How I got over my Anxiety, for good!
I’ve spent the last two years of my life in therapy, looking for the origin of my anxiety. Trying to figure out where it came from, so I could “work through” that problem, just to find out there’s another. It was a vicious cycle, one after another. Over and over finding situations and childhood memories that created one string, to my wound up bundle of anxiety.
After two year, and no clear picture, my therapist asked me what I felt when in the middle of an anxiety attack. I explained my sweaty palms, my racing heart, my shaking hands. And thats when I realized I’d seen all this before. That they weren’t as scary as they appeared to be.
My take away after that one session: My anxiety isn’t all that.
It sounds wrong and impossible all at once. A Herculean task to say the least! It’s like asking someone not to look at a person dancing on top of a table in the middle of the bar, or an accident when you drive passed it, police lights flooding your windows.
It took me two years to realize my anxiety was nothing but a movie I’ve seen a million times.
It’s not that the situations I’ve experienced have happened a million times, it’s that the anxious feelings that arise in my body, are the same feelings I’ve experienced multiple times in various points in our lives.
One example, the sweating. When you’re anxiety is high, the heat rises in your body and you begin to sweat. But this isn’t the only time you find yourself profusely sweating. Think summer on the east coast, during a work out in the gym, the middle of a “hot” yoga class, or when your workplace sets the temperature to 75 degrees.
Another, rapid heart rate. While your in the mitts of an anxiety attack, your usually not just sweating, your also listening to the sound of your thumping heart in your ear. But this isn’t the only time you’ve heard that same sound, felt that same thumping in your chest. You’ve felt when you sprinted across the street, when you’ve jogged up the stairs on your way to a meeting your already five minutes late too. Or before a big speech. After too much caffeine. Too much sugar.
And shaky hands. Now I don’t know about you, but when my anxiety peaks through, I cant manage to keep my hands still. But how many other times have I felt this same feeling? Think about the time you had low blood sugar just before lunch. Or when you drank too much coffee that your heart rate wasn’t the only thing out of wack, so were your hands.
These “symptoms” or sensations of anxiety are found everywhere, in ever aspect of life. It’s important that you notice them, but it’s more important that we make the right decision in that moment. And the right decision is not to sit in it and wait for it to go away on it’s own. It’s to take action.
Now when I said, my anxiety isn’t all that, I didn’t mean ignore it all together. What I meant was give it less value. Point to these normal sensations found within your anxiety, and label them as nothing to worry about. You can choose to bring yourself to the present, and label the sensations as false alarms. By choosing to turn your attention away from these feelings and onto what’s in front of you, your pretty much telling your anxiety to go fuck itself!
What you got to say now, anxiety?
Nothing? I thought so! *smirks*
But don’t just take my word for it, try it! Or try the two years of therapy! Whatever you choose, I hope you took away something from this, and that you learn to tell your anxiety that it’s not the boss of you!