My kids make me anxious.
Wait. Let me re-frame that. I have thoughts about my kids that make me feel anxious.
Nightly, around 5 pm, my toddler goes wild and my infant wants to attach himself to my boob.
There’s lots of yelling, running, screaming. I’m trying to cook dinner, get lunches packed, laundry done.
And that familiar adrenaline rush in my gut starts to set in.
NO! I do not want to help you with your puzzle. I do not want to play hide-and-seek or change another poopy diaper. I just want to sit with a giant goblet of wine and watch Netflix.
I want to ignore, escape, and buffer away this oppressive feeling of irritation in the pit of my stomach.
But I can’t. I have to manage my own emotions and thoughts so that I can help my children manage their emotions and thoughts.
Do you feel anxious sometimes? Regularly?
Is there a certain time of day, or event, when the anxiety feels stronger?
Can you describe the feeling?
And what do you do when it happens?
Many mommas pour the wine at that point. Or eat the cookies. I used to do those things too.
But then I found a better solution, and I want to help you get the same relief I found.
Here’s how I got rid of my anxiety:
(you ready for this?)
I still have anxiety most nights. Most people do.
But I did get OKAY with my anxiety. And you should too. Here’s how:
There’s you, and there’s your brain. Separate the two. These negative thoughts do not define you. They are not predictive of your personality, your future, or real concerns. Anxiety is just your brain on over-drive.
Have Compassion for your brain. It makes no sense to have negative thoughts about your negative thoughts, so instead, have some compassion for those sentences in your brain. You don’t have to fight the feeling of anxiety. Just have some compassion.
Talk to your negative thoughts. My self-talk goes something like this: “okay negative thought, your opinion is noted, AND none of that is true” or “oh I’m having a negative thought about (whatever). And those thoughts are making me feel anxious. That’s interesting.”
Anxiety is not a big deal when you don’t get caught up in not trying to have it. When you’re not preoccupied with fighting, resisting or ignoring the feeling of anxiety, you can appreciate it for what it is. A feeling created by a sentence in your brain.
Anxiety is just a feeling. A feeling that makes up the human experience.
When we are willing to embrace ANY feeling, the good and the bad, anything becomes possible.
Discomfort is the currency of growth.
I’m willing to embrace the discomfort on the way to my dreams.