If you have anxiety, you know how crippling it can be. But sometimes, the very things you to do stop anxiety are exactly what fuels it.
Because you have to begin from the right place.
If you live with anxiety, you know all the negative emotions it can trigger:
- Fear of having an anxiety attack.
- Anger at yourself for not being able to cope like you feel you should.
- Shame for not being able to do all the things you want to do.
Sometimes these emotions drive you to try and find a solution. But the fear, anger, and shame aren’t the answer.
To stop anxiety, you have to begin from a place of love.
The other day I picked up the book Keys to Calm by Megan Buer. I knew Megan was a kindred spirit the moment I read this line in her book:
“You can’t hate yourself into health. True healing comes through love.”
There isn’t enough bold type on the planet to emphasize that statement!
In fact, go back and read it one more time to let it sink in.
It’s cool. I’ll wait here till you’re done…
… Ready? Let’s discuss:
First of all, did you know that women are far more likely than men to suffer from anxiety?
Why? Well, we don’t have a clear answer.
But from my personal experience, there is a very negative cycle of stress, self-hate, depression and anxiety that many women experience. We start out stressed, and we may not ask for support when we need it. We struggle with our self-worth and sometimes even hate our bodies. Then the anxiety kicks in. We feel even more stress from our anxiety and see ourselves as failures for not being able to cope like a “normal” person — and back around the anxiety loop we go again.
Sound at all familiar?
I can certainly relate.
So here’s why love is the first step:
Why is love needed to stop anxiety?
Sometimes the fear, anger, or shame is enough to get you started on the road to change — but these emotions don’t see you through to the finish line. And they can cause some serious roadblocks.
These negative emotions equal stress. And more stress is not the answer to good health — and especially not the way to stop anxiety symptoms.
In Keys to Calm, Megan goes on to say:
“Love is the only force in the world that can transform your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. We can’t fool ourselves into thinking that the more we despise our situation, the more motivation we will have to change. Hate, fear, and guilt cannot ever provide lasting motivation and change. The minute you decide to truly love and accept yourself for who you are right now, healing begins.” – Keys to Calm by Megan Buer
This was my secret to becoming healthier, too — mentally and physically. For years I was spinning my wheels, hating myself any time I wasn’t making progress (whether it was my weight, my sleep, my skin).
But when the changes I made were fueled by hate, they never seemed to have the intended effect. Maybe it was because my negative emotions got in the way of making good decisions. Or maybe they caused me so much stress, they simply caused more problems than they were solving. I’ll never be completely sure.
I just know that when you want to stop anxiety naturally (or digestive issues, or any number of health concerns), it has to start with love.
I never experienced true positive changes in my health or mental wellness until I learned to start from a place of love.
Love Helps You See Through to the End
Healing rarely happens overnight. The path requires patience. Buckets of it.
But in this magic-pill world, it’s hard not to seek a quick fix.
I ought to know. I was born with zero patience, but I learned it’s not an option if you want to be healthy — it’s a must-have.
If you want to stop anxiety, you have to deal with the dance of two-steps-forward-one-step-back. You’re going to see a little progress, then maybe a little regression. And back and forth, but always slowly moving forward.
Healing just tends to happen that way, when we’re dealing with real life at the same time as we’re trying to recover our health and happiness.
If you don’t have a lot of patience with yourself, you’ll give up before you’ve given a solution the time it needs to work. Or you’ll stress so much about every setback that you’ll trigger even more anxious feelings.
When you start from that place of love, you know the journey takes time. You have patience to handle the ups and downs. You give healing some space to do its thing — instead of trying to make it happen, like, yesterday.
Love: It’s What You Do
I always say love is more than a feeling: it’s an action word. Loving yourself isn’t just feeling warm and fuzzy — it’s how you treat yourself.
So when we talk about starting from a place of love, that also means to treat yourself with love (whether you feel like it or not).
“Above all else, be kind to yourself. Compassionate self care and unconditional kindness for yourself is more important than anything else you will do for your health. Hold that kindness above your diet, above supplements, above any other health habit you decide to introduce.” – Keys to Calm by Megan Buer
So as you work on solutions to stop your anxiety, keep in mind those feelings of love, patience, and kindness. Always let that be your starting place. It will have a tremendous effect on your outcome.
Keys to Calm
If you experience anxiety (or really stress at any level), this book shares some incredible insights. Megan went from having full-blown panic attacks to learning how to stop her anxiety naturally. Her advice is so calming and reassuring to read, and gives you some genuinely helpful pointers for learning to healing anxiety.
I highly recommend it.
More Tips about Anxiety and Wellness:
- How to Stop Anxiety
- 5 Deep Breathing Benefits
- Get Rid of PMS Anxiety and Mood Swings for Good: 5 Root Causes
- The Alternative to Giving Up
- Finding Self Worth
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Elizabeth is the founder and creative director at The Nourished Life. Her mission is to help people find a more balanced (less stressful!) approach to living a happy, healthy life. Read more about Elizabeth here.