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Anxiously Waiting

A companion to: Dealing with Anxiety is my Superpower

Have you ever been going about your life when you suddenly feel anxiety quietly tip toe over and knock incessantly on your shoulder and ask, “Are you sure?” A moment ago you were very sure about what you were doing, you were positive that the task was within your reach, you were Leo on the Titanic shouting, “I’m the King of the World!” Now you are scared, sweating, your heart is beating fast, your fingers are in your mouth and you are biting your nails off in terror all courtesy of anxiety.

“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”
-Arthur Somers Roche

Anxiety can be constant, it can be an elephant on your chest, it can sit on your shoulder and whisper lies about you, it can take over, but only if you let it. No, there is no magic spell that will banish it, but you can learn to live with it, much like your awful roommate from college! That saying what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger is moronic, but it does get one thing right, you probably won’t die from this and you are far stronger than you give yourself credit for.

“Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it— just as we have learned to live with storms.”
-Paulo Coelho

Steps to dealing with Anxiety wisely:

Breathe: In and out, it is amazing how when we are scared, nervous, anxious...we hold our breath or start hyperventilating, breathe in for a count of 3 or 4 and then slowly exhale for a count of 6 or 8. In and out, in and out, breathing increases the oxygen in your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, eventually enveloping you in a state of calmness.

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Question your Anxiety: When it asks you all sorts of questions or tells you why you are going to fail, ask questions back. Be an annoying toddler and barrage it with WHY, WHY and more WHY. This may seem a bit bonkers, but when you think about it, you tend to follow whatever your anxiety tells you, so really, which one is odder?

“You don’t have to control your thoughts; you just have to stop letting them control you.”
-Dan Millman

Use Scent to Calm You: Light a candle with a soothing smell, such as lavender, brew a cup of Camomile tea and breath in the steam. The scent, as much as the act of lighting a candle and watching it flicker or making the tea, will distract your brain and help stutter the recurring cycle of doubt.

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”
-Chinese proverb

Walk or Downward Dog your anxiety into silence: Go for a walk or practice some gentle yoga, when your body and brain has to focus on walking and asanas it will take some of the attention away from the worry and gripping anxiety. Much like playing peek-a-boo with a baby when they are screaming, it is all about magic of misdirection.

“You have dug your soul out of the dark, you have fought to be here; do not go back to what buried you.”
-Bianca Sparacino

Talk about or write your worries out: Therapy is essential and incredibly helpful to some, talking about what you are going through and having a professional not only tell you that you are 100 percent normal, but also give you tips and tricks on dealing with your anxiety is exactly what you might need. For those with medical plans that provide telehealth services, you can inquire whether they offer therapy services as well.

You can also choose to journal or write down what you are going through on an online support group service like ours! Writing things down is therapeutic on their own, it allows you to pour out the questions and worry, like, will this always be an issue, what about my anxiety when I have to return to inperson school? On SG+ other people on the site and the group at large have the opportunity to lend support, share what they are doing to manage their anxiety and share their struggles as well. The knowledge that you aren’t alone is both comforting and incredibly uplifting.

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”
-Eckhart Tolle

As always, we thank each of you for allowing us to be a part of your journey. You inspire us daily and we are incredibly proud of each and every one of you.

Wishing you all the best-
Team SG

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