We’ve all experienced it. Something comes up to throw us off track, fill us with anxiety, disappointment, frustration, or trigger us to completely “lose our shit.” When things eventually smooth out and we realize that we are fine and still breathing, we sometimes wonder why we freaked out in the first place. Over time I’ve learned to ask myself a few questions that keep me from going into a panic.
Worry and anxiety drain our energy. Our precious attention is spent on imagining the worst outcomes, and it causes us to feel exhausted and defeated. On a physical level, adrenaline is produced and has nowhere to go, so it send us into a tailspin until it totally drains our nerves.
The good news is that we don’t have to go there. We don’t have to waste all that energy that could be harnessed to charge our creative power. Adrenaline can be a positive thing if utilized properly. It can propel us into action. I know I’m not the only one that has been totally anxious (or angry) and in a frenzy cleaned more of my house in ten minutes than I usually can get done in a whole week.
Now I ask myself any or all of these 5 questions, and it allows me to take a deep breath and move in the direction of trust, creativity, and allowing, rather than the panic I described above:
- What if this is actually happening FOR me, not against me?
- What if I allow this to be a necessary step in my my grand plan for world domination? (hey, humor helps, and pretending to choose the situation feels empowering)
- What if this eventually turns out even better than I could have imagined or planned?
- What can I do to make the best of this situation in the meantime?
- Am I willing to take a few deep breaths, release judgement of the situation (and everyone involved) and trust that all is well and everything will be okay?
I swear by these questions! When I sense myself “going there” and about to be worried, scared, pissed, or totally bummed out, I take a deep breath and I just start asking any of the above questions. It really helps, and then I can actually begin to see the opportunities in the situation.
Number 4 is a crucial one. Sometimes I can’t talk myself out of a freakout, and I simply need to keep busy until things smooth out. Doing something physical is my favorite, because it literally releases the adrenaline produced by our fearful thoughts that send us into fight or flight mode. Deep breathing, a walk, or if you are stuck where you are, simply pumping your fist open and closed, or flexing and pointing your feet can activate the lymphatic system to release adrenaline and allow our blood (and energy) to circulate freely. This allows our bodies and minds to calm down.
Ultimately, this is a lesson in trust and patience, otherwise known as faith. We can learn from our triggers and use them to our advantage.
So, next time you are about to go crazy and “lose your shit,” pause and ask yourself the above questions, for your sanity and the wellbeing of those who have to live with you.
I believe in you. You can do this. May your days be filled with peace!