This might seem like an aside from the subject of anxiety, but it’s not. When you have anxiety, and even when you don’t, you can start blaming yourself for not coping with life in general and unexpected developments in particular. These thoughts, feelings, and corresponding emotions are completely understandable, and an equally complete waste of time and energy. What you need is…
Failure to cope is one of the greatest fears you can experience, it’s all wrapped up in failure to control everything so that you can feel safe. If you’re not coping then anything could happen, and there’s nothing more uncomfortable for someone with anxiety – whose mind will spend inordinate amounts of time looking for all the possible anything’s that could happen, and worrying those anythings to death.
Perspective requires us to stop, breathe, reflect, consider, and relax.
It requires us to stop reacting and start thinking, to analyse the situation and get to the truth of it. The truth is that some situations are extremely difficult to handle and they do undo us. That happens to everyone at some point in their lives.
It’s Not a Disaster
As an ex acute anxiety sufferer I know that things feel like a disaster and it’s very difficult to pull away from that feeling, but you do need to.
- Realise that many other people would be struggling with this, whatever it is, too.
- Obvious as it sounds, realise that difficult things are difficult, for everyone.
- Your difficult may not be someone else’s difficult, and that does not matter. Own your difficult!
- Don’t blame yourself for being anxious when times are challenging, a real challenge is a real challenge and it’s not dictated by your anxiety.
- You might feel that you’d cope brilliantly if you weren’t anxious, but that may not be true.
Back to Perspective
So the perspective is that difficult times are difficult, everyone struggles, and you need to take a mental step back in order to cope. No one can allow their mind to run amuk when life is challenging.
A simple perspective is often seen as over-simplifying things, and if you wish to believe that you will, but my spiritual training tells me that the tougher the going gets the more simplistic we need to be. Pulling back into our centre, dealing with what is happening, in other words what we can see and hear at any one time, and refusing all temptation to complicate the issue.
No this doesn’t mean that you’ve got to put an hour a day aside in order to become a meditation master really fast. It means you need to work out what calms you down and do it. For example:
- I meditate.
- My husband runs, that’s where he can connect to his guides.
- A friend cleans her oven.
- Another friend walks in nature.
- People go to the sea (water is cleansing for emotions).
- Some listen to really loud music, and dance.
- Some do Yoga.
It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it relaxes you.
If you feel that meditation would be helpful to you but have never tried it, it’s really simple to start.
- Get some music that you love, preferably orchestral.
- Put some headphones on or in, make sure they’re comfortable.
- Find the right setting, don’t face the sun but if you love the sun then sitting in a warm shaded corner may be best for you.
- Sit comfortably, it doesn’t matter where, you don’t have to cross your legs, just be comfortable. As you master your mind you will be able to assume all the right seating positions.
- Instead of listening to the music, listen to the music. Make it a deliberate choice, try to pick out various musical instruments, note how the music flows over and around you. Allow it to absorb you.
- You probably will find that thoughts surface, and people will tell you to just let them go, it isn’t always easy, so just allow the thoughts but don’t engage with them. It won’t take much practice before you will just let them float free.
- Your first meditation, or even first few, may not be relaxing, and that is understandable. If you persevere in a relaxed way it will become easier. It’s worth noting that experienced meditators have days when they can’t get into the space at all, so don’t ask too much of yourself.
- A guided meditation might help.
I hope that’s simplified the idea of difficult times for you, taken your anxiety to one side of the equation, reminded you that real issues are real and they can undo everyone, and given you some tips to manage these situations.
To your happiness