Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Find your pulse. You are breathing. You are alive. Inhale. Exhale. Put pressure on your collarbone. Let the weight calm you. Inhale. Exhale.

This is the mantra I play in my head every time I have an anxiety attack or just experience an overwhelming sense of uneasiness. I've been dealing with anxiety for years now, and it wasn't up until a few years ago that I began to share this with others.

Something I learned this past year in college is that I am a very sympathetic person. I have a deep desire to please everyone and make sure that everyone is happy, and know that they are worth caring for. It physically pains me to see people I know and care about hurt, and feel like I could have done something to prevent their hurt. I put the whole situation upon myself, and that is the main thing that causes my anxiety.

Anxiety unfortunately is more than just a mental and emotional struggle. Anxiety shows itself in various forms, and for me it is shown in my breathing and scratching on my arms. The mantra I wrote above is the exact thing I do or say every time I begin to feel anxious. Sometimes it works right away and other times it doesn't and I have to fight the want to just explode. Breathing really is a battle.

Now if you know me in real life or have seen my social media accounts it might be hard to believe I deal with such heavy anxiety. That is because, one I choose to not let my anxiety define me and two, I have the Lord on my side. If I choose to let my anxiety define me, I am letting my anxiety and the devil win. And that is just not an option anymore. I am learning to find worth in myself, and see what God sees me as. I breathe because He gives me breath and the strength to fight on.

I'm not writing this to receive pity or attention. I am doing this because God works all things together for His good, and has given me a story to share and inspire others with.

You are loved and you are worth every breath.