There has been a lot going on in Dove Lane this week – mainly on the work front. I am ghostwriting a book at the moment and have also been writing articles for various magazines. It is all challenging and exciting stuff and certainly keeps my brain active. I love what I do and consider myself very lucky. That said, the world keeps turning and all the other aspects of life need my attention from time to time.
Here’s the thing – I listen to and follow so much advice from my various favourite lifestyle gurus – you know, the ones who speak calmly at us through our headphones and lead us to believe that we only have to meditate every day, visualise our dreams and stay in a good calm place to have the world sussed out, that I find myself questioning why some days I don’t feel better than I do. I have always been one to worry a bit about things although I have perfected the art of putting on a brave face, and there are still days when I wake up feeling quite fearful.
On these such days out come the oil burners, the ‘spiritual fitness’ (soothing) music goes on and the pack of Angel cards are both thoroughly shuffled and read for inspiration and reassurance. I may even consume the healthiest breakfast I can manage, overflowing with the juiciest blueberries and sprinkled with turmeric powder. Antioxidants and super foods are the way of course. Often too I head for the woods to commune with nature. Being outside always helps, and worries and cares never seem so overpowering. So then I face the day with renewed optimism. Probably for ten minutes. Then I remember I have to send a recorded voice message to a client which I rehearse to be sure it sounds professional. I send said message. So why do I sound like the Queen on a bad day? Where has my normal voice escaped to? Why does nervousness, when it takes over, alter all our regular actions and allow them to be feeble or peculiar, or even frankly, embarrassing. (Anyone who has experienced the jerky/shaky head movements can probably sympathise with me here). Okay. Time for a reality check, or actually, maybe an UN – reality check, for what is real and what is imagined here? I realise I am looking too far ahead, visualising all the things that could go wrong but probably won’t. I have lost my perspective and even my gratitude. Gratitude for the day I have been given, and which I am wasting with negative thinking.
One thing I am now teaching myself is to be present. Be where I am and not where my anxiety wants to take me. I remind myself that an anxious mind is actually a strong mind, as anyone who has tried to rationalise themselves out of being anxious will tell you. Anxiety exists in all of us at times – we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t experience it occasionally, and of course, it is primarily there to keep us out of danger and to strengthen us if we harness it in the right way. But of course, being on high alert all the time is not good for us, and can become obtrusive. So I remind myself I can be bigger than the anxiety; stronger and more resilient. I won’t fight anxious thoughts but tell myself I have no need for them today. I am comfortable and safe and I am okay. If I accept I am sometimes anxious it doesn’t have such a grip on me and it loses energy.
We can read all the information we can get our hands on. Some days it helps and we find a nugget of wisdom that really shines like a beacon and has a profound effect, other days not so much. Maybe those are the days we should watch a ‘feelgood’ film or eat a box of chocolates – well okay, maybe not a whole box. But at least there is lot of help out there if we embrace it. And there is one thing I urge you to think about if you suffer from anxiety: you are not alone. The ‘self-help’ industry is huge. There are gurus everywhere – we could probably each have our own personal one there are so many, – so remember, many of us are searching for help and many of us want to use our own experiences to help others. There is always room for a new way of looking at things, and new ideas. Techniques we laughed at yesterday could be the most beneficial and accepted way of helping us tomorrow.
Talking about laughter, humour is the best way for me in dealing with anxious situations. It’s not easy to be funny or feel amused on demand but trying to look on the funny side helps. I always think saying we should love ourselves sounds particularly cheesy, but if we do, then we can look upon a bit of laughter as a good way of healing, and not beating ourselves up when we feel low. Laughter scares depression and activates happy feelings, and we as humans are wired to respond positively to laughter and smiles. So there we can tell ourselves that we are at least helping others if we wear a smile.
So next time I hear myself sounding like Her Majesty I will smile and make the most of it. By doing that I will probably relax and return to being my normal self too!
Below is a rather random sketch of mine. Here for no other reason than to make you smile (I like him anyway!)
A Jaunty Fellow to Cheer You…..