It’s no secret that I have anxiety. It developed in large part as a by-product of my failure to cope with the most tragic experience of my life: losing my mom & best friend. I repressed it.
Years later, I discovered that eating disorders & anxiety go hand in hand. The anxiety I succeeded at repressing for long was triggered by my eating disorder. It got so bad that even if I tried, I could no longer repress it. I had no choice but to FACE & COPE WITH IT.
At first, I coped through therapy, grief counselling, reading, writing, cooking & mind work. Those coping mechanisms helped me push through recovery & deal with my anxiety simultaneously.
Overtime, my coping mechanisms changed.
Today, exercise is the one thing that really helps sustain & maintain my mental clarity & stability & keep me grounded. It’s also no secret that some days, working out is the ONLY thing that lifts my spirits, takes me away from the negativity my eating disorder tries to sneak back into my life & allows me to disconnect from my thoughts.
There are days where I walk into a workout feeling like I’m about to cave & give ED the upper hand, but just an hour or two later, I walk out of that same workout with the upper hand, feeling on top of the world, knowing my purpose & commending myself for all the hard work I’ve done to get this far. That’s what I call EFFECTIVE THERAPY.
I’m not saying that everyone who has anxiety will find solace, comfort or inner peace through exercise. No two people experience anxiety in the same way, in the same way that no two people will cope with it the same. But, this is what works for me.
At the end of the day, what helps you cope doesn’t have to be the norm, standard or what helps your brother, sister or best friend. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive therapy, most complicated mind work or most peaceful meditation session.
What matters is that what helps you cope is EFFECTIVE enough to let you TAKE CONTROL of the anxiety as opposed to letting it CONTROL you.