Yesterday morning I sent a really scary email. I was worried the recipient would be offended, would hate me, would think I was being selfish and ungrateful.
I held my breath as I hit send. No reply.
It's OK, they might not have seen it yet.
Maybe they are busy? Oh god, they must HATE Me!
For 24hrs I sweated it out, I even had a bad dream about it!
And then, this morning, a reply. It was completely fine, they understood, phew! What a relief.
Then I thought, what a waste, I made myself feel crappy for 24hrs for no reason at all.
That was on me, it was nothing to do with them. My own anxious brain put me through that.
I logically know I can control my thoughts. (something I've been working on in meditation, noticing when my brain drifts, and gently bringing it back on track). I could have done this with my anxious thoughts too, I could have noticed them, realised they weren't based in fact, and brought them back on track.
I will work on this! I just wanted to share in case it's helpful, I feel like I'm slowly putting together an instruction manual for managing my anxiety. I know what I need to do, and now I'm working hard on following those steps!
What helps you handle your anxiety?
I asked some in the Bestie Facebook Group for the Bestie's top anxiety-busting tips:
- "I have found a weighted blanket that helps me relax and sleep better, and it can help anxiety. I recommend that."
- "Every time something awesome happens I jot it down and place it in a jar and that way if there is a time when I ever doubt myself I look into the jar and have all the positive truths that I may of temporarily forgotten about "
- "Allocate a time for worry in your day. If you start worrying, write it down, stop thinking about it and then assign adequate time in your day to come back and review the worries. Then you sort through and see if any are worries that you can control and if so, you then make a plan."
- "Sometime last year, I told my friends I didn’t feel comfortable going on an overnight trip with them. That’s too much for my anxiety and I know my own boundaries. And then my friend replied, and she said that ‘it’s great that I have my own boundaries and it’s important that I set them’. I nearly cried. That helped a lot knowing how supportive the people around me are. "
- "In 2020 I started out walking in my hilly neighborhood in the mornings. I don't care how fast (or slow) I walk. I don't have a set time when I go. How far do I go each day? Doesn't matter! My goal is to find joy. While on my walks, I wave at pretty much every car that goes by! Maybe my smile will make them smile. I can be a lighthouse. I listen to music on my walks and change up my playlist every day."
- "I like to talk things out with someone to see if I’m thinking rationally. When my anxiety was bad I would often try to stop before I reacted, take a deep breath, and then ask myself the same thing. Is this thought true? Is it serving a purpose? I try to remind myself my anxiety is there to keep me safe but when it’s in high gear it’s really doing the opposite!"
- "Oh I know this feeling only too well and used to dwell on it A LOT!! Now, I just give myself a talking to, saying that it’s my mind telling me these feelings and that those people who I think are causing it (it’s not them, it me!) don’t even know or would give it a second thought!"
- Often when I'm really really anxious it's best to just grab my favourite mug, fill it with my most comforting tea and stick on an episode of the cosiest thing on Netflix. Accept that you feel pants for a bit, allow it to happen, and then allow yourself to move on from the feeling".
- "I think there is something kind of magical in accepting that it can be ok to not be ok all the time."
- "If I have a thought or feeling, that is not necessarily a "good" thought or feeling, I can acknowledge it and say to myself "I feel like (insert feeling/thought here) AND THAT'S OK.". I find it takes the power away from the thought/feeling and puts it back with me. Helps me to see that just because I think or feel something, that doesn't mean that I have to act on it, continue that train of thought, worry over it, or rail against it. "
I hope some of these ideas can help you besties, let me know how you get on!