Fun with anxiety?!
Anxiety is miserable, soul-sucking, paralyzing.
Well, if that’s the way we choose to look at it, sure, we can experience it that way.
I prefer to say anxiety is an experience.
I experience anxiety. I carry it around with me, but it does not define me. I am not anxious. I am not anxiety. I experience anxiety. It does not experience me.
Anxiety is neutral. I choose whether to see it as miserable, soul-sucking, paralyzing. Choice.
And, in that vein, when I feel that oh-so-familiar feeling tugging at my sleeve I get to choose how to respond. Breathe. Pause. Breathe. Notice it. Ah, there you are again.
And then I can choose to entertain it.
I can choose to listen to calming music.
I can choose to pump up the music and dance.
I can choose to shake my body to de-stress the way that zebras do.
I can choose to sing.
I can choose to hum.
I can choose to activate my parasympathetic nervous system by gargling, by splashing my face with cool water.
I can choose to take a nap.
I can choose to hang with my pets, someone else’s pets—or watch some cat videos.
Organizing! Can be a great tool for right-sizing any anxiety which may come sniffing around.
Hugs! Hugs are fantastic because of the gentle pressure on the body—so if no person is available for an actual hug we can 1) hug ourselves and 2) surround ourselves with heavy blankets to mimic that soothing pressure.
I can choose to cook. Yep. As long as I’m not stuffing my face with sweets and carbs, I can embrace the oxytocin-inducing benefits of handling bright foods. Oxytocin is a hormone which soothes and comforts. Powerful stuff.
And I will end with one of my favorite anxiety-busting tips: essential oils. Diffusing lavender. Dabbing lemongrass on my wrists or temples. In my experience the essential oil which is most effective is whichever one calls to me. Whichever one appeals to me in a particular moment.
How about you? What calls to you from this list?
We get to trust ourselves. We get to nurture ourselves. And we can create a positive experience around anxiety rather than being crippled by it.
We are powerful when we access our choice.