Let me just start this off by clarifying that I experience anxiety everyday. That said, I have good anxiety and I have bad anxiety. Good anxiety happens when I am super excited and I have things to do. Anxiety actually helps to get me going! Bad anxiety happens when I am overwhelmed, confused, don’t have a direction and I am beginning to suspect: not being true to myself.
This day, March 10th, did not start out to be the best. I arrived home late last night and my internal clock woke me up at its usual time! I did not mind, I enjoy being up early. This just means that I didn’t get as much sleep as I would have liked strike one.
Since I was super sleepy and it was a Saturday after all, I decided to skip my workout routine and just get on with the long list of things that I wanted to accomplish that day. Strike two.
I have been having some serious issues with auras on a daily basis for probably two weeks now. I get these black lines above my left eye. It’s starting to drive me crazy and is really becoming worrying – I am going to have to make an appointment with my dreaded doctor. This really drove up my anxiety which has been building all week. Strike three.
In baseball talk – normally strike three is you’re out. Lucky for me, I am pretty used to my anxiety so in Alyssa land strike three means keep on puttering along! I say puttering because keep in mind my anxiety is rising, I just have yet to reach my limit.
I am also having some annoying stomach problems. I am not sure what is causing my pain and irritation so I have been trying to figure it out. When I don’t know the cause of the problem, I cannot think of the solution. So I end up ruminating all day. Not healthy. My guess is that I have a food intolerance or allergy and it is causing my stomach issues and auras. I’ve been taking out books from the library and searching on websites. That has also been causing me a lot of anxiety and stressing me out a la max. Strike four.
I received a recommendation to try “whole 30”. This is basically an elimination diet where you focus on eating whole foods. I am trying to eliminate gluten and dairy to see if either of those are causing my stomach issues and auras. Why would this cause me anxiety? It is all BRAND NEW INFORMATION and I don’t know how to process it! Luckily, I bought the whole 30 plan and I was able to go onto their website and choose from a list of recipes which I wanted to eat each day for my first week. This was a serious lifesaver and super cool! But, like I said, it’s all brand new and it took me some time to figure out (which, dun,dun,dun… caused me anxiety). The really neat thing about the whole 30 plan was I could modify the schedule to only select from a list of recipes where there weren’t any mushrooms, asparagus and other food that I didn’t like! Once I decided which meals I wanted to eat.. are you ready for this..?! The system created a grocery list for me! Right down to the grams for the meat that I needed to buy!! Long story short, I ended up spending my day setting myself up for this week in super crowded grocery stores and trying to find ingredients that I have never used before. Andddd that was strike five. This is my new limit. I was struck out!
Today reinforced for me how important it is to ground myself before I start my day. I need to feel settled and okay with how I am feeling before I begin. I did not do that today and my anxiety is through the roof. In the mornings I need to exercise and meditate; get my thoughts in order and my breathing on a good path so that I can have an example of the state that I can be in for the rest of the day.
I am actually really, really proud of myself though. Instead of completely shutting down and sending myself to bed I put myself on the elliptical, nourished my mind with a podcast, did a quick yoga video and listened to a calm guided meditation track.
I came up with something for myself while meditating (clearly I wasn’t doing a good job). I am going to come up with 5 affirmations/positive reinforcements to tell myself while having anxiety attacks. I will breathe in and on each inhale I will say an affirmation to myself and on the exhale I will breathe out the anxiety:
1. I am strong; exhale anxiety
2. This will pass; exhale anxiety
3. Nothing is as black and white as I make it seem; exhale anxiety
4. I am enough; exhale anxiety
5. I am trying my best; exhale anxiety
I am not very good at grounding myself using my body (my feet etc.) so I figured it would be a good idea to try and ground myself using my thoughts. Lets see if this works!
I am not out of the woods, my anxiety is still currently at a dangerously high level but I am working on getting myself back down to planet earth and out of my head!
What tricks do you use to get yourself out of your head and your anxiety to a stable level? I would LOVE to hear them! I am always trying to come up with new ways to manage my bad anxiety.