There Is No Threat, It’s Okay To Relax
If anyone has read that post I did in January, called The Endless Search For Causality, they would probably have realized that the last post I did is exactly that! I was anxious, and thought I could get rid of my anxiety by changing external factors. I’m kind of glad no one called me out on it though.
So over the past few days I’ve been realizing some things about anxiety that I hope are sustainable changes. Let me know what you think in the comments section below, I’d love to get some feedback.
1) Stop thinking that your anxiety will disappear if you change external factors! The more I read about anxiety, the more I see people saying things like “if I just got that job promotion, I’d be happier” or “it was that thing that happened to me that set off my anxiety”. As much as it is true that being overwhelmed will definitely increase your anxiety, doing less won’t make your anxiety disappear. That is why…
2) The answer you’re looking for comes from within. I had to admit to myself that changing my diet or stopping my stomach medication won’t make my anxiety go away. One of the things that I found that is really helpful for me is to have a mantra I say to myself when I’m feeling anxious. My favourite is “there is no threat, it’s okay to relax”. I say it to myself over and over. It keeps my mind busy (and stops it from wandering to the future), and keeps me grounded in the present. This morning I was in the bathroom at school, and a girl was errr being sick. Needless to say I ran out of there because I was terrified. I walked back to class, and said this mantra to myself several times, and it worked wonders in calming me down.
3) There are simple things you can do to have less anxiety. If I don’t get enough sleep, I am way more anxious and likely to have a full-on panic attack than if I sleep well. I need to have food in my system so my body has something to work on, but not too much food. Feeling too full makes me feel ill. I carry almonds with me all the time, and eat a handful when I feel my blood sugar decreasing.
4) Be here now. Most of my anxiety is in the future. What if I can’t do my job, what if I don’t graduate on time, what if I eat meat for dinner and then get food poisoning the day of that important event, etc. Worrying doesn’t help you, it only robs you of this moment and makes you afraid of the future. Don’t be afraid. There is no threat, it’s okay to relax. There is nothing you can do to change those things right now, and thinking about them will only make you more distressed.
5) Don’t let your fear stop you from doing the things you have to do. I’ll be honest, I was really anxious about going to work last week for a specific special event. I thought about it for about two weeks beforehand. Should I go, should I not go? I finally decided I wasn’t going to let my anxiety stop me. I planned to go, and was going to make the best of it, praying my anxiety was okay. Well, then I hurt my back the day before the event. I still went to work, but bailed on the part of work I was concerned about because I was in pain. I ended up sitting there, feeling like a failure when everyone else was doing this part of our job that for some reason I’m afraid to do. I then decided to stop beating myself up over it. This wasn’t my fault, it was my injured back that stopped me from doing it. And next time, I won’t let anything stop me. I’m determined to retrain my mind to not be afraid.
There is no threat, it’s okay to relax.
Don’t judge yourself. Be kind and content. Appreciate what you have in life. Don’t stress about things you can’t change. Stay in the present. Don’t let fear stop you from living. Open up to people. Socialize. The answer you’re looking for comes from within, you just need to discover it.