Probably one of my biggest flaws is how highly strung and anxious I am. I have absolutely, positively zero chill. It doesn’t take much to get my stomach in knots and my knees a’ knocking. And the worst thing is, my anxiety rears it’s ugly little head in such absurdly normal situations. Like trying to sit down on the bus before it starts moving again. Or trying to figure out when to make eye contact with the stranger that I’m walking towards. Or as I’m checking for the billionth time that I haven’t left my keys behind on my dresser.
I’m like a rubber band that’s stretched out so thinly it could snap at any second. Sometimes I swear I look like Quasimodo my shoulders are so hunched under all the tension.
Like the other day just before I was about to leave for church it started raining cats and dogs.
I know I tend to be a little dramatic (especially when it comes to the weather) but I’m not talking a little bit of drizzle here…it was a full on thunderstorm that broke out and I was NOT happy about it.
There are very few things that truly terrify me (that’s a lie, I’m literally scared of my own shadow) but thunderstorms are very definitely one of them. And to make matters worse I was driving, in the rain, at night, in the hustle and bustle of a big city. This is the stuff that nightmares are made of.
I was flipping out. Shaking like a leaf. Internally screaming. Praying like my life depended on it because with the closeness of the lightening it sure felt like it did.
And where did all of that stressing get me? Absolutely nowhere.
And that’s the thing about anxiety, it’s like a dog biting it’s own tail…going round and round in circles only hurting itself.
I do think anxiety is a good thing in the right time and place. It’s a natural response to fear certain situations and avoid them so we don’t die but anxiety should not be a permanent state of mind.Anxiety should not be a permanent state of mind. We have got to learn to find rest. Click To Tweet
So how does an extremely anxious person find rest?
How do we stop spinning long enough to be still?
Sometimes we just need to pause in the midst of the stress and take a moment to reset. Instead of allowing ourselves to succumb to the negative or fearful thoughts we have to replace them with good ones.
I have found that simple distractions even for a few minutes give my heart the space it needs to be calm once more.
How to find rest if you are anxious all the time:
Say a little prayer
It’s so obvious but for some reason in the midst of my flapping I forget that God is there 24/7 and no amount of thunder and lightening is gonna change that.
God is sovereign. He is in control of it all. Everything will be fine.
Do some stretches
I’m gonna sound like a hippy yoga instructor here for a second, but stretching brings your mind and body back in synch which exactly what we need. It gives you a second to focus on your body instead of the spinning worries cluttering your head.
It also makes you consciously aware of all that tension hunching up your shoulders and helps you to work through it.
Close your eyes and take deep breaths
Pretty much everything in this life is outta our control, even most of our bodily functions…but breathing is an exception. And taking deep breaths is an incredibly effective way of calming yourself down.
I could talk you through the science of it (science major right here 😉 ) but that would probably put you to sleep and that’s not what we are trying to achieve here. Just breathe.
Listen to a peaceful song
Music has this incredible way of lifting my mood. I’ve got a playlist for just about every situation you could think of now but the one I’m most proud of is my new ‘calm down’ playlist.
For those moments where you just need to keep calm and carry on!
Doodle your thoughts
Everyone is always talking about writing out your thoughts and bullet journaling but have you ever tried just doodling? Cause it’s a whole lot of fun let me tell you. Don’t worry if the best you can do is create lopsided stick men and fluffy clouds, there is no judgement here.
Walk around the block
Sometimes you need to literally step away from the situation that is causing you stress. Getting out and walking ought to do the trick. And the best bit is, you can combine walking with any number of these other points (except maybe stretching…I’m far too uncoordinated for that.)
Listen to nature sounds
People always tell you to go to your ‘happy place’ when you need to calm down…well my happy place is the beach. The sound of the ocean crashing on the shore soothes my soul.
Unfortunately, I can’t just run to the nearest beach every time I feel anxious so listening to ocean sounds on my phone is the next best thing.
What nature sound is your favourite? Soft rain falling on the roof? Birds tweeting in the trees?
Read a poem
There is no better distraction than escaping the present moment and diving into a book. Books give us the ability to be in two places at once and I totally dig it. My most recent favourite book of poetry is Milk and Honey which you must read ASAP.
Lately, I’ve also fallen in love with Lang Leav. Her poems are the truest words you will ever read.
So here’s to a new peaceful you. No more stressing and flapping…we are as cool as cucumbers. Nothing is gonna phase us anymore.
Take that anxiety!
Now tell me…
Are you an anxious person?
What calms you down?
P.S. If you liked this post, you might also like: 6 easy steps to overcome overwhelm