I have anxiety. Not “I get stressed out sometimes” anxiety. The type where I think so much about situations from the past or the future that my whole day is dark and sad because the past’s troubles rob me of today’s peace.
The kind of anxiety where I cry myself to sleep or see something heartbreaking and immediately can’t breathe. Or I can breathe but my chest feels like its on fire and I worry my throat will close.
Sometimes this happens at work, but most of the time it happens when I’m at home. Anxiety robs me of my peace.
Before simplifying my life I would hurl my anxiety at people. Before stepping back and looking at myself and my life, I would run around and clean and scrub and organize and yell at the people that got in my way.
But recently, I’ve seen how beautiful and simple my life is. My home is full of love and support and room to grow, and I don’t want to let anxiety in anymore.
Now that I have the space in my mind and my heart (which used to be taken up by things and stuff) I’m going to use it to feel better. To be better.
If you are anxious or worried or fearful I want you to know you don’t have to be. We don’t realize how much the clutter and the negative relationships in our lives weigh on us. We don’t recognize how heavy a burden we carry until we let go.
We can do hard things. We can breathe and take things days by day.
Here are the things I do that work for me, they may seem small but their impact is BIG.
1. Five minutes of mindfulness meditation each morning.
I know what some of you are thinking, “I can’t meditate! I know that I should but I don’t have time and even if I did I just can’t do it.” I used to think that too, until I started spending just five minutes each morning with a guided meditation playing through my headphones.
I sit in a dark room, look up “five minute meditation” on YouTube, and press play. Most of the time a kitty or two will jump on my lap. I breathe and I listen. We don’t realize that we’ve forgotten to breathe and to listen.
If you don’t know where to start, this one is my favorite.
2. Find a mantra.
Find a saying or phrase to help you when you feel anxious. Mine is, “Notice it, and let it go.” If my mind recalls something embarrassing or stressful from my past my mind says, “Notice it, and let it go.”
To overcome and walk through anxiety we should not repress hard things, we can notice them and then let them go. Slowly replace negative thoughts with beauty and positive energy.
3. Remember that the tough stuff is the good stuff.
Often, we don’t want to experience the tough stuff. We want everything to be “good” and “happy.” But that’s not where the good stuff comes from.
Humans grow when they go through the tough stuff. We are not always in control of our circumstances but we are in control of what we do next. When something awful or hard happens I think, “And now what?” What will I do in response to the tough stuff?
I will grow.
Take just five minutes of your day to care for your deeply feeling heart.