Small Steps You Can Take to Control Anxiety and Navigate Other Changes For Long Term Results

Steps on a trail
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There are many causes for anxiety. Some we can’t control. But there are many things that either directly cause anxiety or contribute to it. We’ve been told to either “just snap out of it!” or “here’s a pill.” Neither are helpful long-term nor address the root cause of anxiety. I recently read an article from the Greater Good Magazine entitled, Your Anxiety Might Be Coming From Your Body.

As I read how caffeine, lack of sleep & sun exposure, too much sugar, inflammation & not taking time to just breathe can all cause or exacerbate anxiety, I knew I had to share this information with you. Especially because these things also cause and/or exacerbate other mental, emotional and even physical health issues. Preventing you from living the happy, active, vibrant life God is calling you to.

However, it also dawned on me that most people, especially those who experience anxiety on a regular basis, aren’t ready to hear it. Or the thought of making all those changes causes more anxiety.

What they really need to know is that taking smaller steps is not only OK, it’s actually a better approach.

Deep Down, Most People Already Know

Most people already know these things either consciously or subconsciously. They know and yet, they still do (or don’t do) them. And to be clear, I’m not judging. Because like Paul, “I do not understand (my own actions). For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate.”

What I do, I don not understand. For I not do what I want, but I do what I hate.

Romans 7:15 (NASB)

There are times I simply cannot say no. Whether it’s to the foods that I know will make me feel less than great or say “Yes” to things that take time away from the important things I already have going on. Why do I procrastinate on getting started on a project or any other ways I struggle for some kind of control.

I recognize these behaviors just sabotage my efforts and cause (or exacerbate) mental & physical health issues (lately overwhelm, fatigue and weight gain), and yet I still do them.

In short, I get it.

So What Can We Do?

How can we learn about these things that will help us without feeling the guilt, overwhelm or even shame that takes over & causes these crazy cycles to spin out of control? How can we step off (or slow down) the anxiety, overwhelm, out of control or what ever train you’ve found yourself on to finding more inner peace? To do what you really want to do, what God is calling you to do?

Society pressures us to go all out, do it all. And yet, it’s takes so much energy. Energy that tends to fizzle quickly.

I think it’s high time we take a different approach. We tend to take better care of something (or someone) when we love them. One simple thing you can start off doing is to offer these feelings and the issues related to them to God. Receive his love and extend yourself some compassion.

Instead of berating ourselves for things we’ve done or habits we know are hurting ourselves & our bodies, why not start loving on them. Learning to love yourself and your body the way God does.

The way a loving, supportive, encouraging parent does. Always calling you to a better version of yourself, and yet loving & accepting you as you are. Knowing you are doing the best you can in any given moment.

One Small Step for (Hu)man, One Giant Leap for (Hu)mankind

Why do you have to go all out? Why not just take one tiny step in the right direction? It’ll take a lot less energy. You’ll feel safer making one small change at a time. Research shows this ‘slower’ way of navigating change & adopting habits actually helps us change faster & maintain those new habits longer.

It’s much easier to start out by swapping out 1 cup of coffee for a cup of decaf, than to completely switch all beverages to water. The same can be said for food choices, body movement or other self-care practices. Maybe it’s writing down a positive affirmation or uplifting scripture verse and saying it out loud every day instead of journaling several pages every day.

It could be as simple as taking a moment before you get out of bed every day and/or as you lie down at night to say grateful, heartfelt, “Thank you, Lord. I love you, Lord.”

It doesn’t have to be anything that anyone else even notices. But that one small change can make all the difference. That one small step can be the catalyst that leads to the big changes you really want to make. That one small change can be your anchor to remembering who you are and treating yourself as the precious, beloved chosen child of God.

You won’t get overwhelmed by trying to incorporate too many new things at once. You won’t feel discouraged when you can’t do all those new things. Rather, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment & confidence. That one step can be the spark of courage that allows you to take the next step and make other changes you know will support your overall health & well-being.

What’s God Calling You to Change?

What’s one small step you can take or already do every day to keep you moving in the right direction?

One small thing that really lights you up? One thing you know you can do? There is no right or wrong answer. God inspires each of us in different ways. What works for me may not work fo you and vice versa.

Let me know in the comments! Writing it down & sharing it with someone else greatly increases the chances of your success. And who knows? Your comment may be the spark of inspiration someone else has been looking for. Allowing all of us to

Enjoy the Journey!

Are you struggling to find ways to lead pray often, eat well and/or move your body more to the happy, active, vibrant life God is calling you to? Do you maybe know what you want to do, but you’re struggling to make it happen? Let me help you discover the strategies & provide you with the encouraging support you need to create & maintain the habits you need to realize that best, healthiest version of yourself.

Drop me a line at Julie@juliegrunklee.com & let me know your availability for a free 30-minute coaching consultation to see how I can help you get from where you are to where you want to be.

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  1. Hi Julie, I feel I have the pray often and move more but I am still struggling with the eating well. I know with fresh garden produce this should be easy and I have freezers full of meat etc. I know what I have to do but just don’t seem to have the will power to do what I am suppose to do. Chocolate and sweets just seem to take control. I get stressed I just let food satisfy me. I know I need to just take it a day at a time. I need to journal and see when I slip. I just need to start and make the commitment.

    • Julie Grunklee says:

      I understand completely Audrey! Searching for and eating when I’m not hungry is one of my 1st clues something is out of balance. The key for me is to ask the Lord for the Courage to do (or not do) the things I can. When I find myself in this cycle, I have put up sticky notes to offer it up to Jesus. To ask him for the courage to walk away & tap into what I’m really hungry for, what I’m really craving. Simple, but not always an easy thing to do. But the more I do it, the easier it becomes & the less I turn to food to fill whatever it is I need. Wishing you much peace in your heart! 🙂

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