For the majority of my adult life, the underlying feeling I have held in my body is: “Life is a pain in the ass.”
It doesn’t always manifest outward and most people I know wouldn’t say that my countenance is reflective of that, but internally it’s a different story.
There is Always Shit to Do...
The cat threw up on and in the shag carpet. I have to remember to pay my yearly insurance umbrella coverage. The kid needs dropped off at a rehearsal. I haven’t meditated in days. Hell, I haven’t worked out in days either. I gotta remember to call Sheila. If I don’t start checking off some projects, I’m never going to sell this fucking house.
It seems as though the weight of the world has always swung like a giant nutsack from the front of my neck… dragging my head downward and causing me to ejaculate toxicity on those who love and know me best.
In a rare breakthrough this week it occurred to me, though, that it's not the “things to be done” that is the problem. Every responsible adult has shit to do. Instead I have begun to pinpoint it as an overwhelmed, panicky, buzzing anxiety that makes these very ordinary tasks into “problems.”
See, after reflection and research I think it’s time to admit: I (may) have an anxiety disorder.
The question is, what does one do with that? Up until the point where I was able to “name my demon,” I did nothing. I would simply ride out the heaviness and let time soothe any severe flare-ups. But this did not improve anything over the long term and certainly offered no solutions in the midst of severe turmoil.
Now with a consistent eye on my physiology, I have started to make some changes and - beautifully - in just a few days I have felt a significant shift in my being. I share here today a couple of practical tips that have helped me in the hopes that you might implement and find some relief as well.
Anxiety Management Tips
1.) BREATHE: Nothing has been proven to reduce cortisol levels more directly and quickly than diaphragmatic breathing: Breathe in through your nose (from your belly) for 5 seconds, hold for 4, release for 7. Pause everything and do this several times at any time you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Or cut your anxiety off at the pass and practice doing this when you’re feeling fine - say, at a stoplight or briefly before starting your work. For fuck’s sake, stop reading and do it right now. I’ll wait.
2.) MEDITATE: I pride myself on being a meditator but in all honesty, I’ve not been making time for it. Why? Because I don't value it enough. If your day or to-do list has priority levels, what would happen if you made some form of meditation as essential and necessary as your most pressing tasks?
3.) CARDIO: I’ve always done strength training but spend almost no time really grinding it out and getting my heart rate up. Regular, ass-kicking, sweaty cardio is beneficial for all, but is nearly crucial for those with anxiety issues.
4.) NATURAL CALM: I am not one to advocate magic-bullet supplements, but holy shit, this stuff works. Go read the Amazon reviews; see what it’s done for so many others. I stand with them in saying that I don’t know any product that has affected me more radically than this. It’s certainly worth your consideration.
The long and short of all of this is: Are you overwhelmed? Stressed? Constantly anxious? This may come as a surprise if (like me) your identity is wrapped up in your internal turmoil, but… you don’t HAVE to live that way. You can still be a go-getter, a to-do-er, a productive member of society… and have an internal calm, an interior peace, a more relaxed orientation.
Unless you look forward to a bright future as a self-soothing substance addict or don’t care about spewing toxicity on your family and friends, consider taking daily, PROACTIVE steps in combating that sneaky modern demon that’s eating away at your health and happiness.
By Trevor, The Edge of Spirit