For years, I was plagued with anxiety attacks, unable to stop the cycle. And I constantly wondered why I couldn’t heal. As I look back, the answer is apparent; I would suppress my emotions, not let myself sit with how I was truly feeling, and wouldn’t engage in practices that were nourishing for my emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual landscapes.
I want to lay out what I consider to be the best anxiety treatment, three tools that worked for me to help overcome my anxiety attacks and live with more calm, ease, and peace of heart and mind.
Psychotherapy/Counseling I used to think that expressing my emotions, showing my vulnerability, made me weak. As such, I would repress my feelings, thus, experiencing a constant state of anxiety, stress, and worry. However, it was when I began to finally let myself talk about my emotions and what I was experiencing in my body that I was able to find freedom, liberation. It was as if the rock of anxiety dissipated by me simply talking.
Accepting counseling as a tool for me was challenging at first, but I am beyond grateful for the support that it has given me. Having a therapist that acknowledges and listens to my experiences is both healing and transformative. Counseling has truly opened my eyes to new ways of thinking, being, and navigating the world.
Embodiment Practices To become embodied is to truly tune into your body, to its felt sensations, emotions, and thoughts as they are in the present moment. For so long, I ran from myself, thinking that it was too challenging to be with what was there for me, to be with myself. It was confronting, and it was something that I felt I could not emotionally handle; this was not the case. Yes, it was tough, but it was beautiful, beautiful to finally sit with myself, to come back home.
So, what exactly do I mean by embodiment practices? For me, this included yoga and breathwork, methods that served as a vessel into my inner world, that allowed me to be with me, feeling what I was feeling in the moment. These practices supported me in getting to the root, as they offered me the opportunity to drop out of the analytical mind and into the body, the space where healing transpires.
Attune to feeling, rather than thinking, as you get embodied. Whether that lens is through yoga, breathwork, or meditation, I invite you to give them a try. Begin with just a few minutes each day, to establish a routine and ease your way into the magic that the practices have to offer!
Self-Care As I struggled with my anxiety attacks, I knew that engaging in self-care practices was beneficial for me, yet I would veer away from doing what worked. It was almost as if I didn’t want to get better; it was like a habit. I saw that when I offered myself self-care, my anxiety was alleviated immensely. However, it took a very long time for me to begin to truly engage with the practices.
What I found that was helpful, satisfying, and enjoyable was going on walks, taking baths, calling a friend, and being in nature, to name a few. Similar to the embodiment practices, these acts of self-care allowed me to get out of my head and into a space of feeling, feeling of calm, moving from a state of anxiety to a state of relaxation.
I highly recommend giving yourself at least 30 minutes a day for self-care, more if possible. See what works best for you, what helps you to drop into a greater state of peace, emotionally, mentally, and physically.