There will be no “positivity is a mind set” here, living with anxiety is not a mindset and I wish more people understood that living with any mental illness is utter lack of control.
If you can imagine that thing that pops into your brain sometimes, like a bad memory or thought… most of us have one of these. Sometimes they’re not even that bad, they’re just something or someone that is a thought in your head. You’re not really ever sure where that thought comes from… it just appears every now and again. The thing about thoughts is the more times you think of something the more your brain connects that thought to other thoughts and stimuli and the more you’ll think of that thought. Now imagine that, this mysterious thought that pops into your head is actually anxiety and it’s not so much a thought as immediate impending doom. What anxiety does is triggers your fight or flight impulse, so suddenly with no actual stimuli you feel like you’re fighting for your life…
Now imagine you’re trying not to think of a ball, how difficult is it not to think of a ball. And trust me the further you try to push the ball out of your mind, the harder it pushes back. It’s like trying to push something.. like a ball filled with air under water, until pop it’s right back there.
So how to deal with possibly feeling crippling anxiety at any point in time… how do I deal with this? And this is relevant for all times you feel out of control. Be grounded. I love and live for mindfulness, it’s very simple. Name 5 things you can feel…
- I can feel my heart, pounding as it may be, I can feel it.
- I can feel my hand against my chest. (Touching your chest or head can help you feel present)
- I can feel the rise and fall of my chest and I breath. (Try and pace your breath, it is perfectly ok if you can’t, just acknowledge your breath)
- I can feel the chair underneath me, it’s soft, but sturdy.
- I can feel the pressure of my body on my leg as it’s tucked up underneath me