I can be an anxious person.
This is not unique, but it is a thing, and it’s something I always try stay on top of. And, pretty much, I do, but in the way a little kid on a boogie board stays on top of a wave. I’m sort of on top of it, but also sort of inside it, and every once in a while it’ll knock me down.
I could continue with this boogie board metaphor for the whole article- believe me, I could- but I decided to put this into tips and tricks.
Maybe they’ll help and maybe they won’t, but it’s worth a shot.
1. Remember That Anxiety Is In You, Not A Proven Fact Of The World
This is really tricky, but just because you feel a certain way — an unspecified tension in the air, a quickened pulse, whatever — doesn’t mean that it’s true.
Yes, blah blah, it’s true for you. But sometimes that validation can cut both ways. I love when people are lovingly confused about why I’m anxious; it reminds me that there’s a world outside my own head, and, usually, that world makes a lot more sense.
There’s a narcism in anxiety because it lets you get so stirred up over your personal problems or fears. Take a breath and let it go.
2. Know That Floating Anxiety Is Just Looking For An Excuse
Where’s my jacket? Where’s my jacket!?!
I misplaced my coat and, if floating anxiety had its way, I’d spiral into an epic, panicked quest for it. It’s getting colder and it’s moderately expensive and my hat is in there and ahsguhfiuydgdughuighdighhhhhhhhhhh.
But it’s whatever. I’ve misplaced it before, and I kind of have a feeling it’s at Sam’s house anyway. Also, it’s a jacket, not even, like, a fancy coat. It’s fine. But picture your anxiety like Voldemort without a body, floating less than the meanest ghost. When you have anxiety floating around like that, it wants a body to inhabit, a reason and shape to take form inside.
Don’t let it. If it’s a small thing, observe that thing and handle it. No need to let it become a whole mental thing.
3. Let It Go
You’re allowed to let it go. You’re allowed to feel better and calm. I promise that if you relieve yourself of anxiety you’re not going to forget what you need to do.
The reason it’s hard to let go is habit, and that anxiety doesn’t want to leave. It’s warm and cozy in your head and heart.
But you’re allowed to let it go. You can, and, if possible, you should. And even acknowledging that you’re not indebted to it can help.
4. Do What Works
You know what works.
For me, it’s a snack and some Drake, or writing a super dramatic email I look-over and say “nahhhh,” and don’t send because, on (virtual) paper, I recognize gleefully how silly my problems sound.
But for you it might be exercise, a shower, a phone call, cleaning, cooking, reading or whatever else gets you in your zone. Also, those are all productive. It’s a win/win!
You know what works. Go and do it.