The anxiety monster
If you are living with anxiety you will know better than anyone how insidious anxiety becomes and the destruction and chaos it brings to your life, if left to its own devices.
Sometimes the mere mention of the word anxiety can send you into a full blown panic attack; you live in fear, fear of your panic attacks and physical symptoms and then fear of your thoughts that cause the anxiety.
Left untreated or ignored it can catch you off guard and spiral downwards at a quick rate depleting you of your precious self esteem, valued confidence, loving connections with others, treasured sanity and your life as you knew it.
Your life starts to revolve around where and when you feel anxious, completely forgetting how life is meant to be lived and what life was like before anxiety took over.
It’s like you have been taken over by another force and have unwillingly relinquished control to the anxiety monster. You live in survival mode, just hoping and praying one day you will wake up and it would have disappeared.
At this point, trust me, it is very important, to remind yourself to keep going, not to give up and know that if you put in the effort things will improve, you will be able to drag yourself out of the anxiety haze and life will return to normal, it may even return to a better life than before.
During a particularly hurtful breakup when I was much younger I developed anxiety, full blown panic attacks 24 hours of the day. I did not know what had hit me. I really thought I was going crazy.
I was cruising along in life, except for some issues with my partner and a job that didn’t really tap into my passions I was coping and still experiencing lots of fun times.
Then I gained a promotion at work and to avoid any issues I had with my partner and enjoying being busy and important in my new role I thought I was bullet proof. I started working 12 hours a day, which was convenient because I could ignore my inner feelings and escape my unhappiness. My stress levels rose to a level I couldn’t control and my coping abilities diminished very quickly.
After a big night and a few too many champagnes, I woke up with what seemed like a set of bricks on my chest. I could hardly breathe and felt like I had totally lost myself.
That was the start of it, over the next few weeks it went downhill very quickly from feeling slightly stressed, to feeling anxiety every minute of the day.
I felt very alone, which is no surprise as I had chosen to completely detach from myself and my feelings and I was very stressed.
The moment my anxiety started was the moment my life turned around. I did hit rock bottom but then as I started on a healing journey. I found my strength, faith and my courage, I picked myself up, took on many lessons, cured the anxiety, grew stronger, found my passion and life purpose and learnt to feel my feelings.
Anxiety has been the biggest and best teacher to help me get in touch with myself. I encourage anyone out there suffering anxiety to hold on to that tiny piece of faith, read the tips below, use your courage and keep putting one step in front of the other.
The layers of anxiety can slow fade away and pool at your feet whilst simultaneously your true self is slowly uncovered and starts to shine brightly and glowingly from the inside out.
People suffering anxiety generally are much stronger than they give themselves credit for. They also happen to be perfectionists, type A personalities, go getters, people pleasers, control freaks or have a lowered self esteem.
The 1st tip – Your stress levels
Reducing your stress levels can instantly change how your anxiety behaves.
Assess your life and look at what causes you stress. People, places or situations.
Also look at where you cause yourself stress with your thinking. We can be our own worst enemies using the “What if..” scenarios or placing a massive to do list on our daily agenda.
Ask yourself where you may be able to reduce your stress levels, do less in one day. Allow yourself to sit and appreciate the day rather than fill every minute with another often unimportant task.
Your health and happiness is much more important than many projects you insist on finishing today.
Do something this week to reduce your stress. Make a different choice. Put yourself first.
The 2nd tip – Be self loving
Start introducing self love into your life. Think about how you treat your friends and family, the loving things you would do for the ones you love. Stop and think if you have forgotten to love and treat yourself well.
Loving your self means, being kind to you, not pushing yourself to hard, resting when you need to rest. Eating well, exercising. Taking in the day and doing something nice for yourself. Being around positive people, your biggest supporters in life. Removing yourself from the drama created by others.
Take some time out for you. Love yourself first.
The 3rd tip – Authenticity
Be true to yourself. When you are running around trying to be someone you are not and trying to please everyone you become further detached from yourself.
Give some time to yourself to find out who your truly are. What you want from life? Who you want to surround yourself with?
Discover what your passions and life purpose are and revel in the excitement of bringing this to fruition.
You get one life, there are no rehearsals, no second chances. You owe it to yourself to live the life you were put here to live. This will bring you joy, peace and contentment once you allow yourself to live in this space.
The 4th tip – Calm the monkey mind and don’t attach to the thoughts
The crazy constant thoughts we think are the major cause of our anxiety. Learn to sit back and be the observer to your thoughts, choose wisely and with discretion which ones you will integrate into your heart and soul.
Just because there is a thought in your head does not mean you need to attach to it, spiral it downwards further and allow it to disrupt your moment.
Do courses and read on the internet more about calming your mind.
Live in the moment – learn about mindfulness.
Take up yoga or meditation, this is the best way to learn how to calm the mind and these skills then become part of your daily life.
A final note
Anxiety is a big ugly monster but if you use your strength and stand up to it, it will back down. Take the lessons, live your life, be gentle with your heart and soul and believe with every piece of yourself that your anxiety will dissipate.
Because if you believe it will, it will.
You can read more about anxiety, self love, and healing in my new book – Heartbreak, Healing and Happiness. Visit Book Depository here.
Click on this link to get a copy of my free “Flower garden of Love” ebook that shares more on loving ourselves and healing.
Leave a comment below if you believe your experience can help others or you would just like to share.
With Pink love and respect Lara and the two cute puppos Suzy and Chelsea. xx