Many time I wear a mask of strength even when I am dying inside. My mind takes over and tells me to “suck it up sunshine” and deal with the task at hand. I have consistently kept up with this image for years. In reality I am an emotional wreck. I guess this explains where some of my anxiety comes from. I bottle a lot in and I sometimes take others burdens on as well. Not good.
Last Tuesday, shit got real! I got some devasting news about some testing my husband and I have been doing. A little back story about us is that we have been trying to have a baby. Nothing in our mind thought we would have any challenges in this arena. We are both super healthy and have everything in order. For the last year, we have been silently trying just waiting for that positive pregnancy test. Nothing. I started light heartedly going to the doctor for further information. In the process, I have been poked and prauded which all tests have been normal. Next adventure…. semen anaylasis. No biggie! Well, to my surprise it sure was a biggie. Test results=issues.
My mask is off. I can’t hide from this. As much as I know I need to be strong I have been torn up. Why us? We are more than capable in having a baby. This doesn’t happen to us! No way! But it has. Here we are trying to now tackle this next phase of our life.
Sh*% just got real….
Why do people shy away from what makes them happy? Lost in the hustle. As little or big the situation may be… it is what brings you light. Celebrate it! Too many times I hear women say “it’s not that big of a deal” when they accomplish something. What?!?! It is a BIG deal! We as human beings have to back each other up and be there for the party!
I’m guilty of it myself. I hide behind my celebrations. I shine it off like it’s not a big deal. But it really is a big deal if it makes me happy. It’s worthy of a celebration from myself and others in my circle. Life has a way to meter what a “big deal” is in life when it comes to happiness. Why does it have to be some big event? It’s as simple as, “I did yoga today and I ate less carbs”. Go Becca! Or, “I made it through the day without feeling anxious”. Now thats a celebration. Let’s pop some bubbly! The people that love you, I promise will celebrate with you no matter how big or small your celebration is. Anything that makes you celebrate life…. celebrate!
Start with the little things. No need to wait for the big events. If you do that you are taking away the moments that matter to you. Why wait? I will celebrate with you! Let me get my party outfit ready!
Oh to be anxious! I know the feeling all too well. I have felt anxiety at a very young age. I was scared for my mom to leave me! Most of you can understand this if you have anxiety. In my life I have coped with anxiety and I have struggled with not having the right tools. I am full of life, yet I would suppress my anxiety. I built a facade around me that has protected me. But it only has protected me for so long. Anxiety has its ways to come back in and creep in.
Here are a few ways that I deal with anxiety:
- “What If” vs. “What is”- Anxious thoughts are born from “What If”(Negative Thoughts). Many times we get into our brains and “What If” everything. What if I don’t pass this test? What if he doesn’t like me? What if I say it wrong? What if it all fails? I have learned that all of those questions are my anxiety talking. Instead, I ask “What is”? What is happening right now is that I am sitting here typing on computer and drinking some coffee. Very simple. Anxiety doesn’t live in the “What Is”. This helps me from the racing thoughts that I have due to my anxiety. I can now be aware of my thoughts and shut it down. It helps me at night when I am trying to sleep. I tend to overthink while I am in bed. I hate it! I switch it up and tell myself “What is right now, is that I am laying in my comfortable bed and I’m nice a comfortable. Done.. no more anxious thoughts.
- One word… “meditation”. The concept of meditation is very hard for an anxious person like myself, but boy does it work! I use an app. on my phone called “Headspace”. The founder Andy has the most soothing voice on earth. It takes 10 minutes in the morning to jump start my day. I do this every morning and zone out for 10 minutes. It helps me get out of my thoughts and in tune with my body and breathing. Calming your mind is crucial with anxious energy. Getting out of my thoughts helps me focus and feel grounded.
- Yoga, yoga and more yoga! I practice yoga at a studio and I stream online at a local studio. Yoga has taught me patience and has also kicked my ego to the curb. No ego in yoga! My anxiety would talk me out of going because I didn’t want to be doing these weird pretzel moves in front of people. Once I started going, I immediately zoned people out. Breathing in yoga helps bring you back to center, which in turn has helped my anxiety. The moment my mind wanders, I bring it back to the mat and my practice. Namaste!
- Planning your day and making sure you stick to your goals. Every morning allow some time to write down what you need to do. I don’t know about you, but my anxiety can make me crazy if I don’t have a plan. Creating a plan each day helps keep things aligned and it also doesn’t allow other anxious nonsense to add to your day. I create small goals for myself. For example, I plan my workday on what I want to get accomplished. I jot down a few items of priority and make those my work goals. On a personal level, I will do the same thing and make those my personal goals. I have come to realize I find fulfillment from that rather than running around like a chicken with my head cut off! Its the simple things. I want to work smarter….not harder.
- Create your center. Some days are busier than others and some are more stressful than others. I am in a busy environment, but I find a time each day to connect for just a moment with myself. I take a few deep breaths in and out and I focus on my body and not my mind. It helps me come back to center and I am able to clearly think. It amazes me when I do that. I go into it anxious and come out of it more grounded. At that point I can carry on with a calm energy and be more effective.
- JUST DO IT! I knew Nike was on to something! Instead of finding excuses on not doing something, I just do it. At times my anxiety talks me out of things. “I don’t want to go to the gym today, it will be too intimidating”, “I don’t want to go to that party, I don’t know anyone”. I just say, anxiety not today! I am going anyway! I try my best to overcome my fears as much a possible. What is the worst that will happen?
