Worry and Anxiety: You’re Not Alone

My Post (69)

I am a perpetual worrier. My anxiety about the mere possibility of bad things happening can be completely overwhelming to the point where I can lose sleep. Oftentimes, I find myself mindlessly scrolling through my phone before bed because I don’t want to be alone with my thoughts.

The thoughts are usually ridiculous. They typically trail into the what-ifs of losing people I love or those horrible awkward flashbacks we all have of some embarrassing moments from junior high or high school. The latter I can live with. It’s the first that haunts me.

I don’t know where these thoughts come from, but I’m sure there are others out there who suffer from the same worries.

The thing is, we waste so much time worrying that we ruin peaceful and joyful moments. While I’m laying in bed worrying, I’m missing the sounds of my puppy fast asleep making her little “woof” noises during the midst of a dream. I’m missing the fact that my husband lovingly has his arm around me.

We all have things we don’t want to lose, but if we worry too much about losing them, we’re missing the present.

I don’t have an answer for how to eradicate your anxieties completely. I find the best thing for me is to find something more pressing to think about or to pray. Prayer is really the only way I think we can completely overcome such intruding thoughts.

And it’s important to know that everyone has fears. Everyone worries. You’re not alone, and it’s OK to talk about it. Sometimes we need to.

So pray, be honest about what you’re feeling, and know that you’re not alone.


You Can Start Fresh on Any Given Day

Today is the start of a new month, and soon we will be transitioning into a new season of when the sun rises and sets, as well, when we leave Daylight Saving Time behind this Sunday.

The start of each month signals the beginning of new possibilities: starting over in various aspects of life, starting a diet, resetting goals and plans to help you achieve them, and a number of other ways to hit the “play” button to get you back on track to where you want to be. While there aren’t necessarily monthly resolutions like people make at the onset of each new year, the first day of the month is often a solid starting point for a new objective.

Making changes in your life doesn’t have to come at the beginning of a new month or year, though—each new day you’re given is a new opportunity for growth and improvement.

You can change your life and your habits at any moment in time. It doesn’t have to be on January 1. It doesn’t have to be on the first day of the month. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be on a Monday to start the week off right. You can go after what you want and pursue your dreams now—there’s no reason to wait.

For me, I know that I’ve sometimes put things off so that I could start them later, when the timing was “better.” Even just the other day, I was thinking about how I needed to actually take my laundry out of the basket and put it away (my clean clothes have been sitting in it since Saturday). But it was late, and I was exhausted and thinking about how I needed to start getting more sleep. I said to myself, “I’ll start being more diligent about taking care of my tidiness and getting more sleep in November.”

But why was I set on waiting? Why wasn’t I committing to make that change right there in that moment?

I think that fear sometimes hold us back. We’re afraid of failing when we try to attain the goals we set out for ourselves. If I still can’t get my messes together and still can’t let my body get the sleep it requires, I’m failing myself. If I set a goal to go to the gym four times a week but only make it one or two, I’ve failed on my mission. If I set a resolution for 2019 to give up sweets (NEVER going to happen) but only make it to January 13 to have a cookie, I’ve already failed for the entire year, and so I have to wait until the next year to make that resolution again.

The truth is, though, that we’re all going to mess up. We all need mulligans every once in a while. And we don’t have to wait until the start of the next year or month or day or even the next hour to make the changes that we need to make in our lives now.

Don’t be afraid to set goals, and don’t be afraid to go after them in full force in this very moment. You don’t know how long you get on this earth, so seize every opportunity that you can.

And be bold enough to believe that you’re capable of achieving what you set out to do, knowing that failure doesn’t mean that you’ve failed forever.

Sometimes You Need to Face and Embrace Your Fears

We all have fears in life, some of which are somewhat irrational (I still check behind doors to make sure velociraptors aren’t there) and some that are a bit more legitimate (maybe you’re afraid of heights or animals that are actually still in existence).

While I don’t think we need to subject ourselves to all of the things that scare the daylight out of us (for instance, if you are terrified of snakes, don’t feel like you need to go stand in a field full of them just to see how brave you are), some of our fears definitely need to be faced and conquered.

Cue my freshman year of high school.

When I was a teenager (and for much of my 20s, actually), the thought of letting my crushes know that I had feelings for them made me queasy. I started sweating at the mere idea that someone would know a piece of my heart belonged to him, and I did everything I could to make sure he never found out. The risk of rejection and being hurt was simply too much for my naïve heart to handle.

There was a moment during my freshman year of high school when I had to make a choice to face my fears or to run away. Unfortunately, I chose the latter. I had left my English class to go to the restroom and was walking through an empty hall on my way back. But then the hall wasn’t empty at all—the guy I’d had feelings for since forever ago was walking the opposite way down the hallway.

My stomach immediately started doing flips and flops that even Olympic gymnasts wouldn’t dare attempt.

I had a decision to make: I could either keep walking and say “hi” to him, or I could keep walking right by him and not acknowledge him at all. I chose neither—I hid. I dodged into the nearest classroom, which happened to be a science classroom full of seniors, and stood with my back against the door as the confused sets of eyes all started at me. I glanced over at the teacher and said something along the lines of “just give me a minute,” and I waited until I was pretty sure that unsuspecting boy had passed. Then I bolted.

What would have been so bad about having to interact with someone I had feelings for when we were all alone in a hallway? Looking back, it seems so silly. All I had to say was one word—one simple syllable—and I couldn’t even do that. I let my fears get the best of me, even though saying “hi” would not have given him the impression that I adored him, and I hid in a room full of upperclassmen who likely thought I had lost my mind. I’m glad that their opinions were the least of my concerns, but I’m not proud of the fact that I cared so much about what one freshman boy thought of me.

It took years, but I finally grew out of that ridiculously long stage, and now I am not so afraid of talking to guys who have captured my attention. In fact, I’ve even put my heart on the line in more than one situation by telling guys exactly how I felt for them. I survived those moments, and I even survived the ones that ended in my risky heart shattering.

Ladies, don’t let fear grip you so tightly that it keeps you from going after the things your heart wants. You’re worth too much to spend your life wondering about what would have happened if you were bolder in certain moments of your life.

And you certainly don’t belong standing with your back to a door as opportunity passes you by.

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