Inner Reflections
November 14, 2022

How I Overcame Anxiety

Yep…I used to have REALLY BAD anxiety.

I think a lot of people might assume that I am just a naturally optimistic person.  They think that my light-hearted attitude and zest for life comes easily to me.  It couldn’t be further from the truth.  To be honest…my natural state of consciousness for so many years was an attitude of pessimism, cynicism and anxiety.  From my late 20’s to early 30s I was in a perpetual state of negativity.

I was pissed off at the world, stuck in a victim mentality, broke, and full of anxiety and fear.  It got so bad at one point that my fingertips went numb and I couldn’t even play my guitar.  That was the straw that broke me. If you are struggling, I feel you…and here are some of the things that I have done to help manage my stress, anxiety, and pessimism.

1.  I spent a few years in a 12-Step program, and worked the steps HARD two times from start to finish.  

I owe most of the foundation of my recovery to the few years I spent in this program.  It was the most transformational experience of my life.  And…it’s FREE.  AA is not the only form of 12-Step programs, there are ones for co-dependency, food addiction, children of addicts, gambling addiction, sex addiction, and spending addictions.  The list goes on. Doing the steps in any of these programs will absolutely transform your life. It will be a very raw and a challenging experience but you will come out of it a new person.

2.  I committed to a consistent meditation practice.

I started practicing meditation 5 times a week, most weeks much more.  Meditation helped me become so much more aware of the decisions that I was making that were creating more suffering for myself and others.

3.  I quit acting.  

It was so hard to walk away from.  I loved the craft of acting so so much…but the business side of it was literally making me sick.  It’s an extremely unhealthy life, and I couldn’t handle it.  If your dream is making your life a living hell…it might be time to listen for what dream God might have for you.

4.  I began taking responsibility for my own happiness 

I recognized that “nobody was coming” to save me or heal me.  I could ask for help and guidance, but eventually my journey and my happiness were between me and a higher power.

5.  I recognized that the “normal” life of the average American is extremely toxic, and stopped doing what everyone else was doing. 

I stopped watching the news.  I significantly reduced my time on social media.  I ate very healthy and exercised 5 times a week minimum.  I read books.  I CALLED people instead of just texting them.  I removed negative people from my life.  I stopped spending money on stupid shit.  I watched Ted Talks at night that were inspiring.  I made a commitment to myself to help people every day and not talk about it to others.  I prayed, and chose to believe in a higher power.

And you know what…it happened.  Slowly and surely, I pulled myself out of a rut.  First, I began to survive, then I began to thrive and now I am flourishing.  I listened to the Universe’s plan for me, and now I am writing this to you from my jungle house in Bali, Indonesia.  I don’t know how the hell I got here, but I can tell you that I believe that we are all capable of transcending our obstacles, and that there is a force guiding the Universe that is GOOD and that this force can lead you to a life that is better than anything you could have ever imagined.  It took me a few years to really get going, and a lot of patience and mistakes and healing and growth along the way.  But I got through it…and you can too!!

Below are some recommended practices as always:

Inner Dimension TV

Power Yoga

By Paul