Why you should stop ignoring your anxiety and THANK it instead
I’ve been spending a lot of attention, time, and energy on my house lately. I’m diving deep into feng shui practices and applying them throughout my home.
That means decluttering and moving furniture around to redefine spaces.
And you know what? I felt a lot of anxiety throughout the process. It’s like my body was resisting the changes and the “newness” I was creating in my life. Like an alarm goes off somewhere inside my head to awaken the anxiety – Quick, man your stations! She’s about to make changes! We must protect her!
Welcoming abundance into our lives is a total shift in perception and how we think. It’s a big change. And anxiety definitely doesn’t like change.
So my anxiety keeps freaking out, desperately trying to shut down the whole whacky operation. The anxious thoughts began as soon as we started moving furniture – Why would you want to change a THING about the house? It’s good enough as it is. Change is horrible and scary. DON’T DO IT!
The old me would have let the anxiety overcome my thoughts until the nervous and worry-filled feelings became so intense that I was practically paralyzed with indecision. Should the sofa go here? No wait, it should go over there. Actually, maybe it would be best if it was in that room and we moved the bookshelf over here instead. Ugh, let’s just think about it for a while before we move anything.
Then my husband and I would have likely given up on the whole feng shui project...with much frustration and disappointment, I might add.
But I’ve learned better. I now know how to handle my anxious thoughts.
So this time around, as my heart was beating fast and my chest felt like it was getting heavier, and my thoughts were spinning out of control, I simply said “thank you.”
That’s right. I thanked my anxiety.
Because, really, my anxiety is just the part of me that is trying to keep me safe. It's the part of me that's very scared and worried and doesn't want me to get hurt.
So I thank my anxiety for its concern. I tell it I hear its thoughts. And then I ask it politely to leave – when it's ready.
I’m not going to FORCE the anxiety out because that would just make it hold on even tighter to me, fighting for attention (in other words, one gigantic panic attack headed my way).
I used to try to block my anxiety, either by refusing to admit that I was feeling anxious, or acknowledging that the anxiety exists but ignoring all the physical signs (like being short-tempered or insomnia). But that only led to feeling increasingly anxious as time went by and the symptoms worsened.
No, anxiety isn’t to be forced out.
Instead, here’s what I do to ease my anxiety:
1. I take many (many!) deep breaths to help calm my body.
2. I clear my mind as best I can under the circumstances, sometimes by repeating thoughts like “My mind is clear.” Othertimes, I simply count to a certain number (I happen to like the number four) several times.
3. I tell my anxiety that I’m safe. And that change is okay. And that no matter what, everything will work out for the best.
The thing is anxiety will never completely go away. But with some love and attention, she eases her desperate grip so that I can drive this life of mine.
And sure enough, after a whole morning of me thanking that anxious part of me and affirming that I’m safe (despite evidence of decluttering, furniture moving, and opening up to new possibilities), the anxiety WENT AWAY.
No struggle. No breakdown. No panic attack. Just acceptance and love for EVERY part of me.
Do you struggle with anxiety? Want to quiet your mind and calm your body? Email me today and I can share all the tools and strategies I've incorporated that can work for you too.
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