So I could sit here and share all of the "tips and tricks" about how, when you are experiencing anxiety, that you "should”:
I could do that.
I know all of that stuff is helpful for feeling more calm AND I also know that you already know all of that shit.
If you could do it, you would do it!
So how is it helpful for me to give you a list of things that you know you are "supposed" to do? What, so you can feel even worse about yourself and your situation? Yeah, that's not the least bit helpful in the moment when Anxiety finds an in and decides to bite you in the Ass!
I have asked every client (and even my friends and family and random people on the street) and 100% of the time when I ask “When you are upset or panicing, has anyone ever said 'just breathe' or 'everythings OK, just calm down’" and they say “YES!" and I say "and did you want to PUNCH THEM IN THE FACE?" the answer is a resounding “YES!" and the look of incredulous relief that 1) I must be able to read their mind and 2) someone else understands that desire to strangle someone (oh and that look and their reaction, it is priceless 😍). One hundred percent of the time folks.....let that sink in....
So why do we continue to treat Anxiety as something to fight with? Why do we just keep looking for band-aids to slap on our challenges? Why do we continue to offer suggestions for calming before we have the conversation about what a Liar and Bully Anxiety can be? Because most people are working from a broken model of how to treat Anxiety, that's why. Please don't get me wrong. All of this stuff is healthy for you and can support you in the process AND you have to learn how to Accept and Deal with Anxiety FIRST!
So how do you deal with chronic worry and anxiety? You work on getting ALIGNED with it. Learn about how it works, make friends with it, understand it. You learn that Anxiety lies to you with messages like "You NEED to be Certain and Comfortable" and "Safety is Priority #1" and "OMG, what other people think is REALLY IMPORTANT" AND you learn how to say "So what, I'm not buying your lies anymore"!
Want to do this on your own? That’s cool….here is a link to my free guide for Seven Suggestions for Getting Anxiety’s Ass out of your Driver’s Seat and into the Backseat (where it belongs).
Want more support? Auntie Anxiety offers individual and group support so check out the offerings here on my site or email me with questions Ask@AuntieAnxiety.com
Hey, will you do me a favor? Will you take a moment to comment below with how anxiety shows up in your life and bites you in the ass? 😘. Or, better yet, will you follow this link and take a short survey that will assist me in a little project that I have in mind for teaching people better "Tips and Tricks" for Dealing with their Anxiety?
Yeah, Anxiety and I have been together for a long time AND the good news is, I know it is a Liar! Does it still get me with all of this bullshit sometimes? Yep, it does….AND I also know how to recognize the lies and move forward anyway. Am I triggered sometimes? Yep….AND I deal with my thoughts and feelings and move forward anyway.
Fortunately, every once in awhile, I actually get to witness the answer to “Why Bother?” One of these instances happened just the other night. I had spent part of the afternoon working on a post about how, especially in light of all of the hateful shit that is going on around us, Connection and Community are Key to dealing with Anxiety and Fear (those places that can grow anger and hate). It was about 20 minutes before my Anxiously Empowered Adult Group was to begin. I was hiding out in the little nook in my office where I have my Command Center (OK, it’s just my desk, computer, filing cabinet, and work space tucked around the corner) and I hear group members starting to arrive.
At some point I start to tune in because, instead of silence, which is what I often hear when there are Anxious people in the waiting room, I hear Talking and then I hear Laughing. My heart starts to sing and my brain registers, “THIS….THIS is what makes all of this worthwhile”.
My purpose is to Connect. On this I am clear. Sometimes connecting Anxious Tweens, Teens, Moms, and Adults is more challenging than Herding Cats, AND when I persist and keep offering and showing up, people do connect and all kinds of Wonderful Magic Happens!
This particular Group has adults ranging in age from late 20’s to early 60’s, a mix of men and women. These are people who find it difficult to be social, worried about what others may think about them, or say to them. Worried they will freeze or even panic. Some of them find it difficult to leave home or to commit to much beyond getting to work each day. All of them have had their daily life and their lifetime joy impacted by Anxiety's Lies.
Here’s the Awesome Part, though, THEY SHOW UP FOR GROUP AND THEY TALK AND SHARE AND SUPPORT AND QUESTION….AND THEY LAUGH! And that, my friends, makes it all worthwhile!
If You or a Loved One is Looking to Deal with Anxiety...
Anxiety is a sneaky little twit sometimes! I often describe Anxiety to clients as a socially awkward and annoying friend. One of those ones who has been around forever, maybe a neighbor or your cousin. You know the one that you are just stuck with because of circumstance. So what do you know about these socially awkward and annoying friends? They do their best to get you to notice them and pay attention to them, and not only that, they don’t want you to pay attention to anyone else! Yep, that’s how Anxiety works. It wants your full attention, so it tells you lies and convinces you to stay home and alone and to only play with it!
Ready to teach your Anxiety a thing or two about how life really works? Well then it is time to stop listening to the lies and start doing what is necessary to Connect and Build Community so that you are even better equipped to deal with what Anxiety attempts to throw at you! Take back your Power from Anxiety and maybe, just maybe, you will even teach it some better social skills!
Not convinced yet? Does even the mention of interacting with people you don’t know and situations that are unfamiliar get your heart racing and your palms sweating? Is Anxiety yelling at you to stop reading and to go to your room? Yep, Anxiety can be really convincing sometimes. In case you are still reading, here are 3 Ways that Connecting with Others and Surrounding Yourself with Your Community can help you Empower Yourself in this struggle with Anxiety.
Are you Ready to take back your steering wheel from Anxiety? Get my Free Guide and 5 Day E-course that walks you through the 7 Steps to Successfully Kick Anxiety’s Ass Out of Your Driver’s Seat and Into the Backseat Where It Belongs!
How many of you turned the calendar over to August a week ago and went "Holy Shit!"???
It may simply be just because August represents the last month of summer (even though the season Summer does not end until September 21st ), but how many of you had that reaction because it means that it's time to get ready for your kids to return to school? Maybe this is a milestone year: your baby is heading to college for the first time or your oldest is off to Kindergarten all day. Maybe you are excited because summer has gone by like molasses running uphill in January (that would be super slow for those of you unfamiliar with that old time saying) and you cannot wait for your kids to be back in school. What about those of you who have kids who are already ramping up their anxiety about going back? Are you envisioning the tears, complaints of stomachaches, attempts to avoid, and shouting matches that the school year brings? Whatever your situation, does Anxiety take full advantage by showing up and bringing a bag of worry and fear to your table?
Anxiety loves change because it is one of the easiest times for it to get a hold on us and play the "What if...?" Game! "What if my kid has trouble on the bus?" "What if she cries when I drop her off?" "What if he doesn't have any friends?" "What if my kid refuses to go to school at all?"
None of us like to see our kids in pain or suffering while they wrestle with overwhelming situations and emotions. Change is tough for everyone involved. The tricky part here is that Change is Inevitable (it is actually Growth that is Optional) AND the more we support our kids in learning how to deal with change and the overwhelming feelings that often accompany change, the more prepared they will be to become self-sufficient and competent adults one day.
So what do you do for the time that you have left before the school year starts (where I live that is not until after Labor Day this year!)?
The voice behind Auntie Anxiety is Lynn Dutrow, Courage Coach and Counselor