I’ve been struggling with some anxiety recently. Trying not to worry has been a battle. I’ve found a bunch of things that help me and I thought I’d share them with you in case you are also struggling.
My friend Seana wrote a blog post called 7 Little Ways to be Happy. And I thought it was such a lovely post that I would do a similar one. Here are some things that help me not be anxious and be happy.
- Going to bed on time. For me, this is definitely one of the hardest ones. I like staying up late, watching gamers on YouTube prank each other in Minecraft (by the way, I started playing Minecraft). But I’ve found that when I consistently am asleep by about 11, I don’t worry as much. And as soon as I start staying up later, I start falling apart.
- Read my Bible every day. I try to do this while I’m eating breakfast. For days I wake up anxious, this really helps turn my focus from my worries and back to God. Hand in hand with this point is prayer. Prayer for strength and peace, prayer that these worries would go away, prayers of thanksgiving for His blessings, and prayer for my friends and family. It’s amazing how praying for someone else helps me be happy.
- The Peas and Carrots theory. Credit for this one goes to my mother. It’s basically this: when you are thinking about peas and you are not supposed to be thinking about peas, you can’t say “I’m not thinking about peas” because you are still thinking about peas. You have to completely change the mental subject to carrots. Like so: “Peas– Nope. Carrots. Carrots are lovely. They’re orange. So are oranges.” and on and on until you are no longer thinking about peas. Taking this a step further, planning something to think about for when you start thinking about peas is helpful.
- Music. I like having a song running through my head. It doesn’t really matter what song it is because if I’m singing inside, I’m happy. I also I like listening to music. One of the biggest blessings to me is listening to worship music outside of church. Like reading my Bible, it helps me focus on God instead of my anxiety.
- Moving on to things that help me more in the short term, this blog: Princess Sassy Pants & Co. It’s an adorable blog full of fun art and encouraging quotes.
- Writing. Creating makes me happy, whether it be writing, doodling, or baking. Bringing things from inside my mind to life, chasing plot bunnies, editing something well– all these things make me happy. I guess I could’ve put this in the long term things that make me happy.
- Learning. I like to learn, assuming I’m interested in the subject. I’ve been learning German for about a year and this morning, I had a conversation with a friend in German. I am fascinated by origins, like my ancestry and where things come from. I like occasionally getting out one of my high school science books learning from that. And I love trivia.
- Reading. I don’t read nearly as much or as fast as I used to. My consistent reading time these days is when I’m in bed about to sleep. But reading makes me happy. I like stories.
- Being with other people. Talking, laughing, playing games. I like being around my family and friends.
- There are lots of other things that make me happy, too many blessings to list. But one thing that helps me beat anxiety is being determined to seize the day. I am determined to carpe the heck out of my diems. I am determined to live my days to the fullest. I don’t want to get to age 80 and look back at my life and wonder what I did that was worth anything. This is something that really scares me, to be honest, that I will get to age 80 and I won’t have done anything with my life. I realized not long ago that I wasn’t living life. I was getting things done. Getting things done is good, but when that’s all you focus on, it’s discouraging and really does make you wonder if you’re living or just surviving. So, I am determined to live for God, as that is what makes me happy, and for myself, chasing my dreams. Can you live for God and chase dreams? Absolutely, as long as they don’t contradict each other (I’m dreaming of being a best selling author not a professional bank robber).
What things make you happy, reader-peeps? What things help you not worry?
I think I’m going to change my sign-off. From now on, I’m going to finish posts like this:
Go carpe the heck out of your diems!