One of the triggers for anxiety is uncertainty.
It’s fair to say that uncertainty is a part of life. However, there are plenty of times in life where you can seek clarity to help fill in the gaps.
This can be done by asking more questions.
When would you like me to complete this?
What time do you want to meet?
How do you feel about this situation?
You don’t have to play the guessing game, you don’t have to wait for someone else to initiate the conversation and you don’t have to live life on someone else’s terms.
Asking questions might also make you feel anxious but maybe that bit of discomfort is worth it now if it means you won’t feel anxious later.
I think most people have a list of at least a few things that they can do to improve their days.
Some examples could be exercise, being out in nature, mediation, yoga, drinking water, herbal tea, solo dance party, listening to music, journaling or going for a walk.
None of those things necessarily take a lot of time but they’re things that you have to make time for. They require more effort than sitting on the sofa binging episodes of a show but they come with way more benefits.
So, when you feel like you can’t be bothered, keep that in mind.
Sometimes you reach a point in life where you need to make a sacrifice.
What are you willing to give up in order to reach your goal?
And are you willing to give up the right things?
Maybe you need more time to work on your book and so you decide to give up your 30 minutes of exercise a day. Yes, you’ve made a sacrifice but perhaps the right thing to give up would be 1.5 out of 2 hours you spend on social media each day.
The exercise positively contributes to your wellbeing but it’s unlikely you can say the same for social media.
And so when it comes to making a sacrifice in order to gain something, think about the things you currently do that benefit you the least.
Those are the things you should be willing to sacrifice.
Do you ever have those days when you feel stuck and even though you know exactly what you need to do to get unstuck, you still do nothing?
And what you need to do could be incredibly simple. It could be as simple as watching your favoutite Key and Peele sketch on youtube, listening to your favourite pick me up song or maybe a breathwork mediation.
You might feel like doing something simple won’t help or maybe you feel like you don’t have the time. But it’s important to make the time because the feeling of being stuck won’t go away unless you do something about it.
One of the best lessons to have learnt this year is how to make the best of challenging circumstances.
I’d be highly surprised to find that there is anyone who reads this blog that has not been affected by the pandemic.
People have lost their jobs, had family and friends pass, experienced financial difficulties, had holidays postponed, struggled to cope because they’re living alone, missed moments with the people they care about, had plans cancelled and so much more.
It’s easy to end up feeling as though life can be nothing more than bleak but it’s important to remember the joys of life.
No matter what is going on if you only focus on the ‘bad bits’ it will consume your whole outlook until you can’t see past it.
Of course you can’t ignore what is going on in the world but you can make time for things that bring you joy and make you feel good.
The answer is in the question.
The feeling of being overwhelmed often comes when we don’t allow ourselves to feel something and instead adopt a go, go, go mindset.
Instead taking care of yourself and working through your feelings, you fill your mind and time with 101 distractions that will eventually catch up to you.
Or maybe you’ve taken on too much, you have a lot going on and haven’t had enough time to rest to keep you going in a way that is healthy.
What ever the case may be, you can’t keep going.
When told to stop or even just slow down we often use the excuse that we can’t. Perhaps it is that people are relying on you or you think there’s too much to be done.
But as it is those things that are causing the overwhelm, it’s exactly what you need a break from.
So stop, even just for a few minutes, it will make more of a difference than you think.
It’s strange how sometimes you can find yourself resisting the very thing that you know will help.
Maybe, it’s because it feels like too much effort or maybe you’ve forgotten how much it might benefit you.
It could be something as simple as going for a walk when you’re feeling down. Perhaps, the thought of putting on proper clothes, doing your hair and seeing other people when you’re not at your best is enough to make you think that staying inside is the better option.
But the longer you stay inside the more difficult it’ll be to convince yourself to go outside.
Sometimes even when you know something might help you can’t being yourselves to do it because you’re not in a hopeful mindset. You don’t feel like trying to make things better because in that moment you don’t even believe it’s possible.
But why not do the thing that might help anyway and see how you feel afterwards. It might not make things better but it definitely won’t make things worse.
It’s really easy to say, ‘That’s just how I am’.
Some people even use that as a way to justify continually being unkind to others or even themselves.
But the beauty of life is that we have the opportunity to change and overcome.
I recently wrote about not feeling good enough, something I struggled with for years.
As a result of feeling that way I created a life that I was unhappy with and I became someone who self-sabotaged, had little self-belief and would constantly settle for less. Furthermore, I struggled to stand up for myself.
Once I stopped passively accepting those parts of me as just the way things are, I realised that things could be different, things could be better. I also realised that I was capable of changing my own life.
At the time I didn’t feel capable and it was hard to imagine what things would be like if they were different but I started to believe it was possible.
My personal development and growth was an active change that I worked for and continue to work on.
This sort of thing is really at the crux of the message I want to share on this site. What I want for you to take away from this is you that don’t have to accept the way things are.
When you feel like you need to escape or getaway it often has nothing to do with your surroundings. Although you may find yourself wanting to book a trip or get a change of scenery in many cases it’s actually your mind that needs a rest.
You might think you need a holiday when in fact a couple of days dedicated to slowing down, quality sleep, nourishing food, soft music, a massage and a walk in nature will do you a world of good.
A major part of present day culture is working hard but it is often to our detriment. You trudge on even when you know you need a break and only stop when your body gives way.
You don’t need to reach breaking point to justify resting
As much as working hard and achieving goals is great, it shouldn’t be at the expense of your well-being.
When it comes to opening up, do you know what you need in order to feel safe?
A starting point is to ask yourself ‘Will what I am about to say be handled with care?’
I’ve learnt that people often hold their challenges dear. Even if it’s not deeply affecting them now they still require a level of care when it’s being discussed.
For example, you probably want more than just ‘oh wow, glad you’re okay’ when opening up about a past period of depression.
Another question to ask is ‘What do I want from this situation?’
Many times when we open up to people, we want something particular from them in return. But often we don’t realise until it’s too late.
A common example is discussing an issue you’re having and getting annoyed when the other person tries to offer advice or tell you what to do. Turns out you just wanted someone to listen.
And so overall, creating a safe space is a combination of knowing what makes you feel safe, voicing what you need and (as always) picking the right people.