10 Ways to Deal with Anxiety

10 Ways to Deal with Anxiety

I am not naive to the fact that anxiety will always be an issue for me. That being said, I am so thankful for where I am today and how far I have come in being able to deal with anxiety.

When I was sick 9 years ago with a neurological disorder I went from being a healthy carefree 23 year old to a complete wreck physically, mentally, and emotionally. Once I recovered physically, I never really dealt with any underlying issues that being sick left on me mentally. After I had my second baby at age 30 I had postpartum depression and my anxiety was at an all time high.

Anxiety is not a topic that typically comes up in conversation and I wanted to have an open conversation about anxiety in this post. I am going to be completely real and honest. If you have never experienced a panic attack or anxiety what I am going to share probably won’t make any sense, but if you are one of the 40 million adults in the United States between the ages of 18 to 54 who suffer from anxiety know you are not alone.

I am sharing 10 things that I did or I am currently doing to deal with anxiety in hopes that it can help someone who is reading this. If you have a family member or friend who you know is struggling feel free to share this post with them.


This was probably the hardest thing for me. Admitting I had a problem that I couldn’t fix on my own was scary. I didn’t want to look like a failure for not being able to get my thoughts under control.

Let me give you an idea of just how out of control my thoughts had become. Again this will not sound rational. It doesn’t sound rational to me now. Hopefully this will paint a picture of just how far away from reality my thoughts had drifted.

After giving birth to our second child in 2014 the Ebola virus was starting to get out of control in Africa. Josh is a firefighter and I started to freak out that he was going to come into contact with an Ebola patient on shift and bring the virus home to our family and we were all going to die. I told you this wasn’t going to sound rational. I also had long debates with myself about not leaving the house with our kids while Josh was on shift because I was afraid a car would hit us, we would get robbed, or some other catastrophic disaster would befall us.

Thats the thing with anxiety. It is not rational. It takes a thought and runs off with it to the worst possible place you could go. One thought leads to another and to another until you or your family is dead and buried. At least that is how it looked in my situation.

Fast forward to today and I am currently 30 weeks pregnant with our third child. The news has been reporting on the Zika virus during my entire pregnancy and the damaging birth defects this virus can cause and I have not had any moments of anxiety over this. Had this happened two years ago I would have been a hot mess. I am a living testament that there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel if you are stuck in your anxiety.


Once I admitted I had a problem I went to my doctor and got a prescription for Zoloft. In my situation, medication alone wouldn’t have solved the underlying issues that were triggering my anxiety, but it did allow me to think clearly enough to get to the root of the problem.

While medication would have altered my mood it wouldn’t have allowed me to really deal with the reasons behind my anxiety. I was on medication for a little over six months and under doctor supervision.


I worked with a christian counselor for 6 months. My major breakthroughs involved recognizing what triggers my negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and how to catch, challenge, and change them when they appear. If you are suffering with depression or anxiety I highly encourage you to seek out a certified professional.


This might sound drastic to some of you but I cut myself off from the television. I loved me some reality tv and could easily get hooked into binge watching shows on Netflix. The other obsession I had was with Dateline. Me and Lester Holt go way back. I blame my Dad for my developed love of these types of shows ;). Anyway…with counseling I was starting to look at my life from a new perspective.

I realized that the television had become an idol for me. I loved the television.

I loved it more than spending time in God’s Word. I could say all I wanted about how much faith I had in God and how much I loved him but my actions sure weren’t reflecting those statements. The television wasn’t going to sustain me and fill me up the way I needed to be filled up.

This was not easy for me to do.

It was hard.

It was easy for me to sit on the sofa and watch mind numbing shows for hours at a time while the kids were napping or sleeping. When the house was quiet I didn’t like the thoughts swirling around in my head.

Just to clarify, I don’t think all television is bad, but honestly the majority of shows are not encouraging, uplifting, or positive which is I why I am now super selective on what I watch and what the kids watch.


I also was in the habit, and still have to watch myself, of always carrying my phone with me. It is so easy to start staring at my phone and begin scrolling through social media sites.

In case you haven’t noticed not everything online is super positive. It can be easy to be drawn into more negative patterns of thinking when you are constantly bombarding yourself with easy access to websites, blog posts, and news articles that will trigger negative thoughts.

I delated any app and cleared my website history that would trigger negative thinking. With these removed I prioritized apps and websites that encouraged me or inspired me to dig into God’s Word.


This one brings me to tears because I had no idea how many lies I was actually believing. I had forgotten about all the promises I have in Christ because they had become drowned out by the enemy’s lies.

