Buh-bye Anxiety!

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!

22 thoughts on “Buh-bye Anxiety!

  1. You've already mentioned my tricks – replacing the negative selftalk with positive and refocusing on something else. Thank you, Cammy, for posting this reminder. I've had a lifelong relationship with anxiety and need to be reminded how to manage this.

  2. I am no champion (will no longer fly or drive, working on flying) of my anxiety, but I am working on.

    Meditation, breathing, pushing the negative thoughts away.

    Great post.

  3. The EXACT same thing happened to me all last week. Except I got anxious and then proceeded to binge for about five days in a row :(

    But, I got a handle on it by taking my mind away and going for really long walks and such. It's good that we can identify those things going on in our heads so that we can stop them from continuing!

    That's funny about the counting backward, because that's what I do when I'm out for a run and have to push myself to keep going. I just start counting and it takes my mind off running. Very useful!

  4. I 100% agree that writing is very theraputic. Sometimes there's just a bunch of crap floating around up in my head and it needs to get OUT. It doesn't matter if anyone (even me) reads it. Just getting everything out makes a world of difference.

  5. These are great tips. But I want to know what I am supposed to do during those 15 minutes? Meditate? Clear my mind? (Not that I could.) Focus on breathing. I often do nothing but never intentionally:)

  6. I am absolutely terrible at dealing with anxiety. In fact I don't deal with it at all. I bury it and then I end up flying off the handle or feeding myself. Thanks for the tips – I particularly liked the count backwards one as I've never heard that one before.

  7. Cammy, you know I need this! Hmmm, that kickboxing & boxing stuff helped me work some anxiety out! :-)

  8. I, too, want to know what TO DO when you're not doing anything for 15 minutes…I'd love to try it because it sounds like it might be just the thing for my anxiety/depression/OCD problems.

  9. Great tips!! When I go to bed I actually say out loud "it's time for bed Biz." I am usually asleep in 5 minutes!

  10. I struggle with my anxiety issues a lot. I'm at a pretty good place and have only had one major episode recently (at work, ugh) but your tips are really helpful. Thank you!

    P.S. I left you an award over at my blog :)

  11. Oh my. I am very happily married with three hostages to fate (our kids). I have a long way to fall, so anxiety and I are old friends. The things that help me most–

    I wear a piece of jewelry that I touch for comfort when I have an anxiety producing thought. I fully understand that this is pure superstition, and that's okay.

    "We'll figure it out" is my favorite mantra. I can't possibly foresee every bad possibility, though I certainly take a good stab at it. I have to trust that we will use our skills and resources to figure what to do when we get there.

    I do what I can to be happy each day. The present moment is all we really have. I work to keep my present moments good ones.

    There, all my tricks!

  12. Great tips all around & it sounds like you have a really good handle on this. :)

    Wishing you all the best,

  13. When I'm anxious I tend to try and get busy doing something else, then I find myself relaxing in general.

  14. I've had to face some pretty severe anxiety this past year!
    Talking to close friends, working out, and being positive has helped me move through it. Not fun :-(

  15. I am constantly relearning that exercise is so key to managing my own easily-spiraling-out-of-control anxiety. Maybe this time I'll remember for good. :-)

  16. I have had anxiety disorder pretty much my whole life. Until just last year, I literally woke up anxious and it followed me everywhere. It’s aweful.

    1)exercise helps me tremendously
    2) prayer and meditation
    3) breathing exercises I learned taking yoga
    4) positive self talk. I literally have learned to talk myself down out of the anxiety asking myself what is true, what is not true, and what can I do etc.

    Thanks so much for the post!

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