Do you know where your anxiety stems from? How it developed and overtook your thoughts? Did you even realize it was happening!?
I didn't. Not until I was in the emergency room with my first panic attack. Gosh, I was so embarrassed then and well, surprised. Anxiety is only just starting to earn its value, previously having anxiety was like having a wart on your hand. Something to be ashamed of, or embarrassed about. Maybe it's still like that in your world and if it is, I'm here to tell you it's ok and you are not alone.
Anxiety didn't get common for me until I started talking about it. Getting honest about how it could cripple me, and what caused it. For a while, that was hard to do, but by doing it I found out that I'm not unique. I realized a lot of people have some of the same crippling thoughts that I did, and while we all suffered in different ways, it was from the same source. Anxiety literally gives you physical symptoms, most the time we don't even realize it's from anxiety. Stomach issues, palpitations, hair loss, skin rashes; these are just the most common I've seen but it could do so much more. At first I didn't know why I had it, but eventually, I discovered it was from two things. One, being a mom and developing a fear of something happening to me and leaving my babies behind. What a wild and drastic thought, but again, I realized this was actually really common after talking to other people. The other reason was PTSD. I had a surgery go wrong, it's a story for another day but the outcome was a lot of mental and physical complications. My doctor wanted to put me on medication for anxiety but I didn't want to be on more meds then I already was, plus I felt like I was giving up. I was/am on a lot of medicine for my Chronic Pericarditis (which is the outcome of the surgery that went wrong) please know, this is a judgment-free zone so don't misunderstand me, medicine can work and it's ok to take it if you need to, that's just not part of my story.
So, here's what I did...
I reached out to someone I could talk to. Someone I trusted but also wasn't an objective person in my life. At the time of my worst, we would talk bi-weekly. It was worth it, every session healed my soul. We dug deep and I cried and I grew and I healed. Talking to someone in a raw and honest way is like peeling layers of wallpaper off an old wall and finding the original wall. Getting down to the root of the chaos.
I used essential oils. There's a blend by DoTERRA called Peace. I associated the smell with feeling safe, calm and still. I used it as often or as little as I needed to. Or I diffused a grounding blend called Balance. I used these oils like they were my medicine, not a special treat but a daily foundation.
YOGA! I can not stress enough how valuable this practice is. There's so many benefits but I'm only going to explain this one... when your in a yoga class, most the time you are asked to hold a position that you're not comfortable in or that doesn't feel that great. The teacher instructs you to breathe and find comfort in this pose, and most the time you silently curse the instructor off or you make a vow that you'll never go again because "yoga isn't for you." Well, let me be the one to tell you that that moment right there is where all the magic is. If you can begin to calm your mind and breathe holding a pose for 30 seconds on your mat, slowly but surely you will start to see those same benefits in your real life when you are off the mat. Then eventually you'll be able to hold that initial pose on your mat with comfort, and then you'll start to notice things that used to get you anxious off the mat are not so bad anymore. Then eventually, you'll find that you can simply just breathe again. On and off the mat. I know I need to have yoga in my life in order to keep my anxiety at bay, plus all the other hundreds of benefits of yoga, I made a vow to myself to never NOT do yoga. When things get uncomfortable, we can't give up, we have to breathe through it.
Our thoughts are so powerful. We rarely give them enough credit. Actually, one of the most simplest thoughts if applied correctly can really do wonders for anxiety. "Stay in the Present." See, when we are feeling anxious it's normally because we are thinking about something that is out of our control. Normally a future thought, sometimes a past thought. Either way, nothing that can be controlled in that moment. Anxiety feeds off of thoughts like, "what if," "if," "should have," "would have," none of which hold any value right now in this moment. Most the time thinking about the future was just scenarios I would make up in my head that were all fear-based. Conjuring up anything out of fear will only cause more fear. I learned that love was the absent foundation of my thoughts. My actions and thoughts were fear-based, not love-based. Fear for the unknown would often set me down my spiral. After a while, I was able to stop the fear train of thoughts in my head by taking a deep breath and looking around me. What was happening in that exact moment? I would then look up and see my kids happy and healthy, my home stable and safe, pets living their best life. Everything IS ok. In this moment, everything is ok, and that's all that matters.
We are incredible beings, if a situation arises and we need to act on it, we will, then at that moment but not in the moment where everything is ok and we are only projecting our "what ifs." Most the time we are in flight mode simply because our mind takes us there out of fear and anxiety. We must settle our fight or flight. Settle our mind, and breathe. Remember, love over fear. We are not alone and we are stronger together. Say these affirmations whenever you feel anxious.
I AM CALM
I AM SAFE I AM HEALTHY I AM STRONG
Sending love and light to you,
If you would like to learn more about how Caitlin handled her anxiety and what energy exercises could do for you, schedule your session today!