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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Anxiety & Me.

Last Spring, a high-pitched noise entered my ears, and my head spun.  I lay stunned on the futon, paralyzed, struggling to breathe.  Thankfully, my daughter was already asleep in her crib. The next day, I heard myself say the words, “anxiety attack” to our nanny.  She, and many other friends have dealt with the same thing.  Until that time, I didn't understand: what is anxiety?


Over the summer, I spent needed time on the trail with Josey, a lot of staring at ripples, feet in the water, letting my slate clear.  So grateful for that time.  Grateful for a couple best friends who kept good tabs on me as I tidied up the puzzles of my mind, too.  During that time, I even shared here about the struggle.  “Mantras for anxiety” happens to be one of the most-searched for terms on this blog.  


One friend describes anxiety as an elephant sitting on her chest.  Yes.  The shortness of breath, the wanting to run 10 miles, but also to crawl under the covers and sleep forever. Usually, I do neither.  I sit, I wait, I procrastinate.  I become more anxious.  It’s a cycle, you see… or a spiral. I'm not done with it yet, anxiety is still here, but I'm learning.



Culprits:


Procrastinating. I am the queen of piles, and I am incredible at starting projects, but crossing them off the list doesn't happen as much as I'd like. One thing I use to battle my time-wasting tendencies online is StayFocusd. I went back to using the chrome plugin today and already notice a better train of productivity.

Sky-high expectations.  I love my wildly imaginative, creative, idealistic mind, but sometimes, it’s hard to handle in the real world.  One way or another, I let myself down (or someone else does).

Gluten + Sugar. I'm really sensitive to the way crappy food makes me feel/act. Otherwise known as the food spiral. When I make the effort in the kitchen to prepare foods that make me feel better, I succeed.

Human interactive needs. Going without talking to my friends, interacting, seems to also have a spiral effect, too. It's an adjustment, living out here, with less social opportunities. I've found myself becoming more of an introvert, more likely to hole up and write than call and go socialize. Still, making a phone call is easy, and I always feel better afterward!

Breathing. I need to breathe. This is why yoga + cardio is essential to my mental health. Even after one day of too much stillness, I notice inhibition, which leads to that yucky anxious feeling in my chest. Yoga, here I come, which leads us back to:

Mantras:




Do you deal with anxiety? What tips or tricks do you have? I'd love to hear.



PS, this is awesome:


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