Viewing entries tagged
anxiety disorders

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Too Much on Your Plate? Stressed and Overwhelmed? This Will Help.

1 minute 26 second read

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They say "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." Actually, the proper quote by Lao Tzu is that it "...begins beneath one's feet," which means something slightly different.

However, for my purposes here, they're similar enough to make my point, which is about facing a difficult -- or seemingly impossible challenge -- and wanting to give up before you start because it feels like it's just too much to manage.

It's easy to be in a place of feeling overwhelmed. All of us feel that way at times. It's like standing at the base of a mountain and staring up at its tallest peak, knowing you have to scale the damned thing and you don't even have a climbing rope.

You might feel like turning and running full speed in the opposite direction, just changing your mind or abandoning your responsibilities. But of course, sometimes neither of those options will work in the long term.

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So what do you do in the short term? How do you get past feeling completely overwhelmed and unable to cope with everything that you're facing?

Well, you do it one step at a time. You look at one small, manageable "something" that you can do right now, in this moment, or today, and you do that. Just take one step and begin the journey up that mountain. Don't look up. Don't look down. Just stay focused on where you need to put your foot next, and that's it.

The more steps you take, the easier they'll get, and eventually you'll feel ready to look up and see how much of that mountain is still ahead of you. It'll also give you a chance to notice how far you've come, which will spur you on and help you to continue to make progress.

Whatever your "mountain" is, every time you start to feel overwhelmed or as though you just can't cope with everything ahead of you, just remember that you don't have to do it all in one day. Focus on just one manageable step for now, and that's all you need to do. Then the next one, and the next one, and so on until you're feeling better.

Have you ever felt like this before? What did you do to start taking steps to move forward? Please share in the comments below. It could help someone else.

Is anxiety keeping you stuck? Get your FREE copy of my “7 Quick Tips to Reduce Anxiety and Get Unstuck” by clicking on either the photo or the button below!

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Two Quick and Easy Ways to Lift Yourself Out of a Funk

1 minute 47 second read

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Right now, you might be struggling with some sort of life challenge. Perhaps you've even got a few of them weighing you down. You're certainly in good company; heaven knows I've certainly been there and loads of others are in the same boat. 

You might even feel so low that you're having a tough time doing even the most essential things to take care of yourself. I know what that's like, too. Getting dressed or even brushing your teeth feels like climbing Everest. And forget about preparing healthful meals. You might feel like you've accomplished a monumental task by opening a tin of soup and throwing it in a pot.

There are lots of things you can do for yourself to shift out of this energy and begin to feel better. I don't want to overwhelm you with a long list so I'll keep it simple. Let's stick to just two.

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First, how you feel is always directly related to what you're thinking about. If you've got sad, heavy, depressing thoughts roaming through your mind all the time, it's no wonder you haven't got the energy to do anything more than breathe. Those thoughts are loaded with heavy, oppressive negative energy and they'll weigh you down just as surely as if you've got a boulder around your neck.

For example, if you're always thinking things like, "My life sucks and it's completely miserable," no wonder you feel awful. There's nowhere to go with that. It's like you're stuck in it and that's that.

So the first thing you've got to do is start adding some positive thoughts into the mix. Every time you catch yourself thinking something negative, add a positive, progressive statement, something that allows movement toward things being better.

Add something like, "but I'm ready for it to get better." Or even, "but I'm open to it being better every day." The more you do it, the quicker and easier it gets. There are few things you can control but one of them is your thoughts. It just takes a little practice.

The second thing you can do is find a way to help others. Whether it's someone you know, or if you offer to help as a volunteer somewhere, do something to brighten someone else's day. Leave an inexpensive grocery-store bouquet on the doorstep anonymously. Or ring the bell and say, "Hey, want to get out for a walk?" 

Charities are often looking for an extra pair of hands. Diving in and being of service in your community can give you a new perspective on your own troubles, and the positive energy you'll get from doing something to make a difference in the world will be well worth it.  

The more you can get out of your own "stuff" and help someone else, the better you'll feel. It's one of the quickest ways to lift your spirits and remind you of what's really important in life.

Please pop into the comments below and share your favourite way(s) to lift your spirits. You could really help someone else with your ideas.

Is anxiety keeping you stuck? Get your FREE copy of my “7 Quick Tips to Reduce Anxiety and Get Unstuck” by clicking on either the photo or the button below!

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Are You Stuck on the "Toxic People" Merry-Go-Round?

1 minute 52 second read

There are those people in life who are struggling, lost, or challenged in a way that adversely impacts not only their own lives, but the lives of those around them. It might have been due to a messy childhood or other unhappy circumstances. Or perhaps too many things caved in on top of them all at once and they've gone off the rails for a while. Some people just seem to live there and we never really know how they got there.

