Anxiety Used To Paralyze Me – Here’s What Helped Me Fix It

Updated on January 12, 2023 by

Woman Facing Her Anxiety Art Photo

// We recommend helpful products in our articles. Read our full disclosure here.

The Face Of Young Blond Girl Who Looks Anxious And Insecure.

Anxiety is a word that is thrown around like crazy these days. It’s become popular and funny to say that you suffer from anxiety. While I personally don’t find this offensive, I do believe that it downplays how utterly heartbreaking anxiety can be to deal with.

Mental health illnesses can make you feel alone, insecure, exhausted and completely devastated. 40 million adults in the United States are affected by anxiety disorders. This makes them one of the most common mental health illnesses. I’ve struggled with anxiety for my entire life, but in June of 2018 I experienced one of the most heart-breaking bouts of anxiety that I have ever gone through.

To set the scene a bit; I was in a job that totally overworked me, saw no future doing anything that felt aligned with my purpose, had no goals that I was actively pursuing, and my health was quickly going downhill.

Because of these things I was left feeling totally spacey and unlike myself. One day, while I was at work, I felt a sudden rush of heat come over me. I started sweating and knew something was up. I’m only 26, so menopausal hot flashes should not be hitting ya’ girl already!

Within minutes I found myself in a full-blown panic attack. I ran to my car so that I could lay down and try to call my mom – she’s my life saver when anxiety strikes. Well, mom didn’t answer and that just made everything come over me 10x harder.

Now I’m in my car, crying my eyes out, feeling my body go completely numb and totally convinced that I’m dying. This is the end. This is what a heart attack feels like. I finally got ahold of a family member to tell them that I’m losing my mind. I’m going crazy and can’t control my mind or my body. I’m dying and need them to take me to a hospital – like now.

If you’ve ever experienced a panic attack, you know exactly how this feels. Your mind has convinced your entire being that this is the end for you. And it feels so freaking real.

I wasn’t the same after this day. I was left feeling foggy, disconnected between mind and body and like I was living in a dream that I could not wake up from.

Nothing felt real. This wasn’t my life.

I was convinced that I was stuck like this forever. I was never going to feel “normal” ever again. I repeatedly told the people closest to me that I didn’t want to die, but I could not live my life like this every day. It wasn’t worth it. As dark as that sounds I know, now, that there are so many people out there who have felt the same way as I did.

 

How I Managed To Get Rid Of Anxiety

 

After countless visits to a psychiatrist and psychologist, I was beginning to feel hopeless. The meds weren’t kicking in fast enough and I didn’t know how to put the way I was feeling into words that were understandable enough to help me work out an action plan. No one was understanding what I was dealing with.

I eventually took a completely different approach and turned to a spiritual advisor. This was a game-changer.

Just as a disclosure – I don’t think that everyone with an anxiety disorder should turn to a spiritual advisor. This just worked for me in my situation as a desperate last attempt. I respect the spiritual beliefs of everyone and understand that this may seem completely woo-woo and unrealistic. My spiritual beliefs do not represent the beliefs of ShineSheets.

While working with this spiritual advisor, we came to the realization that I was completely ungrounded. That explains the flighty feelings that I consistently had, paired with the disconnection of mind and body.

I was so far from the path that I felt aligned with, that this panic attack and aftermath were the only ways to wake me up and get me back on track. I quickly built up a routine that would bring me back down to earth and help me ease the fogginess that I was experiencing every single day.

 

My Mindful Grounding Routine

 

I had to focus on things that made me feel connected to myself, my journey and the life that I was living. While my routine has changed since I originally started, I still incorporate nearly all the things that I was doing into my day. This keeps me grounded daily and gives me a foundation to turn back to when the flighty feelings start to return.

The first thing I did every morning was a guided meditation based around grounding. This gave me time to sit with myself, breathe and start my day off on the right foot. I highly recommend Insight Timer if you’re looking for a meditation app. They have so many guided meditations that are amazing!

Meditation has proven to decrease depression relapses by 12%. It’s a serious game changer and a perfectly safe way to get rid of anxiety for anyone with a mental health illness.

