As someone who struggles with anxiety, living well can be very elusive. However, living well is something I strive for on a daily basis. Those of us that experience anxiety do not set out to feel anxious but in fact feel anxious about our anxiety. It takes work and conscious effort to get through a panic episode. That's why living well in all areas of my life is so important. I believe our lives consist of the following areas: spiritual, physical, relational, intellectual, financial, mental, and emotional. I see each area as a spoke to a wheel. When one is lacking or missing, the wheel cannot move forward properly or may come to a complete stop. That's when anxiety can set in because if we are stuck in an area, it causes strain to our daily lives. This strain can cause overwhelming feelings which in turn creates anxiety. I'm not saying that you have to be perfect in all areas of your life. But, being self-aware of the areas that are lacking and working on bettering them is paramount to minimizing distress. I'm not going to address each area in this post because it will get too long. Instead I will share 5 ways I use to increase my well-being and lessen my propensity for becoming anxious.
1. I Pray. Prayer is a huge part of how I decrease my anxiety. I need to call on the Lord when I'm most anxious because it takes the focus off of little me and puts my focus on my BIG GOD. This allows me to take a moment to pause and ask Him to intervene and give me the strength to endure whatever I'm going through at the moment.
2. I Ask for Help. In addition to asking God for help, I ask others for help. If that means delegating tasks so I can tackle other responsibilities then that's what I do. Some people think that asking for help is a sign of weakness, but I believe it's a sign of wisdom because it enables others to come alongside to support you.
3. I Say NO. Saying no to the things that don't go along with your value system or just don't move you closer to reaching your goals is smart. Saying yes to everything that is asked of you causes imbalances in the areas of your life because it stretches you too thin and then you can't be effective in any area.
4. I Exercise. There are many benefits for exercise which includes increasing mental well-being. Taking care of myself physically helps reduce stress for me. After I exercise I feel empowered and my confidence grows.
5. I Practice Mindfulness. Mindfulness is bringing attention to your current experience and situation. You might think this is counter intuitive but it actually allows you to respond and properly address the negative or anxious thoughts that want to take over your mind.
Are there areas of your life that need to be addressed so you too can diminish anxiety and optimize your well-being? Share where you might struggle and what you will implement in your life to live well.