Everyone has stress in their lives, no matter who they are. Some stress can be helpful buzzy excited stress that keeps us moving from appointment to experience to family to growth. But lately I’ve had the kind of stress that is unfortunately thick anxiety. It’s like a heavy cloud of nerves rumbling and shaking over my head, in between my shoulder blades, around my fingers. It’s been swirling around my eyes and filled my head with jitters and sheer exhaustion. This has been so so so stressful.
What is the line between helpful stress and horrible anxiety?
I know everyone gets stressed. I know LIFE can be stressful no matter what is going on. But what I am in the process of figuring out is HOW I can show up, be present, feel the fear, and then allow myself to let it go so I can FUNCTION like a human.
How do other people do it?
I mean I meditate.
I breathe deeply.
I take walks.
But lately this anxiety has surpassed all of that.
I’ve been remembering that I am in charge of my thoughts. I don’t NEED to be a victim to the chatter in my brain. Who says it’s the truth? Who says I need to listen to it. I guess that’s the helpful part of doing this writing. I have the opportunity to pour it out instead of letting it scald my insides.
I think if I look inside the anxiety, it’s not just the shell of ‘stress’ that is causing me to feel this way. Inside at the core, is shame. It’s this dread that maybe I’m not enough, not capable, not worthy. That something inside isn’t quite right.
It’s funny, LOGICALLY I know that none of that is true, I really do. I know that I am moving in the right direction, I know I am here for many reasons, I know I am enough. So is it just the human condition that we question those things? Are these deep rooted fears that ALL humans have? Are they old childhood fears that just poke their head up every now and then? I don’t know, but it’s so fascinating.
What I do know is that the concept of SHAME isn’t felt with just me. I know I am not alone with it. But is it a societal experience? Or from our families? It’s like, just because things aren’t going super smooth or maybe our bodies aren’t doing exactly what we would want, why do we have SHAME around it? Why do we feel oh no what is WRONG with me?
I must be:
In reality we ALL have stuff to work on, work through, work around. All of us. And I know that. I know I’m not the only one.
This is really helpful to write through. Remembering that we are all on this journey together and no matter what it is, we do experience similar feelings of stress, isolation, loneliness, sadness, exhaustion, shame.
We are far more alike than different.
I think if I remember that, if I sit in that, the shame starts to diminish and the stress feels like it’s lessening.
I can take more walks, I can allow space for meditation and writing and be EASIER with myself. I can do that.
I am doing the best I can. My body deserves ease. I can live my life with more ease and trust.
What are ways that you ease anxiety?
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