What Anxiety Feels Like:
It’s the feeling of being bored but overwhelmed at the same time. It’s the feeling of having so much to do; you are not sure where to start. Your heart starts races and you are not sure why. You feel distracted and not present in the moments of your life, and then feel saddened when you realized you were out of it at a most likely precious time moment.
It is when you emotions are so clouded and mixed that it is difficult to tease out which emotion is which, where one started and the other ends. It is the quiet treadmill brain running and running, jumping on to following each individual thread until all feels unraveled. It is the frustration of being up in the middle of the night already solving the problems of tomorrow that may or may not occur. It is being haunted by the past, worried about the present, and fearful of the future.
Active steps to calm anxiety:
Set a time(short, 15 minute time) to worry every day- I know this sounds crazy- like duh I don’t need a time to worry cause I do it all day. Well, that may be an issue. This way when a thought pops in your head, you can think. I will think that through at 3:15pm. 3:15 is my worry time. And then during 3:15pm – have at it.
Keep a note pad by your bed- this way when you are falling asleep (and if you are like me, you do your most helpful and in-depth thinking) you can right down the ideas and plans you have, not forget them, so your unconscious brain can stop trying to bring up the idea so that you don’t forget- you have written it down, and can tell yourself, “ I can not do anything about that right now, but I wrote down the steps for when I can”.
Find time in your day to be truly aware and present- whether that is yoga (which is fabulous for the part of your brain that learns emotional regulation as well as teaches breathing for heart rate stability), or taking a walk outside and counting the wildlife, different colors and sounds, or even sitting outside at a lunch break. Take time to pause and unplug each days. Our phones are fantastic, but also some of the reason anxiety is becoming an epidemic. Must reply, must check, must follow up. How many of these things are truly, truly urgent- like will matter in a year or even a month urgent, most likely- not many.
Practice breathing- this can happen anywhere! And no one even needs to know that you are doing it! Breathe in 5 counts, and out 8 counts. Count them, take notice of how your body feels during this, and remember you are control your breath, which is a direct correlation to your heart rate, which keeps the body on track. ALSO BONUS: When you are concentrating on your breath, you are not concentrating on the kids, the dog, the work deadline, the embarrassing thing you said last Tuesday. You are focused on your breath, breathing in refreshment and life and exhaling stress.
***Disclaimer: This blog is the opinion of an individual and does not constitute professional advice or a professional relationship to the reader. If you are seeking mental health services, please contact a therapist in your area. If you are experiencing an emergency, please go to the nearest hospital or call 911.***