Anxiety is a liar - Time out
Resting in anxiety is one of the most necessary things I have ever learnt and is the thing that sustains my ability to overcome it.
Anxiety is so exhausting and loud. Some days it feels like just getting out of bed, choosing to get dressed and starting your day takes everything you have. Other times it feels like days just roll into one mass of time, where you have to stay constantly watchful and tense, waiting for the anxiety to happen. Invariably, you find yourself fighting to maintain a feeling of control, to stop the anxiety getting in. You spend so long fighting, that sometimes, you forget how to not fight anymore.
Anxiety triggers this fight or flight response in all of us. But when you can’t always control it and it's happening frequently, the thought of actually just resting instead of fighting is counter to everything our brains are telling us to do in that moment, it feels like giving up. You truly believe that if you gave up the battle and stopped fighting, for even just a second:
- Anxiety would ruin you, you would go crazy and suddenly be unable to function.
- All the things you are anxious about will definitely come true.
- Anxiety will start defining who you are, and what you become.
All of those things are a lie, but those lies fuel the constant need to fight. They keep us fighting through sleepless nights where you wake up more tired than you had gone to sleep. They make a fun time with mates a strenuous dreaded outing from the security of your cave. But none of these lies are true. The truth is:
- This tenuous grasp will only make you feel worse.
- You need this break to help you overcome anxiety.
- Anxiety will never be the thing that defines you, you define you.
“We give so much power to anxiety purely by giving it so much attention”
I promise you all that will happen if you choose not to believe your anxiety is, you will give yourself the break your mind and body are longing for, even if just for 30 mins a day. By having the courage to give yourself a break and just be in what you are feeling rather than fighting it, the primary voice in your head won’t be your anxieties, it will be yours. When you can hear yourself and hear what you need, you can help yourself.
How this looks for you is really personal. For me its writing or long bubble baths that enable me to differentiate my anxious voice from my me voice. For you, it might be running or painting, whatever it is that gives you a voice find it and spend some time listening to you. Even if at first all you can or need to express is just how horrible and exhausted you have felt and that's ok.
This takes practice and it is a discipline, but you are important, you are valuable and you need to be heard. This is the time to make space to listen.