Once my mind was clear and still from my meditation, I would start my journal practice. Every day I would write down 10 things that I’m grateful for followed by 10 things that I love about myself.
When you’re in a bad place mentally, I firmly believe that gratitude alone is enough to make an impact on your journey towards recovery. Anxiety and depression can be caused by a lack mindset. Meaning that you are focusing more on what you don’t have instead of all that you do have.

When you build a gratitude practice, you can remind yourself daily of everything that you have in your life that you should be focusing on. Life is filled with so many good things, but it’s easy to forget that when you’re stuck in a cycle of comparison and lack.

Another very common thing that happens with anxiety, is insecurity. I was constantly questioning whether I was good enough, if I was doing things correctly, and if I was even worthy of living.
Writing down things that I love about myself gave me the confidence boost that I needed during this time. It was a way to remind myself that I am enough as I am.

During my mindfulness quest, I even made changes to my diet and water intake. I was more mindful and aware of what I was consuming. Goodbye daily doses of sugar and gluten, hello fruits and veggies!

Being more mindful and in the moment dramatically impacted the way that I was feeling mentally.

 

What I Learned

 

My anxiety could easily be explained as the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I instead choose to view it as a part of my life that has taught me more about myself than anything else ever has. It’s brought me a lot of pain and suffering but has also brought me a lot of clarity and peace of mind.

My anxiety taught me that it is okay to slow down. It is okay to take time for myself. It is okay to be selfish sometimes and make sure my cup is full before I fill that of those around me.
My brain fog was a way for my mind to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. It was trying to teach me to be mindful and notice how I’m feeling in that moment.

 

What You Need To Know

 

Anxiety sucks, don’t get me wrong. But there is always light in the darkness, it just has to be discovered.

If you push through and fight for yourself, you’ll be rewarded 10-fold by the lessons you’ll learn on the other side. You are worth the fight – every bit of it. Put yourself first, take this time to learn about who you are and don’t let your anxiety keep you down. It will not win because you will not let it!

Taiya is a mindset coach and personal development blogger. She helps millennial women live a life full of love, confidence and dreams come true.

Editor-in-chief and co-authors at ShineSheets.com

"We love to research, examine, analyze, and present to you the best ideas that make life better. You can learn about our editorial standards here."

woman washing hand multiple times

3 Ways to Identify OCD Symptoms

Everyone keeps talking about their OCD... But what exactly is it?
woman holding a flower to be mindful

5 Mindfulness Activities For Adults That Will Improve Your Daily Routine

As you practice mindfulness regularly, it will become a habit and won’t feel like such a big effort. 
minimalistic cup and a plant as a symbol of how to be happy with less

How To Be Happy With Less Stuff

It's time to rethink - what exactly do those material possessions mean to you?
variety of herbs for anxiety relief

The Best Herbs For Anxiety Relief

These herbal remedies can gently calm you on anxious days.
walking through black ground i hate my life art photography

“I hate my life”: 7 Sensible Ways To Change Things For The Better

There are so many reasons to hate your life... And so many options to change it!
smiling laughing and happy woman swiming in sunlit pool

The Importance Of Happiness: 6 Ways Being Happy Makes You Healthier

The importance of happiness goes way beyond just feeling happy...
meditation room accessories examples

How To Create A Deeply Relaxing Meditation Room

Create your own meditation room where you can relax and shut off the world entirely.
boy with adhd hugging emotional support animal (golden retriever)

How to Determine If My Child Needs an Emotional Support Animal?

Emotional support animals got extra-popular lately.
woman walking in the field of sun

9 Unique Therapies To Try For Improved Mental Health

Your mental wellness is always in your hands - and it can be improved.
brave woman setting an example on how to stay positive

How To Stay Positive When Life Keeps Giving You Problems

How to switch the "Oh no!" into "This is fine and I can handle this".
10 Things To Do If You're Feeling Not Good Enough

10 Things To Do If You’re Feeling Not Good Enough

Get rid of that limiting mindset - it's time to be free.