Life Musings

Pushing Through Anxiety

20160909_anxiety_photo(Drawing by me and quote by Brian Tracey)

I started going to holistic therapy sessions weekly in August and it’s a great step in this moment of my life. I’ve been to traditional therapy sessions before, but I was not ready to move forward back then. It was almost impossible for me to open up and talk about my feelings and that made the sessions pretty much useless. (I always say I learned one or two things about myself and I totally believe everything happens for a reason, that’s why I think it was not a total waste of my time. However, I know I couldn’t benefit entirely because it was not the right moment for that.) I’m glad I’m living the exact opposite situation right now. I’ve never felt that comfortable talking about my feelings to a stranger as I’ve been doing in these sessions and this is paying off, for sure.The last couple of weeks have been very focused on one specific feeling (or should I call it a state?): anxiety.

Back in the beginning of August, I decided to step back a little from the “get-it-done-and-make-it-happen” mode, totally focused on business and money, to relax and take care of myself because I was very stressed and overwhelmed. At the beginning, it was difficult because I’ve been in that mode for as long as I remember and I think I don’t know how to relax for more than a couple of days (I think a week is the longest period of time I’ve ever relaxed in my adult life). That was when I noticed I was feeling anxious. I was anxious about not having things done in my business. I was anxious about not contributing to our family income.

However, I was determined. I knew all those thoughts were not a picture of reality. I knew we could get by without my contribution. Even that was not the reality because I didn’t totally stop working, I just slowed down to take care of myself.

That was when I created an affirmation and repeated it every morning after meditating: I persist, that’s how I know I’m capable of creating the life I love. Repeating that affirmation every morning was a good motivator to calm me down in moments of anxiety and to help me believe in myself and the decision I’ve made.

All of this happened before talking to the therapist about how anxious I was and how I was dealing with it, and because it was our first session she was getting to know me first.

Two weeks later, we started the conversation about anxiety. She starts every new session asking me how my week was and I always say it was good, but I was feeling guilty for not doing everything on my to-do list. That’s how we started talking about the fears I have. I’ve already seen in books, blogs and youtube channels I follow that anxiety is a symptom, not the problem itself. It is our reaction to the discomfort of facing the fear. But this was the first time I was actually observing it in my body and in my mind. I was anxious because I was getting out of my comfort zone.

I realized that I could change the things I desire the most and be so much more as a person if I overcame those fears and that I’d be able to offer the best of me if I didn’t have the fears that stop me from growing. Understanding all that gave me the validation of what I was doing: meditation, repeating my affirmation and writing about my feelings (besides talking to the therapist) to help me understand the anxiety/fear and keep the motivation to overcome it.

I’m still learning as I go further in my new routine. But I wanna share the most useful things I’ve learned so far:

Anxiety is a signal.

Learn to listen to your body and mind, anxiety is not a bad thing. It is the language that your body and mind use to tell you something is out of the usual. It can mean you’re at risk of something dangerous, that’s useful because you can avoid that risk. However, sometimes it means you are stepping out of your comfort zone, be aware of that and determine to go on because you’re gonna feel comfortable eventually and that is stretching your comfort zone.

There are many ways you can do that, you must find the way that suits you best. I do my best reflections when I’m writing, that’s when I access my intuition and get answers. There are people who do better with meditation or talking to a counselor.

Take baby-steps

In the past, whenever I wanted to make a change in my life, I planned to make a major change, spreading the word and committing publicly, setting high goals and not tolerating mistakes which led to more anxiety, feelings of being overwhelmed and frustration when something was not the way I idealized.

Start with something that makes you feel uncomfortable, but is doable, and then work upward. One thing that makes me feel uncomfortable is publishing this post when I know I’m not an expert and I’m not sure if someone will benefit from it. I’m determined to make it weekly instead of trying to follow the blogging industry standards of at least three posts a week which is way out of my comfort zone right now. So, one post per week won’t kill me, right?

Be honest with yourself (no excuses)

Taking baby steps is a great way to start, but don’t fool yourself: consistency is the key. Many times in August I thought of not doing my morning routine (meditation, journaling, affirmation and green smoothie) because I could take advantage of the time I spent doing those things to get something done for my business or the house. In all those moments, I repeated to myself “I persist, that’s how I know I’m capable of creating the life I love.” and started my routine.

Open yourself for miracles

There’s a Brazilian spiritual coach I follow, Ariana Schlosser, who says we must open ourselves for miracles. That means giving opportunities for the universe to surprise us with beautiful things. When you step out of your comfort zone and try new things you may be surprised by how much fun you may have. You get an incredible adrenaline rush from doing things that scare you and give yourself opportunities for new fun activities.

You can only grow if you feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” ~Brian Tracy


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