As I gently tap the keys unsure of what to write or how to start I am in a slightly better place than I was an hour or two ago. Anxiety is an ugly trait and something I hate. While I hate anxiety it is something that I have to live with especially on Sunday’s. I’ve been told that’s a classic trait of stress and not being in the right spot in life… (anxiety on Sunday’s). While it comforts me to hear it’s a trait that trained physicians are skilled in noticing- meaning I must not be the only one, I am still often stuck with this fear and anxiety on Sunday.
Don’t get me wrong; I have anxiety at all other times of life too. Usually it’s just not as bad as it is on Sundays. So, you may be reading this and feeling like I’m crazy and perhaps should just you know- take some anxiety medicine. BUT the point of this post is to express some of my true feelings on anxiety and the fact that I don’t want to just go get on anxiety medicine. My thought process feels as if medicine isn’t the answer and while medicine helps many people every day I feel that inside myself it’s not the answer for me. Sometimes that is hard to grasp because I’ve been raised in a society where instant fixes are gold.
Anyway- back to anxiety.
When I get really bad anxiety it’s almost like a choking feeling in my chest, I definitely stop breathing deeply and my mind kind of races. More than races it spirals into directions and future issues that aren’t yet real. That’s the silly part, logically I can explain to myself how I can’t predict the future and I just need to be in the moment but my body and mind just kind of do their own thing. It’s very confusing. Can you relate? Gosh, I do hope someone can relate… but to move forward. For my personal situation I feel as if my anxiety has a purpose- I feel as if… in some odd and twisted way it is a motivator to make me keep trying, keep moving towards the life I want. I don’t want to talk about the negative here but I don’t feel like career wise I’ve really hit my niche- and that’s tough. So, I feel like I have this anxiety to remind me to keep going and trying and pulling deep within myself to figure out what all that is and could be. I might be wrong and I could sound super naïve right now- and that’s okay because it’s just where I’m at with all of it.
After talking with a good, good friend actually one of my best friends about how I was feeling my mind calmed a bit and I was able to reflect on my situation and thought process. It was then that I thought what a unique (to me at least) idea of thinking about anxiety, what if it’s there to push us! What if this horrible, crippling thing is actually inside of us to remind us that we can do better and that we deserve the best that we can imagine. That thought is worth gold to me. Seriously …
If I were in my most self-loving moment that thought would be worth the world… the thought that each of us deserve the life that we imagine. I am of the thought that society today can kill imagination and our uniqueness, that coupled with the mindset that money and status are all that matters I think we often put ourselves in a box. In a perfect world I think that we would see that life is about pursuing the things we love and that money and status R E A L L Y don’t matter or at least don’t deserve the pedestal we have placed them on. I also feel like fear wouldn’t be so heavy and we wouldn’t be so scared to risk it or try. But the world isn’t perfect and we are all just trying to do the best we can with what we have. So, in writing this I am honestly just coming from a place within myself and if you don’t relate or if I upset you please just disregard because we should only take from others that which resonates.
I’ve been taught that these certain things and life achievements will make me happy, I’ve been taught that, that is life. But what if is isn’t? What if that isn’t what life is really about, or what if that isn’t what life is about for me? Then what? Well then I feel very stuck in a society that doesn’t resonate with me and that’s very frustrating. It’s frustrating to not relate but then feel pressured by those things you don’t relate too.
The world is such a big and beautiful place and it’s full of so many more important things and people than what TV, magazines or even school tells me. I often feel sad with the mundane(ness) of my ‘good’ life because I feel as if I am missing out on some beautiful thing happening in the world. Does this make any sense? Ha-ha… I don’t know. I just feel so much more connected to things that are real and by real I mean something that I can’t really explain. I know that doesn’t help you figuring out what I’m trying to say here. For instance sitting here I am thinking about what people in a village in Peru are doing, I’m wondering if they experience this same Sunday anxiety that I do… I’m wondering if people in rural France get so worked up over the thought of a 5-day work week and if people if Africa even know what unthreatening anxiety is.
My problem is that I’d rather meet those people and learn from them than do the daily things that I must do that are considered normal for where I grew up.
Does this help explain where my anxiety comes from? I hope it does, I just feel a connection to the world at large and I struggle with the fact that I am not actually connected with it and the thought of risking financial standing or stability to experience it is totally looked down upon.
For me some of life’s most beautiful moments happened while experiencing other cultures and people who had a lot less than me or at least a much different life than me. It was beautiful because we experienced a real connection not a fabricated one. In those moments no one felt as if they needed to pretend to be someone they weren’t. Clothes didn’t matter, make-up didn’t matter, clean hair didn’t matter, saying the perfect thing didn’t matter… Even thinking about it makes my teary eyed.
I know that this might not connect with you, but it’s doing me good to get my thoughts out. So, naïve or not I’m choosing to believe my weekly anxiety has purpose in my life and is pushing me towards whatever is next. This doesn’t make it easier to deal with… and I am often looking to others to see how they cope with it.
I decided today to share what I did that helped me out of my anxiety.
- I talked/texted with one of my best friends who understands where I am coming from and we just got to talk about it. We just talked about anxiety and she didn’t judge where I was coming from she just shared her similar experience and in hard moments I think that is the best thing- to just relate to one another rather than feel pity or try to give expert advice or try to fix the situation.
- I talked to Seth about some logical things I could do get help get rid of it; he is really good about letting feelings go quickly and doing some action steps to achieve that.
- I cleaned… the house. I find when I am really anxious I like accomplishing something so you know, doing the dishes, vacuuming, sweeping and washing windows can sometimes help.
- I put some candles on.
- I burned some piñon incense.
- I rearranged my computer station with some positive affirmations and moved a rose quartz crystal near by. (yes, I really think these things work. I have one next to my bed, one at work and now one next to my computer at home.)
- I made a fire. (by myself!)
- I made myself a mimosa. (my favorite…)
- I listened to contemplative music.
- I forced myself to breath correctly and deeply. (it’s really amazing how much deep breathing can help situations…)
- I used essential oils. (I mix them with coconut oil and put them on my hands, temples and under my ears.)
- I wrote.
- I baked. I baked a healthy version of banana bread and oatmeal cookies. I know baking is supposed to be an exact science but for me it’s therapeutic and I definitely DON’T measure things out and it still turns out okay… so I guess I just get lucky every time.
These 13 things may not help you in a time of anxiety but I’d challenge you that the next time you do feel anxious to just take a step back, take a deep breath and then move forward with things that you know are comforting to you. Anxiety is a natural human feeling and like my friend told me today, “it’s really important to feel those things in life”- I agree with her. We need to feel and be okay with whatever feeling we have not just reach for an easy fix- but we must strive to not be engulfed by our feelings because before you know they pass and life hands you something beautiful.
Lots of love to each of you and thanks for listening to me.