Don’t be anxious about anything…
May was mental health awareness month. I find this verse fitting for it, even if today is the last day of the month, as anxiety and depression are soaring around us and more and more people are coming to know just how real and scary it can be. I’ve mentioned in a blog post before about the negative things I’ve thought. How I believed them all too. I was miserable. I convinced myself that my family didn’t love me, when they didn’t know how to handle what I was going through.
I stayed in my room practically twenty-four seven. I was super nervous to go out and about. When I was around people, I was so anxious I couldn’t talk much. I hated hearing myself. My voice, my laugh. I would laugh silently.
All that happened right after I got home from living in Shanghai, China for six months. When I was over there I felt the most alone and the most out of my comfort zone I had ever been in my life and I hated it. There were some good things that happened during my stay there, and I don’t regret going, but I do wish I could’ve prepared myself better. But it definitely had a negative effect on my mental health.
I got to the point where I felt like I was going to die by the end of one year. I wanted to die and go to heaven, to be with Jesus, to be done with the pain and confusion of this messed up world. But I also didn’t want to die, I wanted to experience more good in the world and to do more good. So I told myself that if I was going to die by the end of that year, that I would live each day the best I could. I didn’t want to be remembered as a boring, anxious hermit-person. I wanted to make some sort of difference before I died. So I slowly changed my mindset to think about more positive things. To change the negative thoughts into positive ones. To let myself take baby steps instead of being stress-paralized about not completing my whole long list of things to do. I gave myself grace.
When I made it to the next year, I fully realized that that feeling that I felt about dying sometime soon was actually a side effect of anxiety. It was terrifying, though I didn’t feel it regularly, only once and a while. But when I did, it was so scary. Making it into the next year without dying, I started to feel more confident. Not only was I thinking positive thoughts most of the time, but I also believed that God wanted me to do bigger things on this earth, that it wasn’t time for me to go just yet. So I became a little more excited about the future – though in a different way then I did years before.
I still take each day one at a time. I try to plan some main important things to accomplish each day and I hangout with people I love and who care about me. I try to take walks in God’s beautiful nature as it refreshes me and helps me get away from the busyness of today’s world. I’ve become much more confident. In my looks, voice, pretty much everything that made me self conscious before I can now face and shrug my shoulders, telling myself, “well, that’s how God made me.” Not in a way that I’m fine where I’m at and not going to continue to try to do better, but to be happy with who I am and always try to become my best self.
I try to eat healthy food, exercise more regularly, keep my mental health, well, healthy, and in everything I do I try to do it for Christ.
Because in the end, what are we here for? We are here to bring God glory in everything we do. And that’s what I try to do. Of course, I am not perfect. And I will never be. But as long as I continue to refocus my heart on Jesus and ask myself, what would Jesus do? In all circumstances, then I will continue to grow closer to Him and get stronger.
If you are someone, like most of us, who tends to speak negatively to yourself, ask yourself these questions: Would you want to be friends with someone who spoke that way to you? Would you want someone to say those things to your loved one(s)? Would Jesus tell you those things?
If your answer is ‘no’ to any of those questions, then it’s time to change the way you think of yourself. Start speaking words of love to yourself and say no to the hurtful words! You must make it a habit, and while you do, watch how much your world changes! Suddenly, you can be happy again. Your worst critic becomes your cheerleader. Telling you that you’ve got this!
I mean that. Changing your mindset is possible. It takes time and lots of grace, but with God, everything is possible! Like it says in Matthew 19:26, ‘Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”’
Another tip I have is to pray as you are going to sleep/before you go to bed. Take a few minutes to thank God for a few things in your life. Even if you are deep in pain or worried about something in your life and your future looks nothing but dark, you will always have something to be thankful for. Like a God who loves you so much that He sent His Son to die for you! John 3:16 says that to us. We have a wonderful Creator Who cares deeply for each one of us. If you think no one loves you, know that He does. And He wants you to know that and do something about it. Tell others how much He loves them as well. God’s love is powerful. The most powerful thing you will ever experience.
Fight those negative thoughts and love yourself as Jesus loves you!
Bye for now, have a wonderful day!