To me, life is neither good nor bad. If you would ask me how I feel, I’m mostly feeling content or simply ‘okay’. Of course, there are spikes in my mood. Some days are exquisitely good – and some days I’d rather stay in bed. For people experiencing the latter, I decided to write this quick guide on anxiety – a subject I’m all too familiar with. I also created a weekly anxiety tracker, which you can access in my Free Resources Library.
So, how do you break down a topic that’s quite hard to digest? Usually I’m all about uplifting blogs – and actually, I prefer to do exactly the same with this one. You see, anxiety doesn’t have to be something dark and gloomy. It’s a visitor in your mind, just like any other emotion. This is the first thing I’d like you to consider:
Smile at fear as your companion
That’s right. I want you to see anxiety as your friend instead of your enemy. Take a moment to sit with your fear and evaluate its source. Where is your fear coming from? And more importantly: what is your fear trying to protect you from? If you dive deeply into the roots of your anxiety, you will find that it’s there to put a wall around your heart – or ‘essence’ as I like to call it. Once you realize this, it’s easier to soften into the scared part of yourself and smile at it as a companion. ‘Hello fear, there you are again. What are you trying to tell me?’
Try to decode the message
It’s time to go all Sherlock on this one. This might sound kind of weird, but it’s actually quite interesting to find the hidden message inside your fear. Anxiety usually starts with ‘What if..’ thoughts – also known as intrusive thoughts. ‘What if I’m going to fail?’ Or: ‘What if I die in a car accident?’ Let’s just say: ‘What if [insert fear here]’. This is the first step. Recognizing the intrusive thought and deciding not to act on it.
The ultimate way to eliminate your anxiety is recognizing it and choosing to see through it. Identify it for what it is: a concoction of the mind, trying to protect you from the things you fear most. This might be the fear of loss, death – or most importantly: the fear of loving yourself and others. Feel empathy for your fear mind – for it is the child within yourself that is asking (and most of the times screaming) for attention. Sit with the fear, let it in – but never let it consume you. Remember: anxiety will always be a part of you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be fearless. Yep, try reading that sentence again. You can be anxious and fearless at the same time.
You are not your thoughts
Your fear mind has many ways to make you believe that each and every thought is true. But the truth is: you are not wat you think – and by this I mean that your thoughts are just thoughts. Not every thought that pops into your head is true. Let me give you a small example:
Imagine yourself in an airplane. Suddenly, the pilot asks everyone to sit down and fasten their seat belt. A few minutes later the turbulence hits and the plane is shaking like crazy. What is your first reaction? Mine would probably be something like: ‘Okay, this is it. Goodbye life. I’m going to die in a plane crash.’ All the ‘evidence’ you see around you (the shaking plane, the serious tone of the pilot) will contribute to this thought. But did it turn out to be true? Hell no, or I wouldn’t be writing this post.
Keep track of your anxiety
The best way to get to know your anxiety is by tracking it. To make this process a bit more fun and easy, I designed a Weekly Anxiety Tracker. You can access it in my Free Resources Library, together with the Procrastination Workbook and the Self Care Planner.
My Free Resources Library is updated every two weeks, and contains all of my freebies related to productivity and personal development. If you sign up to my email list, you get full access to all of the resources.
Song I was listening to while writing this post: