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There was a point last spring when my therapist told me to quit reading books and sites about anxiety because I was overwhelming myself trying to find the magic cure. As research extraordinaire, I just knew I could find the one thing that would return me to “normal.”

I hate to burst any bubbles, but there is no magic. Trust me. I have tried everything. There are, however, a few things that help me, and I want to share those over the next few days.

During my worst days, I had so much inner tension it was like my insides were crawling.  I needed some way to release the physical tension and emotions that had built up. 

I texted my cousin one day and told him that I just wanted to punch someone or something. He told me to do it! It sounds crazy, but I literally started air-boxing a flurry of punches to let off steam. I tell my girls to punch pillows, that works, too.

My cuz also told me one of his secret stress relievers that sounds bizarre, but works. He gets in the car, drives around, and screams obscenities. You don’t have to do the obscenity thing, but the screaming is a must. The car is the perfect place to do it.

If you know me in real life, I bet you’re chuckling at the image of me yelling or swearing at anyone or anything. In fact, people actually apologize when they curse in front of me. I have no idea why, but it’s true. Anyway, screaming, yelling (and occasionally swearing) alone in the car really works for me and here’s why.

  1. I spent the majority of my life not expressing negative emotions. That’s a lot of pent up junk to get out.
  2. Screaming (yelling) is a carnal instinct, but we’ve conditioned ourselves to avoid it. Screaming AT someone is not good, but screaming out frustrations or anger to an empty space (or even to God) is cathartic.
  3. Screaming at home scares pets and neighbors.
  4. Yelling, screaming and cursing in public is not advisable for obvious reasons.
  5. I take a drive in the country or park my car in an empty lot to avoid stares.
  6. Yelling out the negative things in my head makes space for God to fill me up with the good.
  7. I tend to stuff my emotions, so a good yell fest helps me avoid lashing out or getting annoyed over little things because I’ve let things build inside.

I know it sounds strange, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Just remember to make sure your windows are up if anyone’s around!

31daysThis series is not a tidy story of a fairy tale life.  It is messy and truthful.  For 31 days, I will share pieces of my journey, practical coping techniques for dealing with anxiety, spiritual insights, emotional struggles, and a whole lot of other.  I will likely  jump from here to there as the Spirit leads.  I invite you along as I share my experience, my strength, and my hope.  Please check this page every day in October for the latest post or sign up to receive new posts directly in your inbox.  Thank you for being part of this journey with me.  Together, we shall seek the still.