Poor anxiety! You just can’t catch a break, can you?
If it’s not one thing, it’s 27 others all coming at you like a freight train.
Think positive; practice mindfulness; don’t look behind you — you’re not going that way; stop being anxious!; do deep-breathing; take five breaths; count to 10; wait — why can’t I breathe?; should I be worried; is this a panic attack? OMG, what if I this is a panic attack?!
And now this:
You read correctly. I know it sounds as palatable as eating broccoli for breakfast, but hear me out.
Anxiety is a mindfulness problem. It is also an issue of delayed decision making. Think of driving on the freeway to get to the beach or the mountains. Every time a thought appears you pull over on the side of the road to analyze its meaning, and wonder whether you should follow it. Besides developing a dangerous habit, you’d never arrive at your destination.
Do you really want to live your life that way?
On your death bed (and no, that was not an invitation to do a body scan of all the possible incurable ailments afflicting you), are you going to gasp, “Thank God I spent so much time over-analyzing, fretting, tossing and turning and otherwise marinating my thoughts into Worry Stew!”
Of course not.
And of course, there is a better way to live.
But you have to be willing to work. And not just 5 minutes a day toward meditation (though that is a wonderful start). In short, you have to rewire your brain to do the following:
1. Kick denial out of your house.
2. Befriend self-awareness.
3. Tell drama, “Go to hell.”
4. Leave the future alone.
5. Divorce the past.
‘How will this help me think quicker and slow my mind enough to relax and enjoy life,’ you ask?
When you have a firm sense of who you are, who you are not, your strengths and limitations, who are the “good people” in your life, how to identify the energy vampires, and what to replace those awful, self-defeating, ugly voices in your head with, you are comfortable with decisions.
Anxiety loves to help you avoid (your) anxiety-provoking situations because this means anxiety will persist and over time get worse. All the while taunting you as you suffer in self-doubt and analysis paralysis.
Isn’t it time to make up your mind, already?
If you’re interested in jumping off the freight train and slashing unwanted thoughts, habits and relationships, click here.
Yours in quick-thinking,
Linda Esposito, LCSW