We all have moments of anxiety, but in some cases it becomes chronic. I had my ups and downs, and these were some of the things I have learned in my personal improvement path.
I am not going to lie to you: I am fascinated by our time.
Technology, development, everything gets my attention. I, many times, feel hopelessly trying to catch up, but still, I love it all.
But like a lot of things in life, it is not all pink clouds.
There are more means that push us to do more.
I remember at the age of 10 starting with penpals.
I wanted to develop my (basic) English skills by getting in contact with other kids my age who lived abroad.
The hours spent with paper, pen, stickers, and envelopes were endless.
By holiday time, there were also cards, and it was a fantastic world none of my classmates enjoyed.
Nowadays, I find it hard to pick a pen.
I recently got myself an adorable planner to get back on track.
What if I don’t have access to the Internet?
I don’t even want to think about it!
That is why I keep a hard copy of my calendar and to-dos in addition to online tools.
Even though we have more possibilities (cloud apps and paper), our heart isn’t more at ease because of that.
We feel the pressure of having to deliver more, all the time, under any circumstance.
It puts us under a constant “fight or flight” state.
One of its results of it is anxiety.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a reaction to stress that has both psychological and physical features.
You can feel anxious due to isolated events, or it can become chronic, its most dangerous form.
Things that make me anxious
I am a perfectionist and a multi-tasker by nature.
Everything has to be precise and well-planned.
I’m not even going to start about how tiring and stressing it is.
Add the concerns of society such as:
I am pretty much a time-bomb waiting for the slightest trigger to explode.
Saying I have anxiety disorder would be a stretch, though.
But like any other human being, I have my moments.Learn how to become a better version of yourself free from anxiety. #coaching #mentorship #MindfulPlanning Click To Tweet
How I deal with anxiety
There is no perfect solution to free you from all anxiety triggers in the world, but I use the following tricks to keep me sane:
- Healthy diet
For some time, I did Zazen, Zen meditation, on Sundays.
Even though I had done meditation before, it was the first time I was consistent with it.
There are different ways to do Zazen.
I, unfortunately, forgot part of its details like hand positioning when walking around the dojo, etc. But the peace of those hours sitting and staring at the wall (as weird as it may sound) did me really good.
There are many ways one can meditate.
You can go for 1-hour sessions, or you can keep it short.
The most important of all is that you relax your body and clear your mind of thoughts.
Meditation can be done sitting or lying down.
If you choose the sitting position to meditate, first of all, you have to make yourself comfortable.
Whether you use a chair or a small pillow on the floor, you have to be able to sustain the position for the time planned.
Watch your back: it should be straight, but not tense.
The risk here is falling asleep.
It isn’t something wrong per se, but it is not meditation either.
You need to be awake to get the real benefits of meditation.
I cannot stress enough how important Reiki is to me.
It all started back in Brazil, without much ambition.
I went to a session, two, a couple more. When I moved to Belgium, I lost track of it.
I didn’t know any practitioners, and I couldn’t do it myself either.
However, I went through my Level 1 training last year.
Since then, it has become an essential part of my routine like eating and exercising.
Even if it is only for 15 minutes or half an hour, I don’t miss it.
I practice Reiki on myself and others, mainly through Distance Reiki.
After surgery, and even after the first months of recovery, I couldn’t work out as I was accustomed.
At first, my body didn’t allow me.
I simply couldn’t.
Afterward, because of the months of inactivity, my muscles couldn’t handle exercising.
My brain and my legs didn’t always talk to each other.
I had a tough time doing the simplest movements and let’s not even start about balance.
Yoga has been helping me with breathing, and it has been great for flexibility and balance as well.
I have been practicing it at least twice a week.
I tried running back in June, but things didn’t go as expected.
After taking a breaking in July, August is the month when I’ve been able to work out again.
When I decided to go serious about exercising in 2012, all I wanted was a commitment that forced me to leave the office at a reasonable hour.
A fantastic side-effect was the improvement in my sleep quality.
Little did I know back then it was not a coincidence.
The benefits of exercising are countless, and they include anxiety relief.
I’m not going to say that by eating cleaning you will be anxiety-free. However, certain eating habits can improve your life quality significantly.
Let’s start with breakfast, for example.
We’re induced to a carb-loaded first meal of the day when, in fact, adding some protein would be much more beneficial to us.
The main difference is that protein holds the levels of sugar in your bloodstream stable.
You don’t experience crashes and your energy levels throughout the day stay regulated.
You may even need less caffeine as well which is a win-win situation against anxiety.
Another easy tip is drinking lots of water.
We tend to drink it only when we are thirsty.
The truth is that if you need it, it is already too late.
Not only should drink more water, but you must get enough of it on a daily basis.
Also, add probiotics to your diet to support gut health and ease anxiety.
Maybe those dealing with worst cases of anxiety might find this one the hardest.
But whether through medical help or friendly support, one has to keep on moving.
It’s hard when this feeling takes over.
You’re afraid of staying where you are as well as of moving on.
Whether you stay or go, frightens you and life becomes more of a curse.
That is anxiety.
You may feel it before a presentation at school or only with the idea of getting out of bed in the morning. TV news doesn’t bring much comfort either.
A lot of people, also famous people, live with anxiety.
You need to find your way to deal with it.
For me, it works one day at a time:
- I lifted up the pressure of needing to perform
- started working on patience
- accepted I cannot control everything
Putting it all together
Exactly one week before writing this blog post, I wrote about the new direction I wanted to give to this blog towards Personal Improvement.
Probably because of my experience, I’m a lot more concerned about the way we became so disconnected with our Essence.
We’re always busy and stressed, drowning in appointments.
Life passes by, and we don’t even notice it.
Before being great employees, exemplary parents and active adults, we are HUMANS.
We need to allow ourselves to breathe, to try, to get it right and to make mistakes.
We should listen to each other. But we should also give ourselves the chance to talk, to speak up our minds and share our feelings.
Anxiety comes from pressure, internal and external.
It isn’t easy, and I know it because I have to keep an eye myself too, but we have to let it go.
If you know someone who suffers from anxiety, check these tips on the best ways to support them.
Before you go
Can you answer the following question in the comments below, please?
What do you do when you feel anxiety is taking over?