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Anxious Awakening

October 2, 2013


Anxiety is not for everyone. Some handle it better than others. For some, the anxious state drives them to make changes in their lives. For others, it simply burns out their nervous system and creates an imploding world.

I am of course teasing. I am playing with words and attempting to create something good from a somewhat hellish feeling – anxiety sucks – but it’s not all bad on planet stresshead:

The key, for me, is to listen to the anxiety. What does it need in order to feel relaxed? How was I feeling moments before I felt anxious and what was the trigger (if there was one)? Today I went to the gym, did some Chi Kung (Tai Chi) in the studio, punched f*** out of the punch bag for a few moments and had a nice long swim. I was calm when I arrived at the gym and even calmer when I left. Today was a good day. Until… a friend text me to say she could meet me ‘In the next ten minutes or so’ at our favourite coffee haunt. I failed to check the time of the text message and almost ran to the coffee shop to meet her. My anxiety levels went from a zero to ten in a matter of minutes. This is what is often referred to as: ‘Internal Pressure. I applied this pressure upon myself with no rhyme or reason. It was completely unnecessary and, as it turns out, futile because the text message was sent over an hour previous. God love me.

Anxiety, like any other emotional/psychological state – is a habit. If you cannot control it, it has been suggested (What the Bleep? The Movie, take a look at it, it rocks…) that you are addicted to it. Personally I wouldn’t go that far but I would suggest that you are most definitely caught in an old habit and that that old habit needs a compassionate smack across the legs. So what did I do with the anxious state that I had brought upon myself?

I let it go.

I sat in the coffee shop alone, nothing unusual for me, and I had a polite word with the anxiety as if it were a separate entity: ‘It doesn’t matter. I would be having coffee anyway. If you meet her for coffee or not, it doesn’t matter. If you didn’t notice the time of the message, it doesn’t matter. Nothing, in actual fact, matters. Enjoy your coffee and go home’. The anxiety immediately reduced from a ten to a six and by the time I had paused even further for a cigarette and some discreet meditation, it was down to a two. By the time I returned home to switch my computer on to blog, the anxiety was a one. I achieved this by giving myself a break, realising that my nervous system had overreacted because of an old habit (‘I’ve got to be on time, I cannot let people down…’) and chilled the f*** out.

Anxiety brings about an amazing sense of awareness – if it weren’t for the temporary anxious state I experienced, I would never have learned how to manage it. Of course, the key is to know how and when to turn down the volume of anxiety. I am getting better and better at it each day.

Good for me!

Much Love,

Matt 🙂

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