[Tweet “‘Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.’ Haruki Murakami”]
A lot of the anxiety we suffer is self-inflicted. We think anxious thoughts. We look into the future and run scary movies in our head or we drift into the past and are full of regrets and hurts.
It’s not really the things which happen to us that cause our anxiety, but our own response to them. No one can make you fearful or anxious without your permission. You have to allow that to happen.
Make a decision to deal with life’s ups and downs as and when they happen. Make an assumption that some bad stuff will happen alongside the good stuff. But, whatever happens, also make the assumption that you will be able to cope with it and deal with whatever. You got through this far, didn’t you? Doesn’t that make you a survivor?
[Tweet “‘You can live your life or relive your life but you can’t do both at the same time.’ Pat Williams”]
The essence of mindfulness is the ability to direct and hold your attention where you want it to go. Focused attention on something happening right this moment stops you drifting back into the past or off into a future which might be filled with all kinds of scary thought.
What is happening now is, after all, the only reality.
Everything else is in your imagination. If you are constantly rehashing the past, digging it up and raking it over, it’s a bit like picking at an old wound and not allowing it to heal.
Accept mistakes were made, take wisdom and learning from the past and learn to live your life in the here and now to avoid unnecessary anxiety. All the famous quotes about anxiety essentially say the same thing. Deal with it and move on.
[Tweet “‘I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.’ Bill Cosby”]
As they say, you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
Simply by accepting that some of what you say or do may cause a negative reaction in other people is a simple wisdom. The only way to avoid criticism is to say nothing, do nothing and be nothing.
Don’t be confined and imprisoned by fear or let anxiety prevent you from taking action. bite that bullet. Feel the fear. Accept the fear. Embrace the fear.
Then do what you intended to do anyway!
[Tweet “‘Enjoy the little things. You may look back and realise they were big things.’ Robert Brault”]
Anxiety can stop us being aware of the good things that are all around us every day.
Anxious thoughts constantly distract our attention. It’s a bit like trying to enjoy a picnic on a sunny day whilst having to bat away a dozen buzzing bluebottles!
Take some time to stop and smell the roses. Take time to really enjoy that cup of coffee in the morning. When your head is full of scary and anxious thoughts, it’s impossible to focus on, and enjoy, the here and now.
Learn to savour good experiences and tell the anxious thoughts to simply ‘buzz off’. Let them go and wreck someone else’s picnic!
Your picnic, your choice. Your thoughts, your choice. It’s your life and your choice to let anxiety rob you of happy moments, or not.
[Tweet “‘Want to test your memory? Try to recall what you were worrying about 1 year ago.’ Joseph Cossman”]
The philosophical cure for insomnia is the simple understanding that if your worries are keeping you awake at night, you are taking yourself way too seriously.
Most of our anxieties are created by worrying thoughts which run around and around in our heads seemingly outside of our control. Most of our anxiety is created by thoughts about things that never actually happen.
All this worry just clutters up your mind and drains your energy. Worry eats serotonin. Serotonin is your feel-good hormone.
To keep serotonin levels high, avoid losing sleep unnecessarily.
Avoid losing sleep by making a list of all your worries and anxieties before you go to bed and resolve to take action the next day on anything which needs action. Everything else can just drift on by.
[Tweet “‘That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.’ Friedrich Nietsche”]
This is one of the best known quotes about anxiety. Everyone’s heard of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but have you ever heard of post traumatic growth?
Post trauma growth is the understanding that, when you have to dig deep to work through a crisis, problem or trauma, you have to grow and expand in some way. You learn new skills in handling life and those skills will make you stronger when the next obstacle comes your way, as it inevitably will.
Life is like a series of mountains and valleys. Sometimes you’re at the bottom of a mountain looking up and at other times, you’re on top of the world looking down.
It’s the unwritten rule of life. Stuff happens!
Some things will feel good and some will feel bad. It’s all part of the journey. You will find your way through by staying calm and using all the wonderful resources and problem solving skills you are lucky enough to have access to as a big-brained human being.
[Tweet “‘It’s not whether you get knocked down but whether you get up again.’ Vince Lombardi”]
So, it comes right back to the ‘pain is inevitable and suffering optional’ quote.
Accept it. Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. Anxiety will never actually make things better. It will simply cloud your mind, rob you of well deserved sleep, make you tired and lead to bad decisions.
If you get knocked down by life, stand up taller. Remember the old advert ‘Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down?’
Learn to tap into your internal weeble.Ok, you might wobble a bit from time to time. But don’t allow fear and anxiety to stop you bouncing right back at life.