Calling myself anxious would be an understatement. This year, I have experienced more restlessness, panic, and weariness than ever before. The compounded stress of our current pandemic, racial tension, and woes of being a working mom (from home) is enough to make anyone mad. Maybe I'm stir-crazy or feeling the weight of years of carrying the baggage of others and pursuing my pilgrimage of success. Like Drake said, "This shit got me in my feelings." I am over letting it run my life.
So what is anxiety? According to Anxiety.org, anxiety is intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Sometimes you experience a fast heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, and feeling tired. Everyone has different triggers that cause bouts of anxiety—it's the never-ending laundry list of things to do for me. Identifying your triggers—or what I like to call "what's eating you"—will help you navigate these emotions. It takes time to determine what they are, but once you do, the power lies within your hands.
I understand that my feelings are fleeting, and the anxiety I feel may last more than a moment, but it won't stay for very long. So, I honor them because they matter, and then I make a conscious decision to move forward.
I'm a firm believer in affirmations—positive statements that can help you overcome self-sabotaging, negative thoughts. They can improve your mood, boost self-esteem, increase motivation, help you solve problems, and boost optimism. They work! I've used affirmations to tackle stress, increase my self-love and respect, and even find a man.
Here are 10 affirmations to tackle anxiety and be the badass you were meant to be:
1. I have everything I need within me.
Girl, there is no one coming to save you. Unless you have the blue pill or the red pill from The Matrix, there is no special pill to change things. The strength of our ancestors is embedded within you, waiting for use.
2. I breathe in relaxation and breathe out tension.
Ain't nothing to it but to do it. Breathing is free; inhale the good stuff.
3. I love and approve of myself.
Say it with your chest and say it often. Reaffirming self-love is necessary for growth. It's something we need to work at, and daily tune-ups won't hurt.
4. Every thought is creating my future.
Yes, thinking is a type of action. Taking ownership of our actions is a power move. Anytime you allow yourself to become overwhelmed by negative thoughts, it can erode your quality of life.
5. At this moment, I choose to feel calm and peaceful. Everything is unfolding as it should.
Have you ever stepped away from the crowd and into a bathroom to do some deep breathing? No? Just me? Find a place to close your eyes and remember all the times you felt victorious. With that, visualize another moment of success. Discomfort is normal. If you didn't feel anything, you would be without a pulse.
6. I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me. (Philippians 4:13)
For my saved and sanctified, this is the perfect time to remember you are capable of doing all things through Christ who strengthens you.
7. I am grateful for what I have.
Sometimes our thoughts about others can get the best of us. Focusing on what we lack in comparison to others—like thinking, "Why did they get the promotion, and I didn't?" instead of being happy for them and grateful for what we have. As the saying goes, "Comparison is the thief of joy."
8. I attract all that is good and beautiful.
When you remind yourself that you are the prize, you continue to attract great things.
9. I am safe at this moment.
There's no time like the present to reaffirm that you are secure in the place that you dwell. This affirmation will help you relax and help you master your feelings.
10. Today, I choose happiness and joy.
Each day, we have a choice to be happy. Even when something doesn't go as planned, you still have the power to change how you feel.
Argue for your limitations, and they are surely yours. That's a daily reminder that what you think and focus on will become your reality. While anxiety can affect your mental health, it does not have to cripple you. If you're dealing with debilitating anxiety, I suggest seeing a psychiatrist or a psychologist to help you achieve inner peace. Honestly, in a way, I feel like my anxiety was caused by not allowing myself to be free—free of fear, free of inhibitions, and free of self-doubt. There's always that little voice telling you that you can't do it again, that you're not worthy of success. It's time to let it go.
My final affirmation: I have nothing to prove to anyone, but everything to prove to myself.
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