A nifty little trick that uses acceptance to crush anxiety problems
How can you accept anxiety when it makes you feel so awful?
How can you embrace anxiety when it gives you a headache... tightens your chest and face... Makes your legs go weak and your heart go fluttery?
Isn't it unhealthy to have too much adrenaline rushing around your body all the time?
Can't all that stress cause your body damage?
The questions go through your mind as everyone and their mother keep telling you that you've got to become friends with your anxiety in order to overcome it.
But then no matter how much you tell yourself...
" Common just accept the anxiety.... Common just accept the anxiety..."
In the heat of a highly anxious state, you only remember that you were meant to be accepting anxiety afterwards. Then you go through another cycle of frustration with yourself for not being able to accept the anxiety. This then triggers even more anxiety...
And It just goes on and on like this none stop!
How do you practically accept anxiety when this feels so impossible to do?
Would you like to know?
A massive mistake I often see people make in their quest to overcome anxiety is the constant search for that one strategy that will knock the chains of anxiety away.
This is understandable because you don't want to be stuck in a loop of frustration and dreadful anxiety symptoms forever.
Sadly though, this same incessant search for that one solution will more likely trap you in hopelessness, depression and even more anxiety. Why?
Because this goes against the process you must follow to recover from anxiety problems.
Usually when people are trying to lose weight,
Most people are keen to lose the weight in the tummy first because it's that part of the body that everybody sees so easily as big.
And you get frustrated and disappointed with your efforts to lose weight when you keep seeing no reduction in your tummy
But then, the usual advice you get from most gym trainers is that the last part of the body to lose weight will be the tummy.
Bearing this in mind, what do you think happens to someone who keeps getting frustrated that their tummy is not going down despite all their exercising?
They'll give up exercising and become more frustrated.
Are there moments where this happens for you with your anxiety?
Moments when you get so frustrated that you feel like giving up Yes definitely. Sometimes you’ll feel like whatever you try and do will not work.
If you've struggled with anxiety problems for a while, you'll recognize this...
You'll feel like every moment of your daily life is hampered by a background hum of anxiety that never leaves you. Then you will also experience periods of intense anxiety spikes which seem to hit you randomly with no warning.
You see, the situations that cause anxiety spikes are like Tummy weight.
For example, your anxiety spike may happen Sunday evening because you are going to work on Monday...
Or it spikes when there is a specific issue at work that threatens you with failure...
Or it spikes because you are pregnant and someone just mentioned miscarriages on Facebook.
And the background anxiety periods are like the other part of the body that lose weight faster.
The general experience of progress with anxiety is that you first begin to experience a better ability to cope outside the situations that spike up your anxiety.
And as you get better at managing anxiety you begin to see a reduction within the spikes Why do you think that it's important to be aware of this process of change?
Because like the person who uses their tummy as the only measure of progress, you’d get disappointed that your anxiety spikes anxiety are not improving. And then this sabotages your progress.
You are better of following these steps instead...
get an A4 sized sheet of paper and draw two columns. Name Column one "The tummy" and name column two, "Other body parts."
Then write down all the different triggers, situations or events that spikes your anxiety high in column one. And please all other situations in column two.
Whenever your anxiety spikes high and you are tempted to get frustrated with yourself or annoyed with your anxiety, remind yourself that you are dealing with a tummy part at that specific point in time.
That is why your anxiety has spiked. This is only a situation you are still learning to master.
keep practicing different anxiety reduction techniques like the strategies you can find in this article: (How to calm an over active mind and worry less).
And as each trigger or situation that usually spikes your anxiety reduces in intensity and frequency, move them over from column one to column two.
You see, the nature of our world is that wisdom naturally creates greater awareness of our vulnerability. This can serve to protect you by helping you avoid danger. But at the same time, this can turn you into an anxious wreck.
For example, Ann is pregnant again one year after her last miscarriage.
She looks jealously at other pregnant women around her who all appear excited about the bundle of joy in their tummy. She can’t understand why they can all be so naive about all the possible things that can go wrong with their pregnancy.
It's almost as if they are seeing the world with rose-tinted glasses.
For Ann, her past miscarriage has made her wiser because she knows another miscarriage is a strong possibility.
And naturally, this fills her with dread. But this also fills her with guilt because her husband and everyone around her expects her to be happy about the baby inside her.
During these painful moments, Ann wished she could just see her situation through rose-tinted glasses. Just so she could experience a moment of peace.
But here's the big question...
Could your anxiety benefit from rose-tinted glasses too?
The truth is people who don't struggle with anxiety see the world in a slightly rose-tinted.
Their rose-tinted glasses does not deny their vulnerability. Instead, it acknowledges that this vulnerability is a fact of life which we all live with.
In fact their rose-tinted glasses helps them pierce through that sense of vulnerability, and immerse themselves in the joy and beauty existing around them and this makes their life so much easier to live.
Today, using the Tummy shrinks last strategy, I have given you the tools to switch your own rose-tinted glasses on .
This way, you have the capacity to accept your anxiety and this enables to be more aware when doing things you enjoy and not constantly focusing on your stress and worries of all your what if's.
And you develop the ability to be more present when spending time with friends and loved ones.
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