Your eyelids flutter and for a moment, a breath, you float in a dream state of ease, calm, peace…
Within milliseconds, your mind and body take flight, more like explode.
The anxiety tidal wave slams into you.
…chest tightens; it’s hard to breathe.
…stomach clinches; nausea bubbles up into your throat.
…body trembles and shakes uncontrollably.
… skin turns clammy, or flips into a total sweat-fest.
You’d rather stay in bed and hide from exposure, but you can’t stand sleeping with your mind one minute longer.
An anxious, rattled mess, you meet the day, the encounters, the demands, the weight of responsibilities and crushing expectations.
You survive the day, out of body, never pausing to taste, feel, sense, or even consciously breathe.
Your tight, tense muscles hold you together, yet you never notice they’re scream for release.
It’s all you can do to survive the day.
When you finally make it back to your haven, exhausted, over-stimulated, and buzzing from all you’ve endured, you seek refuge in “anything” that will numb, dissolve, and wash away the day…maybe it’s food…maybe it’s alcohol…maybe it’s weed…maybe it’s drugs…maybe it’s spending…maybe it’s taking all your angst out on your loved ones.
Aw, the relief and release of numbing, consuming, making others feel as small as you do.
Your anxious rituals are so embedded and common to your routine that you don’t give them a second thought.
You expect it…that’s just how you are; that’s how you roll.
You unconsciously, anticipate the cycle of anxiety, each and every day.
It’s simply how you live…and endure life.
Anxious Was Simply How I Lived
Day after day, I hung by the threads of resisting, reacting, avoiding, and consuming.
Numb the pain. Fill the hole. Purge reality.
I lived this way for so long that eventually resisting, reacting, avoiding, and consuming became harmful habits and dangerously-ingrained routines.
I’d escape into food, alcohol, drugs, and shopping.
Binge. Barf. Buy. Buffer.
My body finally yelled, “Enough!”
The pain of resisting, reacting, avoiding, and consuming exceeded anxiety’s wrath.
Scared out of my wits, I risked meeting my breath…and one day at a time, started consciously breathing.
Dreadfully afraid, I met my body for the first time…and opened my heart to its grace, its beauty, its strength.
Fiercely frightened, I encountered my mind…and gambled with observing it, watching it, noticing it.
With a leap of faith, I stopped living outside of myself and found my haven inside of me.
Anxiety eased…and regulated to its intended level, when needed.
It’s Simply Anxiety
Anxiety is simply one of our many emotions; it’s a normal, and useful, vibration that can’t hurt us and doesn’t have to mean anything…it’s only anxiety.
When I changed my beliefs about anxiety, I stopped resisting, reacting, and avoiding anxiety.
I learned to allow anxiety and coexist with it, which actually eased it; anxiety only wanted my attention.
I stopped being afraid of anxiety and making it mean more than it was; it simply wanted to teach me and show me my life.
Our body is the priceless vessel that carries and supports us; it’s not intended to be the scapegoat for anxiety and hurting our body will not get rid of anxiety.
No matter the choice you make, eventually your body will give out, you’ll lose your mind, you’ll break your heart, and sadly, you’ll lose you.
When I changed how I treated my body, I no longer wanted to numb, consume, and purge anxiety out of it.
I started treating my body with compassion, kindness, and taking care of it with healthy practices.
Through yoga, meditation, journaling, and breathing practices, I met my anxiety, and me, for the first time.
I began treating anxiety with acceptance, curiosity, fascination, and responding to it with loving kindness.
When I changed my relationship with anxiety, I stopped reacting, resisting, and avoiding.
Today, I live with my body and anxiety harmoniously and honestly, I feel a whole lot less anxious.
Living With Anxiety
Anxiety is one our protective emotions; it simply wants to alert, protect, and keep us from harm.
Sure it’s uncomfortable, but some emotions are, it’s part of being a human, and that’s okay; it doesn’t mean anything’s wrong with us.
By moving closer to anxiety, and observing and listening to anxiety, you can begin to understand it, know it, and discover that it’s not trying to wreck your life.
Starting today, here’s some simple, proven ways to begin moving closer to anxiety:
- Start a yoga practice. Find a studio, or at-home practice, where you can sink into and meet your body.
- Start a meditation practice. There’s several apps and recommended instructional practices available on the Internet. As little as 5-10 minutes each day will introduce you to your mind.
- Start writing practice. Free, unstructured writing is a beautifully free and creative way to bring together your yoga and meditation discoveries on paper. Set aside 10-15 minutes every morning to write from your mind and heart, and meet yourself…perhaps for the first time.
Give this practice a minimum of a 6-12 week commitment while your mind and body adjust and settle in.
Let me know what you discover. I’d love to hear from you!
Sending you inspiration,
P.S. If there’s one emotion I know a lot about, it’s anxiety. If you’re ready to change your relationship with anxiety, and maybe even your body, I’d love to help.