What does it feel like to have anxiety?
What’s wrong with me?
I mean seriously – I can hardly stay in my shoes more than a minute and I’m already running away from the moment, dreaming of another one.
I reckon dreaming might not always be the right word for it – I should say paranoia instead. I don’t exactly know how everything started, but I know one thing; there’s something wrong with me. I’m broken.
It’s not that I’m a pessimist or suicidal. I’m not nervous, I’m anxious – they call it an anxiety disorder. And they are right – nothing’s in order in this broken mind of mine.
I let this anxious version of myself, let’s call it the monster, ruin my life more than once. Sad truth – sometimes I pick up on it when it’s already too late and most of the time, I don’t even realise it.
I’m certainly not an expert yet (believe me, I wish I was), but here are my tips on how not to let your anxiety ruin your life again… and again.
Pick a minute
If many people can handle their own hamster, some of us prefer to raise a herd in there. I do. I even add your hamsters and squeeze them all together. I pretend I like to think.
Sad truth: I wish it was a desert in my brain.
What if you stop for a minute? Pick a minute. And give them a break. In fact; give yourself a break. When was the last time you lived a minute in the physical dimension?
Focus on what you feel
Feeling like you’re trapped on an emotional roller-coaster is certainly not the best feeling. But some of us have a big problem with living one emotion at a time. My emotions are like a storm. Sadness becomes madness… madness becomes guilt… guilt becomes anxiety… and let’s add a few more here.
If you take a break and focus on every emotion separately, it will become easier to accept it. When you realise it’s okay to be sad, you don’t need to be mad at yourself because you are sad.
Prepare for the worst, hope for the best
I can understand how easy it is to create an awful scenario in your head. But, you shouldn’t spend all your time preparing for the worst. If you want to be a scenarist, you better think of more than one scenario; you’ll need to add some positive ones too.
By the way, it’s not okay to live your future emotions in advance… like seriously. What if that scenario never happens? You don’t need to torture yourself with unrealistic emotions, do you?
Turn the drama into a comedy
What if you push your awful scenario a bit further? Let’s create a drama together. Push it further… and further again. Does it still make sense to you? Most of the time, I’m able to reach that point where it doesn’t even make sense anymore. Fact; I reach that point where I can actually laugh at myself.
Be an anchor
Make sure your feet are grounded and pinch yourself. Focus on anything that doesn’t move and stop thinking. If you need to keep your mind busy, you can also make a list of your 5 senses by asking you these questions:
- What do you see? Which colors can you see?
- What do you hear?
- What do you feel?
- What do you taste?
- What do you smell?
Count your blessings
Make a list of what is great in your life. It’s not the end of your world yet, is it?
You’re still lucky enough to count your benedictions.
I’m still pretty happy with my health right now and about all the possibilities I could have. I can walk, I can breathe and I can think (even if I don’t always think straight Ahem).
Filter your dreams
What’s the difference between planning and dreaming? I like to make lists. In fact; I could call it love. But, as I know myself well, I understand I can’t plan everything and I can’t let myself dream about everything my life isn’t about.
So, I need to filter my thoughts. I allow myself to think about important stuff and I can let go all the unnecessary fla-fla. As much as I’d like to, life isn’t a dream. It’s a big bunch of adventures and it wouldn’t be an adventure if you knew everything in advance!
Change what you can change
Did I mention how much I love lists? Make a list of what causes you stress (and/or anxiety) in your daily life. Which item could you change? Which ones do you have to accept?
You’ll have to prioritise what really matters to you and make it work. You can’t afford to have a daily dose of complaints. When it doesn’t go right, you need to turn left.
Accept your puzzle
Acceptance is one of the hardest things to do and we’re pretty much all in the same boat here. There’s one thing I learned through difficulties, through distress.
It’s not because you don’t like your current puzzle piece, that the whole puzzle won’t be great in the end.
Where there is fear, anxiety, and non-ending scenarios, there is a huge lack of trust, of confidence in yourself and in life.
As much as you need to trust that puzzle, you’ll also need to believe that everything happens for the best whether you like it or not.
What if the anxiety monster knocks at your door? If you’re confident enough to open that door, you’ll see that there was nothing out there.
Yeah; anxiety might try to play the famous game ring the bell and run with you.
You have two choices; run away from you with that monster of yours or trust that in the end, it will be perfectly fine.
How do you deal with anxiety?
Tell us your top tips for self love in the comments.