Does Your Anxiety Benefit You?

Let's talk about anxiety. Let's talk about you and me. Let's talk about all the good things and the bad things that we see.

Okay I'm done. 

But really, I probably choose a topic because it directly affects my life/has in the past. And here we are with this one. 

I come from a long line of familial depression/anxiety and I know how real mental illness is. However, there are some things that have helped me along the way to deal with the anxiety that I'm presented with at times. 

First off, anxiety definitely comes in waves and seasons. There are times when you're like "Heck yes-life is cruising-things are great" and then all of a sudden "BOOM!" and there are tears rolling down your face and you are like "Wait when did this happen?" HAHA! I also never want this blog to seem like a joke as this is a very real issue for people, but I also want to keep it light here folks ;)

I always ALWAYS come back to the question that is in the title. Does my anxiety right now benefit me? What is the cause? What is the reason for it? What am I genuinely anxious about? What is the worst case scenario in this situation?

I have journaled A LOT in my past with anxiety. It's not something that I struggle with like I used to, but I'd be a dang liar if I acted like it didn't creep up it's ugly head here and there. When I would journal, I would take these questions that I mentioned above, and I would write out answers to them. I know that you may think that you can just think about them or even think it's dumb in general but I PROMISE that it helps. Visualizing things on paper helps us to process them, and so that it why I say WRITE IT DOWN. When girls are struggling with motivation-WRITE IT DOWN! You'll see when you do it just one time that it provides so much benefit. 

So, I want to give an example. I have an ironman in 15 weeks, and when I was like 17-20 weeks out, I was not training the way that I should have been. I had some little tweeks of pain here and there that came up that I knew I just needed to rest them instead of pushing it which is what I did and then they went away (holla). During this time, I was a bit anxious that I was supposed to be taking my body across 140.6 miles in the coming weeks and not doing as much as I thought I should be. 

Here's what I went through with this in my head. Does this anxiety benefit me? Nope. Still can't do the training I want to. What is the actual reason that I'm anxious? Well I'm more upset that I wanted this training to go flawlessly but that's just not life. What is the actual fear that is associated with this anxiety? Uhh....that I'll croak out on race day? What is the worst case scenario? I don't finish. Is that the end of my life? No. What can I do THIS moment to make this better? Train what I can.

Okay, let's move on then. After that point, I say "Okay the worst case scenario would be pretty sucky but it would not be the end of my life so we move on. There is no longer utility in letting that take space in my thoughts." 

Is this making sense? Also, with the ironman, I know that if I just keep putting one foot in front of the other I will finish. I know that people have done crazier things, and trained less than me and still made it to the finish so for my example specifically, I knew that I would be fine. 

We create these MOUNTAINS in our brains. The biggest thing goes back to the title question "Does your anxiety benefit you?" We all know the answer is no, but how can you flip that so that it does benefit you? If you are anxious about something, do not think about the entire picture. It's too big for you right now. What is your next move? What is the next thing that you can do moving forward that will work towards the goal or whatever it is that you are anxious about? 

Let's take weight loss for example. The food that you are eating at lunch today and the decision that you make with that will determine your progress moving forward. Most of the time if you are anxious about this you think to yourself "Uhhh I'm never going to be able to eat XYZ again in order to lose this weight. Uhhhh I have so much to lose, this is going to be such a long journey." You get yourself so worked up that you DREAD what you have planned and it becomes this huge issue. Girl, slow ya roll and take it back a step. Stop thinking about the future and the mountain. Take the one next step on the hike, and before you know it, you'll be at the top of the mountain. 

Sooooo, anxiety is not that easy. #AMIRIGHT? I know that. Believe me, I know that. And that's where this releasing of the mind comes in. If I have one thing that has changed my life, it's the ability to do this. Once I go through my questions, that topic is done. Forgotten. Moving on. If it's something that presents itself on a routine basis (I say that in relation to like weight loss and food and meals), then it's something that you have to learn to navigate well. But the thoughts in between meals are something that you can release yourself from. If it's something for me like the fact that I have work to do and I'm in a situation where I can't get to my email for my clients (yea I'm neurotic about it and working on that flaw lol), then I just let it go. There's absolutely NOTHING that can be done therefore it's so dang silly to continue to worry about it. You get all jacked up for nothing, and for me in the past, it affected me in those moments. I was rude to Tanner for no reason just because I was strung out on an issue that had nothing to do with him. 

How do you do this releasing of the mind? Purposely think of something else. Write down your to-do list. Busy yourself with your work. Go for a run and think about the music playing. What is something that I can learn about today? Do I have a book I'm wanting to maybe take 10 minutes for? Fixate your brain on other things.

Lastly, anxiety likes to hide in the dark. It also makes you want to stay in the dark and not hang out with people and that's the exact opposite of what you want to do. You want to get that junk out of your thoughts, and the best way to do that is with friends!! :) Surround yourself with people and the people that you love and just have a great time and you'll be so shocked how quickly you forget everything going on! <3

The one and only thing that anxiety does for you is cause you stress. It never moves the situation. It never creates a better environment in your head. It just simply stresses you out. Therefore, it needs to go. 

So, your anxiety is gone now right? haha! I know this isn't a cure, but these are little things that have helped me talk myself through all of this long ago! :) Let me know if you have any tips that have helped you!! 

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