard from many people countless times say...what if I fail? My response is simple. What if you don’t? Nothing beats a failure but a try.
Solution: Build that confidence muscle. Every time you say or think counterproductive things, check yourself, change your thinking, and speak over yourself. See examples.
I’m not smart enough vs. I will learn how to do this! I give up vs. I will use a different strategy and try again! This is too hard vs. This may take a little more time and effort. I made a mistake vs. Mistakes help me improve.
3. Asking for help: Being afraid to ask for help is a response to trauma. Maybe the last time you asked for help embarrassed you, made you feel desperate, weak, or needy. I get it! I’ve been there and done that. Can I let you in on a little secret? There are actually good people that really want to help you or be a blessing to you with absolutely no strings attached. Sometimes, you cause self inflicted “wounds” by being proud and not admitting a need. Don’t suffer unnecessarily because you don’t want to let people in. That was my thought process a while ago.
Solution: Reflect on who or what made you feel you can’t trust anyone or ask for help. Yes, visit that place. It may be painful. Forgive that person. Acknowledge your current needs. Think about who you can ask for help, then ASK. What if they say yes without a second thought? You’ve suffered for days, weeks, months, maybe years when this person may have been within reach the entire time.
4. Social anxiety: It is a real thing! Whether you’re anti-social or simply not social, if the mere thought of being outside of a bubble you’ve created for yourself scares you….there are solutions. For someone dealing with social anxiety, verbalizing this isn’t an easy feat. Don’t worry, you don’t have to stand in front of a crowd and introduce yourself.
Solution: Positive affirmations. Write them, put them in plain view, repeat them as often as needed. Say it until you see it and believe it!
Examples: I belong here just as much as anyone else.
I feel confident being myself around others.
People are interested in what I have to say.
I’m capable and loved enough.
I can contribute.
I can go at my own speed and volume.
5. Confrontation: Problems, disagreements, issues, etc. are almost impossible to avoid. Since it's an inevitable feat, what’s the best way to handle it you ask? Deal with the head on. Don’t run or dodge a person or situation. If you think the problem will just fix itself, you’re mistaken. Be free of that mess! If you have a proactive mindset, you can avoid being reactive in the end. Trust me, I get how uncomfortable it is for some people to confront others and I understand not wanting to rehash “old” stuff.
Solution: It’s best to acknowledge conflict, feel all the emotions attached, then deal with it. Now when I say deal with it, I don’t mean hire a hit man or plan a fight after school...😂 I really mean to be a responsible, civil adult and have a conversation. Decide what is the purpose of this confrontation. Do you desire to reconcile, be friends, agree to disagree, or simply call it quits? Whatever your goal is, state that at the beginning of the conversation and smile.
6. Health and wellness: You feel tired, stressed, aggravated with anything with legs? I get it. Forced quarantine in the middle of a global pandemic hasn’t been fun and to be quite honest, neither has lugging around extra pounds. It’s okay...I’m here for the people. Instead of unhealthy gains, I have been fortunate enough to lose a total of 48lbs and counting. There were no magic pills or shakes; just sweat, determination, and some good shouting music.
Solution: Eat healthier. That doesn’t mean you’re limited to salads only. Enjoy a treat now and then, indulge! Get active. Dance, jump rope, take nature walks, or whatever else tickles your fancy and gets you moving. Take a nap. Don’t let anyone make you believe that grown folk don’t need naps. Our daily energy expenditure is huge! We do a lot and quite frankly, so of us do it on 6 hours of sleep or less. Get those little 15 minute power “snaps” in when you can, your body will thank you for it! Lastly, VENT! Everyone needs an old reliable friend they can just talk to every now and then. I’m talking about a non-judgmental, integral, friend that will gather and pray for you when you’re getting in the way of your blessings. For your mental health, do not bottle things up. Talk it out with a trusted source. Be the kind that will make themselves available for that strong friend too. Everyone needs someone. If you don’t have that in your circle, try seeking a coach, counselor, or therapist.
7. Money problems: I need a dollar, dollar. A dollar is what I need. Don’t we all? These days, everyone needs a financial gain. In the midst of a global pandemic, God graced me to launch 3 additional businesses/rivers of income. Did I have excuses and reasons to stop me from launching? Absolutely! I also had reasons to grind a little harder. This reason is the legacy my husband and I are building to leave behind for our children. Is it easy? Heck NO! Will it be worth it? Without a doubt!
Solution: Create and build multiple rivers of income. Are you good at a thing? Baking? Digital Marketing? Hair styling? If so, use what you have and make what you want. No need in learning a new skill, use what’s in your hands like Moses. Technically, if you have a tried and true method of something you can sell it and/or teach others how to do it as well. Stay positive, know your worth, charge accordingly, and be realistic. If you know marketing isn’t your strength, outsource it and let it be great! If yo suck at photography, phone a friend that’s a subject matter expert and let them do their best work! Either way, be honest with yourself and potential consumers and end users. Money is literally on the table, go get your blessing friend!