Amongst the symptoms I’ve experienced in my life time, I’ve had anxiety. It was the kind that was mild – nothing serious and nothing was diagnosed, thankfully. If it had, I’m sure it would have taken me longer to get over it.
It all started when I was quite young really. In truth, I don’t remember life without worry. I had worries right from being a small child. It was like the right thing to do – Mum worried and I was her sidekick. That was what life was – hardship, worry, unfair, fear.
Of course, there was lots of happiness. The long summer days playing with my sisters and friends, extended family visits, lots of laughs with school friends. I was growing up in a life of comfort and love. However, that worry and anxiety was always there in the background. I never really told anyone, “Deep down, I worry a lot”. It wasn’t interesting. I never really knew it was there. I thought that that was what life was about and that everyone simply worried. That life was meant to be hard and a struggle. Everything was serious – school work, relationships, getting things to work, money. These are real concerns even for a child and a teenager. We forget that they worry, too.
It was not until 2009 that my sister-in-law gave the book, “The Secret” that I began to see things differently. Now, I don’t think you can get yourself out of pain and worry from being grateful (some people do), but more to the point, I started to question if I was really creating my reality. What if I truly could do something about my circumstances, which at that point, were causing me a ton of anxiety, which were rooted in financial issues.
I had already heard about this concept from my own religion, Hinduism, years ago, but I found it hard to grasp. The gurus there would say things like, “Just let it go”, “Just forgive and move on”, “Be joyful”. These things work fabulously when you’re sitting meditating on mountain tops with no-one to interfere in your life. However, 99% of the human population is living in the real world. I thought I had nothing to lose; all I needed to do was watch how I was thinking and, more accurately, feeling. I started to learn about meditating and calming down. I practised gratitude regularly and making efforts to keep happier.
Picking myself up
Things started to change not just inside me, but around me. I noticed some situations changing. I started to build resilience. This is one of my favourite skills. Of course, I react when I am challenged. The key is that I can pick myself up quicker and easier than I could before. Picking myself up is my responsibility alone. Eventually, even the financial situation I created became manageable; it took a long time, but it was the blessing that propelled my healing journey.
I listened to a video from Tony Robbins some months ago and he said that when he paid for two strangers’ lunch, his fear about money went away. He didn’t have money straight away after that and fear did come back, but he never went back to that place of fear again. I find a lot of people in the personal growth industry saying this. It’s not that they’re amazing, perfect or got everything worked out. No, it’s that they never go back to that same place of where they once were.
That’s true of me, too. The way I feel is that I’m in a far better place now than when I was 15 years ago, with the most improvement in the last 9, as I’ve brought in self-awareness. 15 years ago, I realised that my emotional pain was causing my physical back pain, which I’d had for 9 years. That’s when we get so passionate about the work we do; internally we feel transformation taking place. It’s a job trying to articulate all of this in short videos and articles but so many of my peers do it, as it’s important to us that we empower others.
So how can one eliminate the anxiety?
These are my tips and the ones I use myself:
- Write gratitude lists, until you FEEL different for the day. I know it sounds corny, but it works and loads of people swear by it. Some people argue that when they’re feeling low there’s nothing to be grateful about. What about your eyesight? What about being able to walk? Having a friend to talk to?
- Meditate daily, even if just for 10 mins. There are many ways to meditate, but find the one that speaks to you, that you enjoy. A particular one I’ve done is from www.aypsite.org. If it’s frustrating or hard, try another one.
- Slow down. Forget multitasking. One thing at a time is the new black. And it’s really shiny. Set goals that are achievable for you.
- Setting boundaries is another healthy thing to do; be clear on what you want and communicate it. Don’t be afraid to say no. Not everyone is going to like you anyway.
- Take responsibility for the things that happen to you. See if you can take your power back and avoid having someone hold your happiness key for too long.
- Work on SMALL, regular habit changes. This is deceiving as it seems like it won’t make a difference. In my experience, it creates profound results. It helps our subconscious minds cope with the changes, with less of a need for sabotage.
These are skills we build for life. I try to pass these skills onto my children. I hope they don’t worry like I did.
So, no more waking in the night, with my heart racing and not having a clue why. No more fretting about little things that don’t work. The bigger struggles? They mean putting in more effort to find my resources to cope. I work harder at the tips I’ve outlined above.
Study the methodology of healing!