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…