Question: HELP! I can’t let go of my thoughts of Anxiety and Worry!
First of all, it’s okay that you cannot let go of those thoughts. Maybe you will later today or maybe tomorrow; but It’s very okay that it feels impossible to do this. It takes practice and a little bit of focus to change old habits.
For starters: Nothing “gets fixed” when our attention is on “I’ve got to get rid of this anxiety….” Because I am focused on the very thing I don’t want.
Let me preface by saying: Anxiety, Fear and Worry are adjectives that described my life experience since the time I could talk. Forty-five years later, these words still described my emotional state. But by then, I was tired and worn out.
Two chronic themes surrounding my fears and anxiety were “I don’t want to be fat.” and “There is not enough money.”
So, I motivated myself by doing whatever it took to stay thin. I worked and saved my money. I was the hamster in the wheel. Years later the anxiety was still super high but I had a thin body and money stashed in the bank! Nervous and stressed, I still worried about what I ate, and losing all my money.
STUBBORN and resistant as I was, I had to admit that what I was doing felt awful. I didn’t even know I felt that bad, because this was “my normal.” I wasn’t eating foods that I liked because I was eating to be thin. I wasn’t spending money on enjoying life because I thought saving was more important. All of this was a clue that I had things ASS backwards.
When I thought about the topic of how much money I had, I mostly FELT BAD. When the dollar amount was up, I felt better. When it dropped, I felt bad. When I thought about what the bathroom scale might read, I FELT BAD. If the scale showed a “lower number” I felt temporary relief. If the scale read a higher than I wanted, I felt bad.
All of this was painful mind chatter that made me nervous. What I was doing was not working.
Eventually over time, I surrendered. I slowly began to ALLOW myself to feel the very emotions that I resisted and was pushing against. The hidden shame and humiliation of what I thought it meant if I had a fat body. The terror of being broke and the constant fear of failure.
Life began to get a little simpler once I stopped pushing the fear and pain away and ALLOWED myself to feel. That was my FEELING BETTER moment. I didn’t go from anguish to joy. I went from chronic anxiety to feeling some relief that everything was going to be okay no matter what. This was a very good start.
The Real Question is: Where am I going to go from here, right now in this moment?
I began by reminding myself to consciously think new thoughts. Baby steps at first, but just practical, down on the ground thoughts such as:
** I love this apple, this cookie; I am grateful for this glass of water. Food loves me and I love food. (before I thought of food as calories, fat, healthy and unhealthy, basically the enemy).
** Daily I consciously still remind myself: I have enough money. Today I have enough. In this moment I have enough. Everything in this moment is okay. Thinking these thoughts before bed, upon awakening and whenever I felt inspired to do so helped me over time, to generate momentum for creating a new experience where life just began to feel better.
** For other situations when I find myself all wrapped up around the axle, I frequently remind myself: This is not the big deal I am making it. It’s just not.
It does take time to actually feel into these new thoughts; but we have to start somewhere. In any moment of the day, I can think an expansive thought. This is how we start shifting away from unproductive thoughts that feel bad. Sometimes we might just stop and tell ourselves: This is not as bad as my mind is making it out to be. Now this very thought, this one thought is amazing and is enough to shift!
Self teaching ourselves to focus more and more on what we want to have, and then beginning to feel what it would be like if that were true, is where all the power lies.
Try it ~ Just a few minutes here and there focused for a moment on what I do want to have (instead of what I don’t like) brings us out of all the mind chatter.
Part 1 – Restoring Adrenals