Hi friends! I had the opportunity to interview the singer/songwriter Kylie Odetta! She shares about her struggle with anxiety and how to overcome anxiety in Jesus’ name. Her story is so encouraging and full of hope. I pray that you will leave with some tips that you can implement in your own life and hope that things can get better. Let’s get to the interview!
How to Overcome Anxiety in Jesus
1. Can you please introduce yourself, and share a fun fact?
Hey there! My name is Kylie Odetta, I’m a 22 year old soul/pop artist from Greenville, SC. I am a huge reader, writer, and concert goer. I love the beach and my 1 year old lab, Zella! Fun fact: I toured the U.K. playing concerts as a solo, independent artist at 20 years old – my mom and my best friend were my traveling companions. 🙂
2. What was your journey like through anxiety? Can you describe that season?
It was isolating, identity stealing, and emotionally consuming. I had experienced anxiety for most of my life but nothing too severe. I was always sensitive but that was often a positive attribute that allowed me to connect with others well. It wasn’t until I was 19 that I really got hit with overwhelming intrusive thoughts and crippling anxiety. They were triggered by a perfect storm of events that happened all at once: including a break up, family drama, and un-dealt with experiences from my past. I felt scared of my own mind but didn’t want to burden anybody. So I tried to figure out what was going on by myself and ended up going in circles. The harder I tried to get rid of my thoughts and fears, the more they became embedded in my mind. I slowly lost hope and found myself numb and confused about how to move forward.
3. When did you realize you couldn’t live like that anymore?
I remember the exact day that I reached my breaking point. I was supposed to meet my family for lunch and as I pulled into the parking lot and got out of my car, I couldn’t bring myself to go inside. I was so emotionally exhausted, numb, and broken. I didn’t even have the energy to face them and hold a normal conversation – so I sat on the curb and stared blankly at the pavement. After 30-45 minutes they came outside looking for me and all I could say was “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t live like this. I don’t want to live like this.” They practically carried me into their car and drove me home as I finally wept. I opened up about what I had been going through and they listened and loved me so well in that moment.
4. How did you go about gaining victory over anxiety in Jesus?
After opening up to them that day, it gave me the little bit of hope and courage that I needed to start seeking help. I saw a therapist, I started talking to close friends who had deep relationships with Jesus, I went to different worship nights and I prayed like crazy. Joy, one of my friends, encouraged me to speak scripture out loud over myself every morning. She told me about her practice of “pleading the blood of Jesus” over her mind each morning. I thought I would give it a try and I ended up declaring the truth of God’s Word over myself multiple times a day when I felt weak and scared. A few specific verses I declared were 2 Timothy 1:7 and Philippians 4:4-7. As I leaned into this process of replacing the lies in my mind with God’s truth, trusting God to renew my mind, taking Him at his word, I saw my spirit rise up to meet who He said I was. It was not a quick or easy journey, but the power of God’s Word is real. He is so patient and filled with grace for our darkest moments. He desires to pull us out of the pit. He longs to be our refuge and heal our minds and hearts. I saw Him do that for me through taking His scriptures as truth.
5. How is your life different now that you’ve overcome the crippling anxiety?
Gosh, it’s like night and day. I walk in so much more freedom, confidence, and joy now. I live each day knowing that God has brought me through one of my darkest seasons and turned it for good and if need be, He can do it again. I am able to be open about my story and not feel ashamed or afraid whereas during my battle, I felt so scared to share what I was going through. I am genuinely happier and have such deeper faith in God.
6. Do you still struggle with anxiety at all?
Every now and then, I have little bouts of anxiety flare up. Something will trigger me emotionally and for a moment or a few hours, I will get shaken up. But truly, I am able to catch these thoughts and emotions in their tracks at this point in my life and line them up next to what is true (what God says) and overcome them so much quicker. Life is not perfect, different things will trigger me, but I no longer fear when this happens. I take my anxious thoughts to God and I let them go. I lean into His truth and then I find freedom in it.