We love these people even if we don’t like their behaviour. They might say and do some terrible things to us, to themselves, and to others. They might shock us with how much hurt they can inflict, or just how plain mean and spiteful they can be.

Sometimes they're simply misguided...lost and seeking answers, seeking help, rescue, love. They might not even know what it is they are seeking. Rather than taking action regarding the circumstances they don't like, they live in constant "reaction". They make choices that usually involve a lot of emotional response with little (if any) rational thought or helpful decision-making ability.

We see the hurt. We see their pain. We may or may not understand it but we recognise it. We see their self-destructive choices, their Egos that are desperately trying to protect themselves from further damage but really they're just causing more by hurting everyone around them.

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They say they want help and that they just want to be happy. We offer our support and our love. We suggest and coax and encourage. But they keep throwing themselves off one figurative bridge after another, disregarding all efforts to help them and refusing to help themselves. And worse, they take a lot of prisoners with them, hurling insults or accusations about how no one cares about them, no one loves them, or no one ever wants to help them.

Perhaps they fear change. Maybe it just feels too hard and overwhelming. Or maybe it's because they're just so used to living in a state of crisis and drama that they really don't know how to be any other way.

Whatever the reason, their refusal to help themselves wreaks havoc on the lives of everyone around them. We get yanked along on the horrifying roller coaster of too many crises and too much chaos to the point where it adversely impacts our health and our happiness until we say, "ENOUGH."

It is absolutely true that you cannot help those who do not want (or try) to help themselves. It's one thing to support and assist loved ones who are obviously doing their part to try to turn their lives around. Does that mean they won't slip now and then? Of course not. But as long as they keep doing their best, it makes sense to continue to support them.

As for the ones who just keep living in the midst of a nightmare and they want you to live there with them...as long as you choose to stay there, you're destroying your own life as much as they're destroying theirs.

Is anxiety making you feel stuck in life? Click on the button below for my FREE GUIDE - “7 Quick Tips to Reduce Anxiety and Get Unstuck!”

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Grounding: Great for Easing Anxiety

2-minute read

It's awful when anxiety lurks in the dark recesses of your mind, always waiting to grab you by the throat and make your life a living hell for a while. Whether it's a low level anxiety that keeps you constantly on edge, easily startled and nerves jangling, or you're dealing with full on anxiety attacks as a regular occurrence, it's a misery to be invaded by this bloody-minded monster.

I know it can feel like you have absolutely zero control when that happens, when it's got you in its grip, your heart racing and your mind suddenly paralyzed by fear.

Perhaps it's just that you're feeling extra stressed. Sometimes that can feel like anxiety, too, especially as tension increases.

There are many ways to reduce and/or eliminate anxiety permanently, without the use of drugs or other treatments. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, I did it and I've taught countless others to do it, too, so I can promise you it is absolutely possible.

And it's also possible to reduce or eliminate stress. Okay, I must be joking, right? Wrong. Stress isn't in the events and circumstances of your life. It's in your responses to those circumstances. Now, of course certain events are going to be difficult to manage, such as the death of a loved one, losing a job or getting a divorce. But even in these highly challenging situations, you can still do a lot to find ways to relax and find a place of inner calm, at least to some extent.

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One of the simplest ways to reduce anxiety is to spend some time every day making sure that you're grounded. This is just a way to balance the way your mind spins out of control when you feel anxious or extra stressed.

An excellent way to bring yourself back into your body is to get yourself outside and into a natural setting. Even if all you can manage is to walk or sit on grass, that's better than staying indoors or being surrounded by concrete.

If possible, sit with your back against a tree trunk for a while or if you're not concerned about what others might think, face the tree, put your arms out and give it a lovely, long hug. You'll be amazed at the energy that you'll feel pouring up from the earth into the trunk and into you, too.

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If the weather isn't conducive to that kind of outing, see if you can find a garden center or even a hotel or office building with a lobby filled with plants. Go for a drive in the country. Anything that lets you enjoy nature as much as possible in your circumstances.

Or if you're stuck indoors, close your eyes and visualise deep roots growing out of your feet and extending hundreds of miles into the earth. Feel those roots firmly planted in the ground, where they gather nutrients and energy that then move back up the roots and into your body. Beginning and ending each day with a few minutes of this wonderful visualisation exercise can really help to keep you grounded. It can also become a quick and easy "go-to" answer when anxiety rears its ugly head throughout the day.

The more you do it, the better it works.

Do you struggle with Anxiety? Get your FREE copy of my “7 Quick Tips to Reduce Anxiety and Get Unstuck” by clicking on the photo, or the button below!



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You're Not Responsible for Anyone Else's Feelings

1 minute 45 second read

Yesterday, I wrote about the most powerful tool you’ve got, which is the power of choice. It raised another issue, but first I need to back up just a bit.

