Overcoming the Anxiety of Difficult Days
Many of you likely saw my FaceBook posts about being in Ottawa on International Women’s Day speaking to 500 women.
Truly it was a dream come true for me to speak on a large stage and share the story of my fall and the “Life Lessons Straight from the Horse’s Mouth” to decrease the hurry, worry, overbooked, over the top feelings.
But as Jack Kornfield says in “After the Ecstasy the Laundry” with that exhilaration comes reality – laundry, banking, trying to find another gig.
It can lead to big highs and also big lows.
Many of you likely don’t know that I battle with anxiety and depression. I have struggled off and on since 18 with depression.
Yet since my horseback riding accident and acquired brain injury, I struggle with anxiety and to not let the “itty bitty shitty committee” or the “wild mustang mind”, run away with me.
It was almost immediately after my accident that I started to feel this anxiety and I know I am not alone.
The Canadian Mental Health Association states that 1 in 4 people have had anxiety characterized by a pattern of frequent, persistent worry and excessive anxiety about several events or activities in their lives.
In fact, anxiety is the most common mental illness in Canada.
All of us just want to connect and be accepted.
The human condition wants to know that we are ok and that we are not alone. Oprah said the question everyone asked, even Obama after being interviewed by her was “Was that ok?”
That’s why we check to see how many likes we get on Facebook, Instagram.
If I’m only getting 5 likes where is everybody? Where’s my clan?
I believe social media has great value but it can also cause great anxiety. We evaluate our lives, our day, our acceptance on these streams and become anxious because of fear of rejection. Am I fitting in? What am I missing out on?
Why can’t I just be happy? The elusive emotion.
Why is everyone else happy and successful but me? I must be weak and messed up.
And yet when asked “How are you?” Everyone responds, “Great thanks! And you?”
Many of us put on a “happy face” although we have inner struggles. I have been told by a friend that she needs to have a “BS Thermometer” with her when she asks how I am because I hide so well how I feel.
But society has taught us not to show our emotions. Pull up your boot straps … Snap out of it … Don’t cry … Don’t be angry …
And so we smother our emotions and bully ourselves to not show “weakness” and try to fight it with video games, tv, maybe drugs and alcohol. We dull it by eating, drinking caffeine, or sleeping.
We overload and reach extremes and then further bully ourselves with “I should” “I shouldn’t” “Why didn’t I …”
It becomes a vicious cycle of anxiety and stress eroding our confidence and feeling less and less happy.
It may even adversely affect our health and lead to high blood pressure, irritable bowel, panic attacks, isolation and exhaustion.
The NeuroMindSHIFT™ Pause
That of course is why I share so many strategies to be present, to pause, to check in with yourself frequently by putting out the APB (Awareness~Pause~Breathe).
We all need to create a quiet space in our day to calm the chaos of our everyday lives. A place where we can regain inner balance, quiet the mind, bolster our courage to not just survive another day but to thrive through it.
Because as Goethe tells us “What lies behind you and what lies before you are of little matter to what lies within you.”
So reclaim your brain, beat the “itty bitty shitty committee” and pause and Take 5 ~ 5 breaths 5 times today. Of the approximately 21600 breaths you take connect deeply within with these 5 breaths.
You will immediately decrease the fight or flight response and the feelings of anxiety 1 breath at a time!
You’re not alone! We are all the same.
I use the NeuroMindSHIFT™ Pause techniques myself again and again throughout my day to decrease the anxiety, hurry, and worry of a busy life.
So take a deep sacred breath that connects each one of us. It’s one thing none of us can go without!
Know you are “breath taking” just the way you are and intentionally today stop and breathe!
And keep your dreams alive, your hopes high, and your outlooks positive.