Self-acceptance and self-love can help calm your anxiety.
I have a problem with the word “self-love.” I don’t know. It just sounds gushy and weird. I know it’s simple: to nurture and treat yourself with kindness and affection.
Anxiety is a rough feeling. When I feel anxious, I see it as the No. 1 most annoying thing in my life. After all, what is the point in worrying and feeling nervous when you don’t have any control over outcomes anyway? Ugh! Yet, we often feel this way.
When I feel anxious, it’s bizarre. It’s usually not about what’s going on in my life. It starts with a burning sensation in my face, a terrible feeling and a disinterest in things I love, like binge-watching Better Call Saul on Netflix. When I don’t want to tune in to Netflix, I know something big is brewing. Then it progresses to a bad feeling inside and nervousness.
I have learned that a major way to counter anxiety is to focus on self-acceptance and self-nurturing. Here are some ways to do this:
- Accept yourself as you are. People are built the way they are built. I love this article in The New York Times that my therapist gave me, about how anxiety genes have been identified. They probably served a good purpose during evolution. On a Saturday when you are trying to get laundry done, ehhhh, not so much.
- Nurture yourself more during these times, through action and positive self-talk. When you start feeling bad, it is easy to mentally beat up on yourself with stuff like, “What the h*&&! Why am I nervous about _________. I know it is going to work out. WTF.” Instead of that, treat yourself better by telling yourself, “Looks like you are having a difficult time. It makes sense because there is a lot going on in your life. That’s just who you are. You will be fine. This uneasiness is temporary.”
- Go easy on yourself for slip-ups or mistakes. When someone is having anxiety, their mind will be pre-occupied, so they may lose track of things like keys and important dates. Try to keep organized and if you mess up, be kind to yourself. Buy yourself a pretty pink flower or do your nails on nights where you might have “dropped the ball” a little. Pretend you are your best friend, because you are.
- Talk about it with others. If you have supportive friends, colleagues, mentors, a 12-step group, or a clinician that understands anxiety, it is good to share. Do NOT share with people who don’t understand anxiety because they will look at you like you have lobsters crawling out of your ears. No biggie, I am sure they have something they struggle with at times.
If your anxiety is bad enough to keep you from sleeping, or if you are having major difficulties in your daily life, you need to consult with a licensed professional and/or your doctor. However, the above advice is to be used along with an already engaged treatment plan, or if your anxiety isn’t so bad that it is making you depressed.
Anxiety isn’t all bad. It usually helps us to pay attention to powerful things going on in our life. Sometimes, we ignore important feelings and they are telling us RED LIGHT, RED LIGHT. However, sometimes anxiety is just there. It is only helpful and useful to do the above things while you are struggling. It is my hope that you can find peace in the midst of your anxiety. Thanks for checking in.
Tell us about how you have dealt successfully with your anxiety in the comments section.
And, as always, take care.
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