In case you need a reminder here are a few of the many benefits and blessings gifted to us as redeemed children of God:

  • The Holy Spirit lives in me. (1 Cor. 3:16)
  • I am helped by God. (Hew. 4:16)
  • I am tenderly loved by God. (Jer. 31:3)
  • I am a temple in which God dwells. (1 Cor. 3:16)
  • I am chosen by Christ to bear fruit. (John 15:6)
  • I am firmly rooted and built up in Christ. (Col. 2:7)
  • I am born of God, and the evil one can’t touch me. (1 John 5:18)
  • I have been removed from Satan’s domain and transferred into the Kingdom of Christ. (Col. 1:13)
  • I have been given a spirit of power, love, and self discipline. (2 Tim. 1:7)
  • My needs are met by God. (Phil. 4:19)
  • I can do all things through Christ, who gives me the strength I need. (Phil. 4:13)

And the list could go on and on. If you are struggling I would suggest picking a few of these and writing them on notecards and placing them around your house.


With all the free time on my hands not watching television shows and scrolling the internet on my phone I began to read my Bible more and found several podcasts from churches and pastors that I filled my free time with.

Let me say this about reading my Bible. It is a discipline. It takes time and dedication to read. I would recommend to not jump around verse to verse or just randomly open your bible and point your finger and begin reading.

The Bible was meant to read together. We all know that the Bible contains promises for us and there are so many verses about comfort that can be used when we are struggling to encourage us. The problem that comes by doing this is when we take these verses and make them simple quotes, that look great on an instagram feed with a pretty picture behind it, we fail to see the bigger picture in scripture. We miss the context of the verse.

My recommendation. Read the bible as the bible. Not a verse. I have completed the new testament and have 10 books left in the old testament. While some books have been more challenging for me to read than others, the time I have spent reading has been so worth it. I have grown to love the old testament, never thought I would type that, and have been blown away in how it all connects together.


My anxiety caused me to create a bubble around myself and my family. I stayed home and didn’t really venture away from the house unless it was absolutely necessary. At my counselors suggestion I started to make plans to help get myself out of the house. I joined a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group at my church and the following year joined a women’s bible study.

I love my MOPS group and my bible study ladies! They have been a HUGE blessing to me and I am so thankful that I stepped out of my comfort zone to connect with other believers.

Human connection is so important. God has not left us here alone to struggle through things by ourselves.


I am also praying more, memorizing more scripture, and praying more scripture over my life, my family, my friends. I am also not ashamed to ask for prayer when I need it.

In the past I had questioned if it was even worth asking for prayer in certain circumstances but I have learned that asking for prayer isn’t about putting burdens on our friends. It’s about letting them walk by our side down a path we were never intended to walk alone.


Over the last year and half our family has made changes to what we eat, how we are eating, and also have rejoined a gym that has childcare and allows Josh and I to workout together.

We are a family of soon to be 5 that lives off a single income. Several years ago we put our beloved Lifetime Fitness membership on hold because it just was not working for our budget anymore. We waited until we found something that we liked, and our kids liked, and that worked for our budget. It took awhile, but we finally have found a new gym that is perfect for our growing family and budget.

The few hours Josh and I do get to spend to together in the gym are refreshing and life giving. They are recharge hours that are vitally important for us, and let’s be honest, getting to take an uninterrupted shower after a workout is pretty awesome. There are so many great reasons to exercise on a regular basis. If you are needing more motivation to start exercising and eating better you can read my post 3 Biblical Reasons to Take Care of Your Body.

As I am getting closer to approaching my due date in November with baby #3 I know it will be important to stay focused on what really matters. It would be easy for me to slip back into old habits while caring for a newborn, so I am writing this post as a reminder to myself to see how far I have come over the last two years.

I love the verse “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:17.

I am a new creation and I am so thankful that my identity is rooted in Christ and that the Holy Spirit lives in me. When I stopped trying to fix myself on my own I allowed His power to work in me. As believers I think we can get into the mindset of thinking that we need to muscle through challenges while in reality we need to surrender ourselves, pull out our white flag, and allow God to take over the reigns.


10 Bible Verses For Anxiety

Bible Verses For Anxiety

Everyday I wakeup I have to make a choice. Will I let my thoughts control my day? Or, Will I control my thoughts? Now in theory this shouldn’t be that hard to accomplish but in actuality it can be extremely difficult to not give in to the never ending, ever creeping, negative ferris wheel that seems to constantly spin in my brain.

Anxiety happens when you think you have to figure everything out. Turn to God. He has a plan.

