What do I do with anxiety?
I'm hearing about anxiety more and more in the past couple of years, and I know it's been difficult. So I wanted to offer you some knowledge and some of my top tips to get myself back to calm.
1) Anxiety is a function of groups. It tends to run quickly through systems and is highly contagious.
Tip: Observe its movements, and when it gets to you, pay attention to your body. See how you can self-regulate with a hand on the belly and a soft breath down to the hand, instead of passing the anxiety on. Calm is contagious, too.
2) Some people get anxious about others, and they worry about their kids, their parents, about people far and wide.
Tip: You can let others worry about themselves. Unless you can take positive action, it's better to actively free yourself from anxiety by praying, breathing, moving your body, writing down what you're grateful for, and trusting that people are responsible for themselves. (Easier said than done - repeat regularly.)
3) Many people talk about "stress", which is a nebulous word more related to the stressful circumstances they're in, rather than how they're feeling inside.
Tip: When you use the word anxiety instead, you can focus on your own self. You can often identify what the anxiety is about or how it feels in the body, be gentle with yourself, and choose how to respond.
4) Most of us feel ashamed and judgmental about ourselves when we're anxious, and feel like we should be able to control it better.
Tip: You can take off the layer of judgment about it. Anxiety is human. You are worth all the tenderness and care in the world. Sharing your feeling of anxiety with a friend can bring you back to yourself.
Most of all, remember that there is a deep, underlying river of true peace that is available at all times. You can connect in this very moment, right here, right now, with the part of yourself that can remember what peacefulness feels like. Let that feeling grow, and let the depth of that peace have a little chat with the parts of your body that feel the intensity.
What about you? Which of these tips is most helpful when you're feeling anxious? I'd love to hear from you.
With great love,