I’ve been fidgety the past few days. Not that I’ve-got-so-much-energy-I-don’t-know-what-to-do-next fidgety. More the My-mind-is-going-in-a-thousand-different-directions-and-I-can’t-be-still variety.
As I was trying to do my 15 minutes of nothing yesterday, just like my BFF (if only she knew me) Martha Beck told me to do, I recognized that my old friend ANXIETY had arrived for a visit. I don’t know why I didn’t see it sooner. All the symptoms were there, I was just oblivious for some reason. I think I get so far into my Isn’t life grand? mindset sometimes that I don’t notice a problem looming until it has reached the cookie-cramming stage. Which is, of course, why I love my 15 minutes of nothing so much: it requires that you pay attention and won’t let you away with a cover up for too very long. In this case, not long enough to get to enjoy any cookies.
As I said, I’m no stranger to anxiety. In fact, it used to be an almost constant companion. It’s not a fun way to live, feeling jittery and on edge all the time.
But I’m older and wiser now, and I’m fortunate to have learned some tricks to put anxiety in its proper place. Want me to share? You don’t have to ask twice!
Cammy’s Sure-to-Work-or-Well-Worth-Trying Anxiety Remedies
- Move! But I don’t have to tell you that. By now, you’ve figured out that exercise releases feel-good endorphins, helps clear the mind, and provides an outlet for the excessive energy that sometimes accompanies anxiety.
- Write it down! I’m a big believer in writing things down. When I’m writing about an anxious situation, I go ahead and write it in worst case scenario format. Just blow it way the hell out of proportion. When I go back and re-read it, I see that those things are simply not very likely to happen. Ever, to anyone, except maybe in some Stephen King novel. Or maybe on Jerry Springer. Once I see these outcomes on paper, I’m then able to rewrite the ending, with far more likely results and how I might deal with them.
- Count backward! I think I’ve offered these words of wisdom in the comments section of a thousand blogs over the past few years. At the risk of overdoing, and only because it works!), I’ll offer them again: Pick a number (I always start at 60, for some reason) and count backward, inhaling on the even numbers, exhaling on the odd numbers. You’ll notice your breathing begin to slow and your thoughts begin to calm as you focus only on counting…and breathing. (Please hold, while I do this little exercise now.)
- Get yourself a mantra! When we hear things repeatedly, we begin to believe them regardless of their truth. (Anyone else with body image issues knows this is true.) By substituting negative thoughts with positive ones, we redirect our brain toward believing the more beneficial words. One of my current favorites is “I am more than capable of handling this.” And yes, I do talk in italics to myself. Frequently. But only because I’m certain that I am more than capable of handling most things life throws at me. A little reminder every now and then is nice, though.
- Assume a fighter’s pose! In other words, make a fist. Slowly tensing and releasing your hand muscles will trigger the release of tension throughout your body.
You see? Simple remedies, each and every one, but by no means is this an all-inclusive list. These are just the things that work for me, and they may notwork for everyone. Maybe they’re worth a try though, if you find yourself with an abundance of anxiety on hand.
If you’ve become a champion of your own anxiety and would care to share your success strategies, I am all
ears eyes. I suspect I won’t be the only one.
Happy Monday to all!