I would like to bring you all back to anxiety for a brief moment. A colleague of mine wrote this post for me a while ago and I think it might assist those of you who experience anxiety. Mick provides a simple place from which to begin managing your anxiety – mindfulness. Have a read and see what you think. If you feel you may benefit from learning how to observe your anxiety, please make contact with your mental health professional.
What’s your lived experience of anxiety? What’s your relationship to it? If it were an animal, a colour, a flavor, what form would it take? Is it something that seems like a normal part of your life?
Anxiety is a condition that increasingly affects people and communities globally. While it can be healthy in small amounts it often reaches levels in contemporary life that can have a debilitating effect on an individual’s psychological, spiritual and physical wellbeing. The effect of collective anxiety on communities can also be profound in the wake of significant events.
There are many diverse strategies for managing anxiety and different things may work for different people. In that moment however of a racing pulse rate, inability to focus, a short fuse or lying awake in the middle of the night how do you go about applying a strategy? For example have you had the experience of successfully activating breathing techniques to reduce your symptoms? Have you been too overwhelmed in the moment to manage the anxiety? Have you ever had that thought “Well these tips all seem good in theory but….’
The simple act of observing what is going on in your body is a good place to start. Learning to become curious about the subtle and obvious characteristics of your own anxiety can open up a space in which you can really make a choice about how you want to experience that anxious moment. From there you can explore different strategies but it begins with curiosity. Not always easy. It can be hard to look that beast in the eye sometimes. But there are ways you can learn to be curious without getting caught up in the maelstrom.
Underneath curiosity lays motivation. Is anxiety something you can live with whatever its degree? Does anxiety provide other benefits that you feel might disappear if you conquer it? Is anxiety affecting your relationships with other people? Some of these questions may appear simple however like a sad song, they can suddenly make complete sense when the time is right.
So as best you can try not to see anxiety as an enemy to be resisted (resistance may sap what little energy you have left!). Before the strategies…observe it, understand it and then make a decision on how you want to live with or manage it.
Mick Sheedy. Counsellor (Bach.App.Soc.Sci. Counselling) (QCA)
Hi, my name is Mick and I recently moved to Clunes from Brisbane with my wife and our boxer dog. We chose to live in Clunes because we like the sense of community and the natural beauty/serenity. I am a counsellor and my most recent work has been in assisting carers of all ages to manage their mental health. A carer is someone who cares for another person living with a mental illness, physical or intellectual impairment. I am now available for counselling from a peaceful and private location in Clunes. Tel: 0478 086340 email: firstname.lastname@example.org