I was saying that sometimes we feel trapped, even when we aren't. We might feel like we don't have a choice in certain matters, but the truth is, we do. It just might not be a choice that we like because of the potential consequences and in particular, when those consequences involve others being unhappy or upset with us.

"I can't say no, it'll hurt her feelings!" "You make me so angry!" "He pushes my buttons!"

The truth is, you cannot "hurt her feelings." She gets to decide whether or not she'll be upset if you say no.

And no one can "make you angry." Whatever other people do, no matter how boneheaded their choices, no matter how nasty or mean-spirited, thoughtless or selfish, you get to decide whether or not you're going to feel angry, or annoyed, or nothing at all. You get to decide to just dump responsibility for their thoughtless actions back in their laps and not waste any time or energy feeling miserable.

And there is no such thing as having anyone "push your buttons." Now, before you throw rocks at my house, let me explain.

Let's say your jealous younger sister knows you're self-conscious about something. So she teases you and you blow your top. You've given her the response she wanted.

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Next time she wants to get you riled up, she teases you again. You might even be a little angrier this time. She feels quite satisfied because once again, you've reacted as she'd hoped.

The more this goes on, the more you feel like she's "pushing your buttons and making you angry."

But the truth is that you've simply taught her that if she says anything about that issue, you will become angry. If you want the cycle to stop, you have to stop giving her the reaction she wants. She can't "make you" angry. You get to decide whether or not you let her words or actions get to you.

You could just as easily act like it doesn't bother you in the least (even if it does, just don't let anyone see it!). When your bratty little sister sees that she's no longer getting the desired response, eventually she'll stop trying.

So you see, there is no such thing as "button pushing." You are simply teaching people that if they do "this," you will respond like "that." If you want them to stop, then YOU have to stop reacting the way you do.

Be prepared for them to try harder to make you react the way you used to do, but stay strong and don't let them see it. It won't be long, they'll get bored and quit.

Do you struggle with Anxiety? Get your FREE copy of my “7 Quick Tips to Reduce Anxiety and Get Unstuck” by clicking on the photo, or the button below!

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The Most Powerful Tool You Have is the Power of Choice

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2-minute read


There are many of us on the planet who are blessed to live in countries where there is great freedom. We have the freedom to pursue careers that we want, to be educated, to go shopping and buy whatever we want, to move about from place to place if we feel like it, uprooting ourselves and setting out on new adventures.

We have the freedom to vote for the government we prefer, to dress as we please, and to travel and explore as much or as little of the world as we want.

Yet in spite of all of this freedom, it is astonishing how easy it can be for some of us to feel trapped, helpless and powerless. We might feel forced or pressured into careers, relationships, financial decisions, or parenthood. We feel like we have "no choice" because of the needs, expectations and demands of others who want what they want from us, and their happiness seems to be the only kind that matters.

Some of us will stand up to that sort of pressure, say "Not happenin'!" and run the other direction.

But far too many of us will feel like we don't have the right to do that. "I couldn't! He/She would be furious!" "He can't do it for himself (usually means "won't" do it...). "I have to do it. They're expecting it." "I hate it but they'll be so disappointed if I don't!"

And on and on and on.

I do understand how that feels. I lived there for a very long time. Too long, in fact. Like many others, I was brought up to believe my needs and feelings weren't important. I was not allowed to stand up for myself, to say what I wanted, or to say "No." Because of this conditioning, even into adulthood I was easily manipulated into making decisions that were about the happiness of others while ignoring my feelings.

Consequently, I didn't feel like I had any choice but to make decisions that felt completely wrong even though I tried desperately to make them feel right. I got into the wrong marriages or other situations that left me feeling trapped and like a hostage.

I take full ownership of that...I'm not pointing fingers. At the time, I couldn’t see that my upbringing and other factors contributed to it and ultimately, I was the one who made those decisions.

But all I could see was that I felt trapped, helpless and powerless.

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The thing is -- and it took me years to figure this out -- I wasn't trapped, nor was I helpless or powerless. I just felt that way.

If you're feeling trapped, it's probably got something to do with obligations, demands and expectations that others are placing on you. But you don't owe anyone your happiness. It's your right and your responsibility to make the most of your life, whatever that means to you, and whether or not anyone else approves. If we can just recognise that, it can help to keep us from making choices that are not in our best interests.

And there's the key phrase..."making choices." This is truly the most powerful tool you've got - the ability to make choices.

Don't waste it on people who pressure you to use it for their benefit and not yours.

Do you struggle with Anxiety? Get your FREE copy of my “7 Quick Tips to Reduce Anxiety and Get Unstuck” by clicking on the photo, or the button below!

 

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