‘My anxiety’ this, ‘my anxiety’ that.
That’s what I hear from people all the time. ‘I can’t go out because of my anxiety.’ and from others; ‘My anxiety means I’m scared to do things I used to love to do.’ And ‘My anxiety stops me from…whatever it is.’ Anything and everything. It’s become a handy excuse for not doing things, hasn’t it?
Anxiety causes real pain and stress and confusion. Not saying it doesn’t.
After all, I’ve experienced it myself, the crushing weight of it, the thumping erratic heartbeat, the pain in the chest that feels like a vise squeezing tighter and tighter, The breathlessness, the rigidity of limbs, the sheer fucking mind blowing panic.
Yes, anxiety is real.
But it’s not something from outside of you. It’s not something you have no control over.
You have not been hijacked!
Today, i was feeding the swans and talking about this and described how people talk about anxiety and depression and mental health as like unwanted relatives that have moved in and refuse to leave.
You can watch and learn and be entertained by the swans here https://www.facebook.com/622692379/videos/10158936144872380/
There’s a sense of helplessness in the face of anxiety, like there’s nothing you can do to change ‘your anxiety.’ Its this thing, unseen, and always lurking waiting to take away all your options.
And slowly but surely it does. The world you live in becomes smaller and smaller as you now not only avoid what caused you anxiety in the past but even the things that may led to that possibly happening. So you retreat and life gets reduced further and further until you’re barely living.
Anxious and afraid of what could happen.
It’s not like we know what’s going to happen, not definitely, not 100%. Ever. The future doesn’t work like that. And of course, anxiety doesn’t like that either, so it makes things up, the worst possible outcome if you dare to try.
I say it makes things up, but really, who’s making it up? YOU!
Yep, you are your anxiety and your anxiety is you.
You are not separate from one another, anxiety isn’t a monster that’s moved into your mind. Its a part of you that you invited to take the lead. And for good reason too.
Once, you experienced a trauma or the threat of something traumatic and your subconscious logged that with a big red flag and said, we don’t ever want to go through that again.
Now, anytime circumstances look similar to the leadup to that past event or near event, you automatically switch to believing its going to happen again and react as though it is. That’s perfectly natural.
But, what’s not natural is how we allow it to continue and fester and get worse over time and over circumstances which are nothing like that original event but we’re feeling similar stress levels in our body so we react the same way.
Your anxiety response was once a survival strategy that kept you safe. But now…it’s destroying your life.
Time to kick the hijacker out of the car.
Time to take back control of your mind.
Time to decide that you will no longer live at the mercy of thoughts and beliefs that are not real, they come from your imagination.
You can use your imagination better than that!
Create a world and life where you do everything you want, where you go anywhere you want and you are always safe and taken care of.
Of course, we don’t want to switch off your body’s and intuition’s sense of danger. That would be dangerous.
What we want is to turn off the maladapted, inappropriate response you have to everyday stress, needs and actions.
By thinking about something else.
By constantly switching your focus away from your anxious thoughts to ones that make you feel better. By having the self discipline to focus your attention on thoughts of feeling safe, protected, nurtured, taken care of, comforted, loved.
I’m not suggesting you attempt to push through your anxious feelings to do whatever it is you’re being held back from. That kind of inner violence only leads to more harm and anxiety.
Instead, simply focus on feelings of warmth, safety, love, joy and imagine doing one tiny step towards your desired outcome. If you want to go to the shops, feel a warm comforting blanket of love and security wrap around you as you think about getting dressed appropriately for the trip out.
And that’s it. That’s all you have to do.
And do that for several days until it feels comfortable, until you feel like you want to dress like you’re going out.
Then, imagine that gorgeous big warm comforter of softness, love and safety enveloping you as you think about putting on your shoes. Yeah, that’s it. That’s all. Just put on your shoes in your imagination.
And nothing else.
And do that for several days until you feel absolutely no sense of stress about getting dressed and putting on your shoes ready to go out.
Then, wrapping yourself in your imaginary comforter of pease, warmth, protection and nurturing, picture yourself in your mind, dressed and shod and opening the door. Wow. Amazing. You’ve opened the door, you’re dressed, got your shoes on and are ready to step out.
But not yet. Not until you feel totally comfortable standing there in your open door ready to go.
And you keep doing this, spending ten minutes every morning and every evening, picturing yourself moving forward. Little by little, all in your mind.
And as you keep imagining this, you will start getting little nudges to take action. To actually get washed and dressed and clean those shoes and get ready to go out.
That’s what we call aligned action. Action that is prompted by the direction of your thoughts.
And you’ve finally taken control of your thinking and your actions.
And this is how you win.
This is how you regain your mind and kick out the upstarts who moved in when you were unaware what was happening. You’re aware now, you know what’s been going and you’re ready to change.
And this is everything.
Have the self discipline to every day decide to focus on the end result you want in life rather than all the reasons you can’t have it. The anxiety and thoughts that keep you stuck in a place, in a life, that stopped being fun whenever you were hurt and confused and allowed subconscious programming to restrict your ability to live fully as yourself, thinking it was keeping you safe when it was really just keeping you small.
You are not helpless and anxiety, depression and mental health are not things you own. They are states of feeling, of emotion and you have the power to change what you feel by changing how you think.
Help yourself. Live as the fully expressed human being you know you want to be.
Don’t let the ‘invaders’ take over and lose yourself. Instead choose yourself, choose to be who you were meant to be. Now cowed, not afraid, not anxious. You: safe, take care of, loved by yourself first and foremost and then by the world.
Get out there and live.
PS. If you’re not sure how, or feel stuck and unable to move on then I have the answer. Bite Size coaching. I’ll write about it soon. In the meantime, in case this January has you feeling rough, let me remind you of the fabulous Winter WonderMind. All you need to embrace the beauty of Winter and enjoy every day.
Or if you’re ready to commit and go all in to being fully yourself and want an expert guide to lead your into your own heart and soul, 1:1 coaching spots are open for booking this month. Remember, if you sign up, its a minimum of 6 to get the best results. This will take you to a level of self love, self compassion and self knowledge you cannot deny ever again. You can’t go this deep and turn your back on who you really are. If you’re ready for the truth and beauty of this work, get in touch and let’s see if we’re a fit.