The Many Manifestations of Anxiety
Updated: Jan 2, 2020
When we take a closer look at the feelings we are experiencing, we typically do so to determine how to come up with a solution to make us feel better. Anxiety can complicate this process because it can take the shape of other emotions. For example, sometimes when we are anxious about an upcoming project or event, anxiety takes the form of anger or irritability and we snap at friends or family members for no reason. Other times, anxiety consumes all of our brain space and makes us appear to others as distant, careless, or inattentive.
In any case, we all experience anxiety differently and it can be extremely helpful to learn about how anxiety manifests in you so that you can learn how to manage it!
This graphic, originally by @howamifeeling, is a great representation of how "heady" anxiety can be. Keep in mind - fear, self-consciousness, doubt, and self-criticism are all by-products of anxiety. In times like this remember,
"Feel the feeling, but don't become the emotion. Witness it. Allow it. Release it."
Remembering this simple phrase can help you from being consumed by your anxiety. Notice how your mind feels, notice how your body feels - just acknowledging the feeling will help you release it!
Anxiety can also affect us physically through lack of sleep, body aches, hair picking, and nail biting - just to name a few. Mindfulness can really help bring you back to your body and the present moment. Practice breathing techniques, grounding techniques, or find a sleep meditation podcast to help clear your mind, help you relax, or have awareness over habitual, mindless movements.
If breathing techniques and guided meditations don't seem to help you settle down before bedtime, try doing a visualization. This is a great technique for the visual learners and the imagery-based gardeners in your life!
Sometimes it can feel like those of us with anxiety and stress disorders are fighting a losing battle, but know that practicing awareness over your body, acknowledging the fear, doubt, and judgement, and choosing to let it go - those are signs of an emotionally aware person. Perfection is never the end goal, it's all about progress - every little step counts! So always remember, gardeners, #PullYourWeeds, because the future is BRIGHT!!