7. What are some practical tips for overcoming anxiety?
Overcoming anxiety is not a quick journey, usually. But it is one that is absolutely possible. A few things that I would suggest from my own personal experience…
- Speak to someone who you love and/or trust about what you’re going through. A family member, a therapist, a godly friend. It is so important to bring your anxiety to the light and have somebody that you can be completely honest with + not feel judged by.
- Find a few scriptures that speak to your heart and your situation, and repeat them every morning out loud, multiple times a day if you need to. There is so much power in saying God’s truth OUT LOUD over yourself. You literally have the ability to SPEAK LIFE.
- Practice detaching your emotions from your thoughts. Not all thoughts have equal weight. Some thoughts are from God, some from the world, some from the enemy, and some from yourself. If the emotions and thoughts you’re experiencing don’t line up with what God says, you don’t have to give them authority over yourself. Not all thoughts are true or mean something about you or your life. You get to wave hello, and wave goodbye to them. You might be thinking “really?”, and I’m just here to let you know: yes, really.
- Do physical actives that bring you joy and make you laugh. You’ve already given enough time and energy to feeling afraid, give your energy to something that brings you back to your present life. Draw, go for a walk, call a friend, watch your favorite movie, read a good book, workout. This is sometimes the best therapy. Instead of sitting around until you figure everything out, GO OUT and live your life. This shocks your system in a good way and your brain patterns will shift gears.
8. If someone is in the middle of an anxiety or panic attack, what are a few things they could do in that moment?
Call a friend or family member. Breathe deeply and squeeze your hands tightly into fists and then open your fingers wide 3 times. This breaks up the stream of thoughts and causes you to focus on what it feels like to open and close your hand. If you can, stand up and walk out of whatever room you’re in. Go start doing something else instead of sitting there ruminating on your thoughts. Pray to God and repeat your favorite scripture out loud.
9. How can we help someone we know with anxiety? How can we help them gain victory in Jesus’ name?
I think one of the most important things that we can do is to listen, be patient, and remind them we love them. Sometimes people need to process out loud, I know I did. It was so valuable to have my mom who would let me express my anxious thoughts to her over and over again as I worked them out of my own mind. After doing that, she would encourage me with who she knew I was. Meaning, she believed in me and that I was a kind and strong and good person, even when I felt like I was the opposite of those things. She didn’t see me as someone who was labeled and defined by anxiety, she saw me as her daughter first, who was suffering from anxiety. It’s important to remind people that we see and acknowledge what they are feeling is real but that it does not effect our view of them. On a practical note, encouraging someone with prayer, scripture, and pointing them to see a therapist if necessary, can be helpful. No judgment is key.
10. And lastly, what is your favorite song that you’ve ever written and why?
My favorite song changes all the time! Right now, I would say it is “Cry Out” on my new EP. I love it because it’s probably the most vulnerable song that I’ve ever shared. It’s powerful and I hope it encourages others to ask for help if they need it.
Indie/Soul Singer-Songwriter, Kylie Odetta, is lighting a fire within the underground music scene. With music that is powerful, dreamy, and full of passion she uses the piano & raspy vocals to draw you in. By incorporating elements of studio magic yet keeping the instruments organic, her music will take you on a mellow but all-inspiring journey.
Kylie has been called an old soul and penned over 200 songs. Her southern roots make for a unique twist in her vocal character as she emits an iconic sound that is both refreshing and original and emotional. You might call her an indie artist but with hints of jazz, soul and pop influences.
Kylie O has become a seasoned performer as she has carried the big stage solo having had the opportunity to open for music artists Gavin DeGraw, Colbie Callait, Mat Kearney, Austin Mahone and Kelly Pickler as well as 100’s of her own shows. Kylie is on a mission to share her music with others and truly connect with people through the lyrics. She notes that people and everyday life and the emotions that we all feel inspire her.
“My goal is to create art that moves people deep inside their souls, brings love to light, & enhances the beauty and power of emotion.” (Kylie Odetta)
I hope that you enjoyed this interview all about overcoming anxiety in Jesus!
With all my love,