First off…HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope everyone was able to spend some time reflecting on 2018, giving thanks and feeling gratitude. And now I hope you are ready to take on 2019!
And now for our Topic of the Month: Anxiety. Let’s just get right into it. It sucks. It might be one of the worst feelings in the world. I’ve been battling it for decades now. It’s 50% of the reason I dove into Chinese Medicine (depression is the other 50%). I’ve learned so many things throughout the years (what anxiety means to me, how to manage it, to let it flow rather than try to stop it, etc, etc…) and I’m really excited to share it all with you. I am praying I do this topic justice as it’s a big one for me and perhaps you. I’m glad I have 31 days!
Real quick-my view on anxiety
Now before I go much further, I’d like to stress my view on anxiety and hope that, if you experience it, this can bring some peace to you.
For years I saw my anxiety as a “problem” and I tried to run from it, thinking it served no purpose and that I was among the few who had “bad” anxiety. Now, at 35, I have come to find it’s a common occurrence in people and you are NOT alone in this feeling. Also, I truly believe feelings like anxiety are an alarm-it’s a way our body communicates with us to say “Yo! Something is a little off here. Can you help me out?” I invite you to start thinking of your own anxiety in these ways. Your anxiety is an ally. It can really, REALLY suck sometimes. However, when we learn to listen to it, we hopefully tend to it before it gets out of control and start to heal ourselves in ways we never knew we needed.
OK. Now, What is it?
Anxiety is a feeling that courses through our veins, scrambles our brain and has different faces and intensities. At it’s worst, it may feel like impending doom. In fact, I think that’s how it’s described in the diagnostic literature. Other times, it might be this lingering feeling that something is wrong when in fact, nothing seems to be the matter. And in between can be nervousness, an inability to sit still, not wanting to be with people, planning to meet friends then canceling at the last minute, forgetfulness, panic attacks, feeling your heart beat out of your chest and you are sure everyone can hear it, losing weight, gaining weight, loss of appetite, ruminating, foreboding joy, shame, negative self-talk, insomnia…I mean, do we have all day? Right?
For me, the most common feelings are panic, ruminating and negative self-talk. How do you experience anxiety? Comment below. We’d love to hear from you!
–Come back next week for Anxiety Part 2: Why does it happen?–
If you need immediate assistance, call the Suicide Prevention Hotline or Mental Health Hotline for free, confidential, 24 hr safe support. You can also
reach out to us, to a friend or family member, to a therapist (Wellspring Group in New Brighton, MN), or a support group (NAMI, Open Door).
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