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Letting Go of Anxiety Down by the Seashore

Where is your favorite place to go wandering when you’re stressed?

Mine is the beach…or the woods…or around a pretty lake tucked up in the mountains…but especially the beach.

This weekend I got to go to a beautiful, rocky stretch of Washington coastline when I agreed to help chaperone a birthday party of giggling little girls armed with lime green plastic buckets, York Mint Patties, and Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips.

rocky shoreline

They had a marvelous time finding all sorts of treasures along the beach: crabs, clams and “Oreo rocks” (ones with black and white spots).

I went treasure-hunting too, only I used my camera instead of a bucket. I found weathered bits of driftwood, barnacle-encrusted rocks, and vivid green strips of seaweed draped along the shoreline.

And I sat. Just sat. Happy to let the sea breezes and gently lapping waves lull my stressed self into rest.

I’ve been stressing something fierce lately and don’t like it one bit.

I let anxiety about one traumatic event spill over into anxiety about everything. I let that experience cause me to doubt myself and be afraid of the future. I let a few bad things in my life overwhelm all the wonderful good.

I let those bits of darkness blot out the sun.

Being at the beach yesterday reminded me of how far I’ve strayed from peaceful well-being. With each cry of a gull, gust of salty air, and spray of seawater my body relaxed and my anxious thoughts settled. It was so lovely to feel totally, completely at rest again that I wanted to cry.

Driving home I knew that I wanted to hang onto that renewed peace and security. It was good to know that peace did not arrive because of a change in circumstances but simply through resting, being in nature, and thinking on true things. If I could find peace at the seashore, I could find it anywhere.

So this morning I drove to work early and sat in my car for a while writing, thinking, tearing up a bit when necessary.

  1. I wrote down my fears and they weren’t nearly so scary once I actually got them written down.
  2. I wrote down truth to combat those fears and felt braver and stronger.
  3. I wrote down good things I am going to do based on those truths and oh, the peace came flooding in.

So today is a good day. A braver, stronger, happier day. And I am grateful.

What do you do to regain your peace when it’s been rattled?

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Anna Johnston - We should all burst into song here.  “Todays gunna be a good day, today’s gunna be a good, good day” – Go you Brave Lady You 🙂

Krista - I love that, Jamie, and can picture the two of you nattering away as you hold hands and stroll. 🙂

Krista - I’m so glad you have a beach too, Tuula. 🙂 XO It’s such a good thing to have a place to recharge.

Krista - That is a wonderful idea, dear Val. 🙂 I have been reading lately and you’re right – they are a beautiful distraction and put things in better perspective.

Krista - They sure do, Faith. Just looking at these photos again makes me take a deep breath and feel peaceful. 🙂

Krista - Thank you, dear Erin. I feel so scared sometimes, but I’m feeling braver all the time. 🙂

Jamie - We are like you and often need to escape to a quiet haven, the seaside or the vineyards, far from the city, far from worries and demands of life. We think, talk, dream and come to all our decisions like this. Your photos are stunning and your day sounds perfect!

Tuula - Glad to hear you’re feeling more at peace Krista…I, too, like to go to the beach when I’m feeling stressed 🙂 Lovely photos (as always 🙂 & thanks for sharing your wisdom with us…. always something thoughtful to get my day going 🙂

bellini - Peace is within your reach Krista. When I am stressed I read. I immerse myself in someone elses life or woes sand my own life doesn’t seem bad at all and full of riches..

Faith - Beautiful days like this are so good for us…they really recharge our souls.  I’m so glad you had such a wonderful time, Krista!

erin - You are so brave.  Also, I love the line about collecting the beach through your lens.

Krista - I’m so glad the photos were so cheering to you, dear fisher lady! 🙂 That makes me happy. And I smiled big imagining all the party antics at your farm this weekend. How fun!!!

Krista - Oh thank you, darling Andi! You just made my day. 🙂

Krista - I’m so glad you understand, dear Breanne. 🙂 Big hug to you, my friend!

Krista - Thank you SO much for all your encouragement, dear Paradis. It means so much to me and really gave me courage today. 🙂

Krista - That sounds wonderful, Kirk. 🙂 I’ve never ridden a motorcycle but it LOOKS like a wonderfully freeing experience. 🙂

Krista - I haven’t, Barbara, but I just looked it up on Amazon and it definitely looks like something I’d love. 🙂

Krista - I’m so sorry, Brenna! That is VERY stressful. 🙁 I lost my job today too and it does rattle the nerves. Hoping for peace and courage for both of us. 🙂

thefisherlady - Krista, I am so happy that you are finding beautiful moments of healing… they will come more and more.
When I find myself in a dark moment that is unpleasant I also think on something more beautiful, or honourable, something hopeful and encouraging. I lift up the fear and give it to Jesus and thank Him that He is bigger than all my fears and thank Him for the peace that only He can give. I thank Him for HIs perfect love that casts out all fear…
Finding fun things to do with happy people is a balm… finding quiet moments to find a peaceful calm is healing.
Your photos are amazing! I love the seaweed pressed in against the rocks and the beautiful wetness. I can smell the salt and feel the breeze and hear the water… God calling out softly to rest in Him… I also hear those squeally happy girls and smile as we also had a birthday party/ pony ride party here on the farm and it was such joy to see them all chasing goats, running with the dogs, splashing in the creek and giggling on top of their lovely ponies.
Keeping you close to our hearts and in our prayers…

Andi Perullo - These are my favorite pictures you’ve ever taken, absolutely stunning!  My favorite place to go when I’m anxious is the beach as well.  Sadly it’s a 3 hour drive.  I hope your anxiety goes away quickly love!!!

Jared and Breanne Mosher - I can totally understand. I love the quiet of the water to soothe my soul. It always does. Those are beautiful pictures and they evoke peace and rest.

Bluegreen Kirk - My favorites things to do to let go of anxiety would be to go to the beach early mornings before sunrise and getting on my motorcycle and just riding for about an hour or so.

mlleparadis - well krista you are not at all alone.  most people who’ve gone through really bad experiences can forever after be fearful everywhere and all the time.  (war vets for example.)  you will have to work hard to overcome it.  it’s not you or any weakness that’s particular to you.  it’s a physical and psychological reaction to what you’ve gone through.  it’s odd and wonderful how nature soothes it.  (odd because nature can also be so brutal.)  so glad for you that you have access to it, and the company of little girls who really know how to live – (york mint patties and salt and vinegar crisps, yum!) to help.  

your photos (and the ones you emailed me) are stunningly gorgeous.  if you can find some consolation in that.  it will take time again for you to overcome this last episode.  don’t be too hard on yourself and know that you have many many people who are on your side who wish only the best for you.  

baby steps!  and don’t be afraid to baby yourself alot too!  xo

Barbara - Fascinating. Have you ever read a book called Walking the Wrack Line? You’d love it.

Fabuleuxdestinbrenna - I’ve been so stressed out looking for jobs all day. Your photos totally calm me down. I don’t live near the water, so to relax I head straight to the kitchen. Tonight it was homeade pasta w/ sauce and shrimp! 

Krista - Thank you so much, dear Shelby! Love you too! 🙂

Krista - Thank you, Jon. 🙂 Giving thanks is a lovely way to combat anxiety for sure. 🙂

Shelby - Krista, I’m glad to hear you’re gaining strength day by day. Just remember to let go, and let God. Love ya bunches! 🙂

Jonathan Watson - Beautiful! I like to meditate on these verses: (philippians 4:6-7)
 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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