Below I listed several of my favorite bible verses for anxiety that have encouraged and guided me when I feel I might be starting to slip back into old habits that trigger my anxious thoughts. I wanted to share these for anyone needing to be encouraged in this way.

If you are dealing with anxiety please know you are not alone.  My prayer for you is that you will take comfort in these scriptures and that God’s truth will calm your anxious heart.

Trust in God. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Pray. Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus

The cure for a troubled heart. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Seek encouragement. Be an encourager. Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.

Stay diligent. Be aware of what and who you surround yourself with. 1 Peter 5:6-8   Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Say this to yourself when fear overtakes you. Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

The reason you have nothing to fear. Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Memorize this verse. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Be courageous. 2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Take your thoughts captive. 2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.


Postpartum Depression & Anxiety: Part 2

Thank you for coming back to read the second part of my postpartum depression and anxiety story. If you missed my first post, you can read about my panic attacks and struggle with postpartum anxiety and depression before continuing.

Finally admitting to myself that something was not right was the first step in the process to reclaim my thoughts. I knew that I didn’t need to feel ashamed of what was happening to me but at the same time making the phone call to the doctor to schedule an appointment was so hard. So hard.

I first tried getting an appointment with my OB but that was a complete failure. I called, talked to the receptionist about needing to see the doctor for postpartum depression, called back and left a message, and was finally told that I couldn’t get in for an appointment for at least several weeks. I honestly felt like I was being tested and wondered just how many times I would need to say what was going on in order to get an appointment. I hung up the phone in tears.

Wiping up my wet face and blowing my nose I made a promise to myself that I was going to call my PCP and get this taken care of. I love my primary care doctor and soon I was in his office with tears in my eyes explaining to him what I had been experiencing. I wasn’t sure what I had been expecting but he was so kind and understanding that I knew I hadn’t been able to get an appointment with my OB for this reason. I was exactly where I needed to be.

I left the doctors office feeling so much better about everything. I had a plan in place laid out by my doctor who would be monitoring me during my treatment with follow ups and a list of counselors in my hand to call to setup an initial visit. I also had a prescription for Zoloft.

Within two weeks I was sitting in the office of a christian counselor pouring out my heart. For the next several months I completed lots of homework.

Want to know what I was learning about?


That doesn’t sound horrible at all does it. Most people love talking about themselves. I do too!

But when it comes to dissecting my behaviors and why I am wired the way that I am it really isn’t super fun. It is very insightful but it takes an open mind and heart to look at your life, how you were raised, and basically all the experiences that made you, well, you.

I learned so much. I am huge proponent of counseling now and would recommend it to anyone. In counseling I actively worked on real life skills for sustained change. This was not an easy process but well worth the investment of my time and energy.

2 Corinthians Chapter 10 Verse 5

My major breakthroughs involved recognizing what triggers my negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and how to catch, challenge, and change them when they appear. Reading my bible each day, listening to uplifting sermons and podcasts when I am exercising or after the kids have gone to sleep, being more aware of the pattern of my thoughts, and being comfortable spending time with friends again has helped tremendously.

I “graduated” from my counseling sessions right before Christmas and by the end of January I was back in the doctors office for another follow up and to discuss going off the medication. My doctor asked me an array of questions. He wanted to know what I had learned in counseling, how I was going to cope with my anxiety once I was no longer on the medication, and how Josh and I were doing. I have so much respect for this doctor that he took the time to ask me these questions.

Sitting and talking in the doctors office during this visit was much different from my initial appointment 6 months earlier. I was upbeat, my outlook on life had improved, and there were no tears, only smiles on my face. I left the office with permission to stop taking the medication but to call if I start to notice any changes in my mood or behavior.

It has been several weeks and I am doing well. Not to say that I still don’t catch thoughts in my mind that shouldn’t be there but I am able to challenge them logically and correct what behavior led them into my head. I know this will continue to be an ongoing process.

In my situation, medication alone wouldn’t have solved the underlying issues that were triggering my anxiety, but it did allow me to think clearly enough to get to the root of the problem. While medication would have altered my mood it wouldn’t have allowed me to really deal with the reasons behind my anxiety.

If you are suffering with depression or anxiety I highly encourage you to seek out a certified professional. Hormonal imbalances after pregnancy make some women more susceptible to postpartum depression. There is no shame in admitting you need help. God has not left us here alone to struggle through things by ourselves.

My husband and family have been so supportive and encouraging and I am not sure if they will ever know how much I appreciate them. I am thankful that I sought treatment and that I am not allowing my worries to rob me of joy.