Weekly Ponderings #30: Affirmations to release anxiety
Yesterday was the first group coaching call for Optimize Your Energy's April cohort, and we talked a lot about anxiety. Week 1 of the course is all about mindset, beliefs and habits because so much of how we feel every day and our energy comes down to our thoughts.
The call got me thinking and I was about to send you a full auto-biography about my history with anxiety, when it was at its all-time high (circa 2009-2010), how it impacted me, what has helped... then realized it deserved its own blog post.
So I'll leave you with the cliffnotes:
If you're struggling with anxiety right now, try journaling on these questions:
>> What are you trying so hard to control right now?
We go through life trying so freaking hard to control everything. From your grades and test results when you were younger, to where you went to high school and college, to your jobs and promotions and career, to your relationships...the list goes on.
We play the "when/then" game. "When I get that promotion or make $X or get married or buy that house or have kids, etc. I'll be happy." We waste so much mental space and energy trying so hard to manipulate the external world and think we can control the outcomes, but the reality is, we can't.
Shit happens. Life happens. Covid-19 happens. Stop trying so hard to control the external and focus your energy internally on yourself instead.
>> What is the space between where you "should" be and the reality of where you are now? How can you start to accept where and who you are today?
So much of my anxiety when it was at its all-time high was rooted around the SHOULDs - what job I should be doing, how much money I should be making, what I should be eating, how I should look, the guys I should be dating, etc. The anxiety was so bad that sometimes the smallest tasks would paralyze me with all the micro-decisions involved, and all I could do was crawl into my bed and cry.
What I learned over the years is when you start moving into acceptance and love for who you are today and start letting go of all the expectations, you start to feel more at peace with yourself.
You start to let go of that feeling of not doing enough or being enough, and the weight and heaviness in your chest starts to disappear.
If you're thinking, "But I don't want to be complacent with my current life. I have big dreams and goals."
Acceptance doesn't mean complacency. You can absolutely strive for more while accepting who you are today. I'd argue that until you learn how to accept yourself as is, and stop out-sourcing your self-worth and validation to external achievements, you'll never reach that destination of "success" or "happiness". You have to learn how to generate the validation and fulfillment from inside.
Try to let go of the control and all the doing and shift more towards the being and self-acceptance.
It's not easy. I don't have it figured out. I still look in the mirror some days and feel fat and disgusting. I still struggle with feeling guilty for not working late or on the weekends. I still find myself on the couch binge watching SVU for 7 hours with one hand in a family size bag of Doritos.
But I think I'm starting to crack the code a bit.
Here are some affirmations that help me stay centered and more at ease. You can repeat them to yourself, write them in your journal, on your mirror, or on post-it notes to stick around your place. Whatever you're into.
>> My life is imperfectly perfect.
>> I am guided and supported in all my actions.
>> I release the old and welcome the new.
>> Everything is as it should be.
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