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  • iaindryden1

Anxious? it's normal....

Returning from the loo at 2am, a recent encounter kept me awake and sleep only returned once I understood the process turning my mind into a whirlwind. We get stuck in engrossing thoughts spinning from dynamic moments, we pick the incident apart from various vantages; we damn ourselves for doing so and this increases the flow of stress-chemicals. Spiralling off in a peak of near-madness, we feel worse and worse.

For months we’ve been compliant at every level with these people, but in reaction to our generosity, on their first opportunity to be considerate of us they thought only of themselves and took advantage without consulting us. I worried, had I handled my reaction to their entitlement badly? What would now be the ramifications? Bothered, I explored every angle, tossing and turning for over an hour. I rose, did gentle exercises which normally do the trick, but no. Half an hour later, up again, walking the house, confused to be in such turmoil.

We are all anxious at one level, it is a natural process which helps us understand and move through the world. What makes us most anxious are things we assume we can’t control. We get bogged down about being pushed about by forces bigger than ourselves, by others, by being the underdog; then there’s our mistakes that we’re afraid will bounce back and bite us. That’s the basic, but it gets more complex and these mad thoughts attack our self image, we feel incompetent.

Then it dawned on me. I’d felt imposed upon, I’d made the mistake of reacting to the other’s ‘superior’ attitude and blatancy by compromising. Unless I put it straight immediately they’d continue to behave in a similar fashion ad infinitum, I’d respond in the morning. That sorted the anxiety gnawing at me.

But those chemicals and emotions kept bubbling about. Then I remembered the system I developed to help myself cope with bad health, (outlined in my two recent books) A potent way to slip aside from anxiety is to immerse your attention in the senses, absorbing sound, relishing touch, scanning smell, enjoying light, gently catching yourself when thought and emotion take you away, for it is helpful to return from the crazy mind to the calmness of the brain/body interface.

It took a while to calm my wild horses, to entice them to run in the same direction and then sleep took me. Whee. It helps if we do such attention shifting exercise regularly and so I do so upon waking each morning. I breathe deeply, feeling oxygen enter my body; I hold it in, relishing the lightness; I relax as I slowly breathe out. (If interested, here’s the link to the exercise - )

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