Which do you choose?
I seem to keep flipping from anxious to relaxed & back to anxious. This has been a pattern for the last few weeks. I know it has to do with the current pandemic. I also know that I’m not alone in this. Neither of those two thoughts are stopping this cycle that I’m in. Normally, I’m not an overly anxious person & comparatively speaking, I’m probably still not that anxious. But, I feel it more now than I normally do.
With this in mind, I remembered that I can’t be anxious and relaxed at the same time. These two states of being are opposites of each other. If you don’t believe me, try it out for yourself. Next time you’re anxious, check in with your body. Notice if you feel relaxed. The answer is going to be no. You aren’t going to be experiencing the two feelings at the same time.
How I feel anxiety
When I’m feeling anxious, I notice tension in my body. Lately, it’s been showing up in the form of tight muscles. It can be in my jaw, my hips, my shoulders or neck. Sometimes, it’s in multiple spots. Sometimes, it’s also just an overall tightness that I experience. I can feel it throughout my body as if my body is just holding on & it has to hold on even tighter to protect me or keep me safe. As it always does, my body is mirroring my current reality.
I’m always interested in the connection between my body & my life. This is showing up in my body right now because that’s what it feels like I’m actually doing every day. I’m just holding on and waiting to see what will happen next. This waiting & waiting & not being certain of what is going to happen next takes a toll on me. I can’t plan & I can’t see the path forward very clearly. So, I’m holding on tightly to the things that I can shift or control.
I’m not alone.
I know that I’m not the only one who is feeling these things. I’ve spoken with enough people recently to understand that this is something that many people are feeling. My clients express this in many different ways but they are talking about feeling anxiety in their lives right now.
That’s comforting in a way. I know that I ‘m not alone. But, it’s also not comforting because it means that so many people are in this state of limbo right now.
This isn’t a helpful place to be. You can’t go forward & you can’t go backward. You just wait to see what will happen next & how you can adjust things to meet these new demands. This anxious state lives in your body, but you don’t have to let it run your life.
This is the state of anxiety that so many of us are in, and let’s be honest here. This is a collective trauma that we are all experiencing in one way or another. Some of you have gotten sick with Covid-19. Some of you have temporarily lost a job or your income. Some of you have lost a loved one and find that you can’t even mourn in the normal way because of current circumstances. These are all forms of trauma that we are experiencing in our bodies. They are creating this anxious state that we are just hanging out in. This anxiety and collective trauma will leave an imprint on you just as it is leaving it’s imprint on me.
Anxious or relaxed?
So, as I started out saying, you can’t be anxious & relaxed at the same time.
I find that moments of deep relaxation are sustaining me right now. They make it possible for me to let go of the anxiety for a short period and let my body heal and rest. It’s this healing and resting that will help me to focus and figure out what my next steps will be.
We’re currently experiencing a pause in our normal lives. I’m allowing this pause to show up in my daily life as well. I find that I’m giving myself permission to push just a little bit less. I’m doing fewer things, noticing what I really want to continue doing & what I want to let go of for right now.
A different rhythm to my life is developing. I not sure yet if I’ll like this rhythm more than the last, but I’m starting to sit with this new state of being a bit more. I’m finding new ways to be more relaxed or even getting reacquainted with old ways or relaxing. I’m cooking & baking more than I have in a long time. I’ve also gone back to hobbies that haven’t been top on my lists for a very long time. I’ve found a few moments here & there to just sit & be.
It’s in these moments of relaxation that I find that I am able to accept my current reality. When I’m more anxious, I’m resisting and pushing away what is actually happening. That resistance is actually part of what is creating my anxiety. It’s a loop that I can only interrupt when I step back, relax and find acceptance.
Resisting change just makes it harder on myself. Having much of my daily life shut down or shifted is a huge change. I’ve tried resistance. It’s not getting me anywhere and it doesn’t feel very good either.
So, I’m aiming to be on the other end of the spectrum this week. More relaxation. Less anxiety. More acceptance. More willingness to change and go with what is instead of wishing for would could have been. It’s not always going to be easy. There will be times when I resist more than I accept. Nevertheless, I keep trying and that’s really all any of us can do.
If you need some help with the anxiety that is showing up in your life contact me. We can do 30, 60 or 90 minute sessions to help you find the acceptance that will lead you to a less anxious state of being.
Stay healthy & safe!