Mindful Mondays: Let’s Talk Anxiety

anxiety mountains photography

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” -Corrie Ten Boom

Ever since I can remember, I’ve struggled with a crippling sense of worry throughout my life. Growing up, I didn’t know what it meant to have anxiety. I didn’t even know I had anxietyAll I knew was that I was afraid, and that my fears were so loud I hardly could hear anything else. I listened to my fears for years before realizing that they were robbing me of joy.

Today, anxiety is still a large piece of who I am. I still doubt my decisions, fear pursuing my dreams and send myself into panics of overthinking and worry. What am I doing with my life, where am I going? What if I fail? What if I’m wrong? These thoughts never completely disappear, but they are nowhere near as loud as they were even a year ago.

photography anxiety love

Anxiety Comes In Waves

There will be times when everything seems to be falling into place, and just when I thought I was free- anxiety bursts that bubble. Rather than letting this challenge have me doubting my successes-  I take it for what it is. I may be feeling anxious, but that doesn’t mean my accomplishments are diminished because of that.

Acknowledge your anxiety. It is trying to protect you the only way it knows how. Don’t ignore your anxious feelings, but rather realize that they are fear. This fear is not rational, and although it is present, it will not be having a say in your decisions. Let it ride in the backseat, but make sure it knows that it will not be giving directions.

It Does Not Define You

Anxiety may be present in your life, but it doesn’t have to define you if you don’t let it. Everyone feels worried or fearful at some point in their lives. If your thoughts are able to convince you those fears are rational when you know they are not, why shouldn’t it do the opposite?

Changing your pattern of thinking is like exercising a muscle- it takes time, practice and patience to build. The mind is the same. You have the power to change your thoughts! I’ve heard this phrase so many times, but I never truly understood it. How in the world could I change my relentless thoughts?

When I fall back into my old ways and let the worries take the wheel, I no longer let myself give up. You will feel as though you’re failing at times, but these testing moments are the first signs of change.

Find Your Peace

Recurring moments of anxiety are your mind telling you it needs peace. It needs an outlet, a way for you to release the feelings you’ve been harbouring inside. When I practice yoga, I completely immerse myself in what I’m doing. In my deepest flow, I think of nothing but the movement of my body. I feel powerful, strong, and feel light in my thoughts. That is something I can rarely say because my thoughts have so often felt like anchors pulling me further under.

Not every practice is like this. Sometimes my thoughts can get the best of me and I find myself over thinking. When that happens, I acknowledge my thoughts, let them pass through, and  do my best to move on.

Letting Go

Fear of losing something makes us latch on with all of our might. The irony of this is that often, the harder we grasp, the looser our grip becomes. Only recently have I learned about the power of letting go. I wanted control, I wanted to know everything that was ahead of me and I needed a plan. I soon realized the distress and pain these thoughts were causing me, so I thought to myself, I am going to just let go, and see what happens. Holding on for dear life wasn’t doing me any good, so what could it hurt?

This was one of the most difficult things I had to do. It was terrifying, taking a step back and allowing things fall into place. I let go of my need for control, and watched as things unraveled. I found that I could finally breathe. My anxiety no longer had a say in what I chose to do-it was slowly becoming only but a small whisper.

“Stop trying to be less of who you are. Let this time in your life cut you open and drain all of the things that are holding you back.” -Jennifer Elisabeth

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  • I LOVED this post and can totally relate. Yoga and meditation does the exact same for me too! So glad I have it in my life! Letting go is SO SO hard, but truly necessary for inner peace xx

    http://www.natalieleanne.com

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Natalie, I love hearing about how yoga and meditation helps others with their anxiety. I’m glad you stopped by xx

  • This is so helpful, I’ve had a major panic attack today, so reading this is really helpful and inspiring! Thank you xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Hannah, I hope you do feel better soon! Panic attacks can be so straining xx

  • Such a beautiful post Diana! I’ve never experienced truly crippling anxiety, but the worry about life – I have been there over and over again! Yoga has always been my place (and friendly reminder) that the now is really the most important. xo

    Kelsey | http://www.abalancingpeach.com

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Kelsey! I think worrying about life is common for so many of us, and I’m so happy to hear yoga helps you deal with that as well! xx

  • this resonates so much with me. i have so much fear over my future that it often stops me from enjoying the wonderful things i have now. im too busy stressing about how i will hold on to them instead of just experiencing them. its really really frustrating.

    • Diana Maria

      I’ve definitely found myself fearing the future as well so you’re definitely not alone in the struggle! I wish you all the best Melanie xx

  • Bethany

    I understand this so much! The waves are breathtaking!

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Bethany xx

  • I didn’t grow up with anxiety, but I did experience for the first time a year ago, and again this year and it definitely threw me for a loop since I hadn’t experienced it before and I no idea how to handle it. Thanks for all the advice, I love that part about how it doesn’t define you

    Characters & Carry-ons

    • Diana Maria

      I’m glad you’re figuring out how to deal with the anxiety Joyce, it’s a challenge but worth working on! Thank you for stopping by xx

  • I think acknowledging your anxiety is a great start! I need to do that more. This was such a positive re enforcement and I loved reading through it and glimpsing through your photography!! 🙂 <3

    http://www.alifyalifestyle.com/

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Alifya, you’re too sweet!

  • This is such a thoughtful post, anxiety is something that definitely comes in waves for me and I just have to remember to think positively to overcome it.
    Thanks for sharing your journey!

    Coffee & Avocados

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you for reading love, I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  • I do feel anxiety sometimes, but practicing yoga really helps with it and gets me on a such a good mood! It is a meditation in the movement 🙂 Letting go of control is difficult! I found that when I can’t control things I am much more calm if I just let them be. Not always as easily done as said, but experience helps. I hope you will be able to live a less anxious life now!

    Lii
    https://byliil.wordpress.com/

    • Diana Maria

      I think so too, letting go of control is a huge one for me. I’m glad you enjoy yoga and that it helps you as well, thank you for reading Lii!

  • I never suffered from anxiety, which I am very thankful for, but I have read a lot about it online and it seems to be more common than I used to think. It seems like you found a way to deal with it and I hope you tis will help someone out there.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Diana Maria

      That’s really great that you haven’t struggled with anxiety Linda, I’m glad you’re learning more about it online. Thank you 🙂

  • Rachel M

    Find outlets! I do things like yoga, kickboxing, anything physical really that helps regulate your hormones and get your emotions out!

    Hike! 🙂

    -Rachel @ Backcountry Petite

    • Diana Maria

      I completely agree with you Rachel! I’ll be doing a lot of hiking this summer as I think that’s a great way to release stress too. Thank you for reading!

  • Love that you’re talking about this topic! I feel like we all suffer from anxiety at some point, some more than others, obviously. I too struggled with this growing up and didn’t understand why I worried so much about everything all the time. I think you’re completely right in that you can’t ignore it, but accept that you’re going through an anxiety-indusing time and learn to manage it. Great post!

    http://www.littleblackshell.com

    • Diana Maria

      It’s reassuring to know others deal with anxiety as well, thank you for stopping by Karen!

  • Violette

    I loved this post! The thing is sometimes we just have to let things go and forget all these question we are asking ourself. Thanks for sharing!

    http://violettedaily.com

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Violette! xx

  • Abi Street

    I can’t tell you how much I love this post, and how much I relate to it!! So beautifully written aswellx

    Abi | abistreetx

  • This really did move me. So lovely to not feel alone. A beautiful and thoughtful post. Thank you xxx

    Best wishes . . .

    Keep Calm and start writing –
    http://www.23millymay25.blogspot.co.uk