These are things that help me. I share them because I know what it’s like to have anxiety and you are not alone. Anxiety doesn’t define me, nor does it control my life. I control my life and I choose to find ways to overcome it. Not every day is perfect. Some days are better than others. But I am confident in knowing that I am surrounded by others that deal with this. We don’t talk about it like we should. It’s now time…
All of my life I have have been true to integrity and had a strong connection to my morals and values. I do the right thing based on my upbringing and have been given the tools along the way to add to my belt. This would be in work and my personal life. I am a firm believer in “Treat others how you would want to be treated”. My mom taught me to work hard and have confidence in anything I did. She was very big on, “Don’t be a follower, Be a Leader”. That is a tough one when you are young. The only thing you want is to be accepted. However, this was great advice that has been instilled in me. When did everything become a popularity contest?
I noticed in my work and personal life, people do things based on the popular vote if its good or bad. Why would someone follow something “bad” per say? They are followers and not leaders. It drives me crazy to see people go with the norm and step outside of their morals and values. STEP OUTSIDE THE BOX! THINK FOR YOURSELF! BE YOU is what I want to scream. What happened to being transparent and true to yourself? We are all so consumed with media and pressures that we start living almost mechanically. People also think showing emotions is a sign of weakness. What happened to showing your true self and let vulnerability create the human connection that is so important. We get lost in translation and it creates a divide. Don’t get me wrong, their is a time a place for everything. Creating your own path is not only self gratifying, but it creates your own unique spot in this world.
You see teens copying these reality stars on what is “pretty” or “cool” to society. We need to start teaching our youth about individuality and what makes someone pretty is not just the shell, it’s their integrity and morals and value that makes them BEAUTIFUL! Too many times you see that the ideals and priorities are focused on the shell of a person. What happen to being a good person and not being an ASSHOLE! Showing empathy, kindness, love and creating a human connection goes way further than anything else. Now, on the flip side it can also happen in the work environment. I see it in my office with the younger audience. They follow whats popular and don’t look at the integrity. They do this to feel accepted but they don’t look at the bigger picture. I have to consistently coach them in areas such as emotional intelligence, Treat others how you want to be treated, BE YOURSELF, NO drama (gossip), being a leader and not a follower, and staying in their lane and solely focus on their goals. You wonder how they were taught or maybe they just want to follow the crowd. Maybe they didn’t have parents that instilled this in them. The younger generation is caught up with social media chaos that feeds them CRAP! They are learning all wrong! Social media is teaching them the popularity contest to win the grand prize of…. losing your true honest self. NO THANK YOU! How many friends/followers they have has turned into a game….a popularity contest. Let me tell you, I would much rather have a small circle of quality people rather than a big circle of people for the quantity. Who’s winning here? It’s all about being liked and feeling validated. Self validation should be within yourself. Why have others do that for you? I can open a can of worms on this one!
Bottom line, you can love me or hate me. I will still be me. I don’t need to be favored by anyone because I know I do the right thing. Being liked is something I gain with trust and also what I put out I know I get back in. Karma! As long as I am kind, empathetic, genuine, and authentic I would hope my circle would grow with more people like that. The more the merrier. Popularity doesn’t matter in that territory. At that point you are true to yourself and you are giving back to this world. A world that can be so dark at times…shed some light!
OK…I’m off my soap box now! LOL!
BE YOU! YOU ARE AMAZING JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!
When I was born in 1983, as my Mother was holding me I’m sure I was anxious looking up at her. I was literally born with anxious energy. I have felt anxiety from the moment I could remember. I was an anxious little girl and a fly would scare me. Growing up, I would vomit on the dentist or even on my parents if I ever got nervous. My parents would know what to expect every time. Now the dentist on the other hand. Poor, poor dentist. I never saw him again after two times of the exorcist vomit scene in his chair. I had to of been about 5 years old at the time.
As I got older it seemed to simmer down a bit. When I hit 19, I met my boyfriend that stole my heart for 3 years. I ended this relationship because I wanted to live a little and didn’t want to get married at the age of 21—NO WAY! I immediately felt anxiety and the “throw up in my mouth” feeling after the breakup. It kicked my ass! I was so upset that I was feeling this way again. WHY ME? WHY DO I FEEL THIS WAY? I continued to ignore it and continued living my life. At this time, I moved out of my parents house into my very own place. FREEDOM HERE I COME! During this time, I now see I suppressed a lot with drinking. It would numb the anxiety and I was able to cope a little bit better. I was only 22 with a great job, going to school and drinking to oblivion. I was on top of the world!
Fast forward to the age of 31, I was officially engaged to my now husband. What does this mean?? A WEDDING! AHHH! I need to plan a wedding and I need to deal with my Mother’s approval on the festivities. Hi Anxiety, my name is Becca—OH WAIT! Thats my middle name! My anxiety was through the roof and I didn’t know how I was going to get through the most important day of my life. Many times I played it in my head thinking, what if I don’t show up? Yes, crazy thinking. When anxiety hits me I feel so sick and my body completely shuts down. On top of that, IBS creeps in every time! The wedding was causing these symptoms to control it all. As the wedding day approached, my anxiety turned into panic. Fight or flight… I am definitely the flight person. RUN BECCA, RUN!!! But I didn’t, I walked down the aisle feeling parched and married the love of my life. Becca 1, Anxiety 0.
Moral of this story is, anxiety is apart of me but I will not let it take over my life. Many times I get so down about it as I still deal with it. I am learning tools and how to properly manage it with yoga and breathing. You can too. If I can do it, you can do it. Now, everyday is not perfect and anxiety sneaks on me when I least expect it. I know a lot of people out there deal with anxiety and it makes my heart hurt to think they may feel alone in this. They are not alone and neither are you! Many people go through the same challenges. I embrace anxiety and I am learning how to cope as much as I can. I can’t allow it to stop my life. I also find humor in it. Don’t take yourself too seriously, besides we are all going through something in life. Right? Strength and human connection will make the life journey more meaningful. Anxiety will never win!