Over the last year anxiety has become my constant friend, everything seems to trigger it and though I continue to try and push myself to do things – knowing that I have to go through it to get better – it really doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and so I find myself thinking, ‘will it just always be there?‘.
This is a very scary thought but is it a realistic one? So many things seem to trigger it and so how am I ever going to get to a stage where I can just, not be anxious? Sometimes I’m not even sure why it’s there at all? If I’m in a new situation, meeting someone new or in an unfamiliar place I get it but why would I feel anxious when trying to decide what to cook for tea? Or getting ready to go out for the day or even just walking along the pavement?
Are we all just a bit more anxious nowadays?
Life is incredibly busy and we do put so much pressure on ourselves to be – or at least appear to be – perfect. Is social media to blame? Do we honestly think that everyone else has it ‘sorted’? Are we afraid of looking weak or less than? Do we think others will judge us? Why does it matter if they do? Or is there just some deep bedded shit from our past that we have to work through?
I’m personally not sure how we are supposed to process this stuff but being aware of it I would guess is the first step. Ultimately you’re trying to reprogram things that have been ingrained in you for years and this takes a lot of work and being present, you can’t just expect the body to change without being conscious of what it is doing. So how do we tune into our bodies more?
I have recently upped my yoga attendance as I find this practice really helps me tune into my body, I have done yoga for years but more recently it has taken on a new meaning to me. I used to go for exercise, to increase my flexibility and to help with my sciatic pain but I almost feel like I used to do it mindlessly, just following the instructors commands and not really understanding the affect the postures have on the body. The meditation at the end I just used to find boring and I didn’t really get the point of it but now I tune into my body and feel it buzzing with energy after a practice, something which has made me cry on more then one occasion! I am so obsessed with Yoga now that I am doing my teacher training next year and can’t wait to understand more about the practice. I would highly recommend it to anyone feeling anxious.
We need to live outside of our heads more and not be consumed by our thoughts. It is far too easy to live mindlessly day to day, our mind actually helps us to live mindlessly by putting our daily activities into routines so we can do things without really thinking about them. Does this sound familiar:
Get up, eat breakfast, shower, brush teeth, get in car, drive to work, switch PC on, etc, etc
How many new thoughts did you have along the way? The mind thinks it’s helping you out by taking the thinking out of your repetitive daily activities but actually it’s doing you a disservice as you are mindlessly moving through life. Try and mix up your morning routine, or any routine if you can. Drive/walk a different route to work or change what you have for breakfast so you are consciously making decisions and being more mindful.
Here’s one that’s supposed to be transformative but to be honest I struggle with this one too! I will do anything to try and avoid it or ‘not have the time’ for it. It’s so important to try and tune into your body and notice how you are feeling, this is how we pick up on the little things the body is trying to tell us. I am going to try harder at this one.
Less sugar and caffeine
Trying to keep your body in equilibrium so it’s not spiking and dipping all day is also really important but again another really tricky one which I’m not great at either, I really do love my coffee. Maybe moderation and baby steps is the way to look at this one to make it achievable?
Spend less time on your phone and more time in the real world
I probably don’t need to explain this one, we all know we do it and just reducing it maybe before bedtime, during meal times for first thing in the morning will have a positive effect. Technology is part of life, like food this one is all about moderation and knowing when you’ve been on your phone too long.
Get outside more
Again this one is probably pretty obvious but try your best to spend at least part of your day outside, even if it’s just a walk at lunch time and take some deep breaths while your out there!
Be kind to yourself
Look after yourself and don’t beat yourself up, you’re doing your best and you won’t always get it right but as long as you’re trying that’s all you can ask of yourself.
I’m still working on some of these myself but I’m really hoping my anxiety levels are going to start to improve over the next few months. I think a lot of the time we know what we should be doing but actually making the changes seems hard work, Just take one step at a time and don’t expect radical changes these things happen slowly, we are trying to change habits which have been formed over a lifetime and that’s going to take some work.
Stay Strong xxx