Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been reminded several times that a person can’t be both anxious and relaxed at the same time. Think back to a time when you were deeply relaxed. I’m positive there was an absence of anxiety in your body at that time. You probably felt like your body was fluid and life was easy. Maybe your breath was slower and deeper. Now, think back to a time when you felt a lot of anxiety. What did you feel in your body? I’m guessing that you felt like your body was tight and that life was hard. Most likely your breath was more shallow and faster. There was probably an absence of relaxation at that time.
When a person is relaxed, they are working a different part of the nervous system than when you’re anxious. This helps explain why the two won’t be felt at the same time. These two feelings don’t feed on each other, so they won’t co-exist.
The first step to feeling relaxed is awareness.
While I’m not a person that tends towards lots of anxiety, I do have my moments. When they happen, the first step to calming my body back down is to just be aware of what is happening in my life. I try to notice what is creating the anxiety.
Sometimes just doing that is enough to bring me back out of this anxious state. Other times, it’s a bit harder. I have to purposely slow my breath down and think about what I can really control in the situation in that very moment. Maybe there is something that I can do to change my current situation so that it better suits me. Maybe I realize that I can’t change what is happening, but I can work on how I relate to it. Either way, bringing my awareness to the situation can help lead me back to a relaxed state of being.
I’ve been around people who are very anxious much of the time. I would describe them as being wound tight in their thoughts and in their bodies. They don’t seem to be happy when they are like this. However, when these same people are able to relax even just a bit their disposition will change dramatically. Relaxation looks good on them and they’ll feel better too.
Relaxed feels better than anxiety.
So, if relaxation feels better in the body and the mind, why do we let ourselves hang out in a state of anxiety?
Why do we let ourselves get “wound tight” or “worked up” about something?
Which will you choose?
It would seem that we have a bit of a choice. We can choose the path of a relaxed state of being or we can choose the path of anxiety. The first step is to be aware of how you are feeling and then to remember that you have a choice. You can continue on your current path or you can change it.
Just like most of us, I’m still working on this choice. Some days it’s easier than others. Some days I can walk around in a relaxed state all day. Other days not so much. It’s a practice like so many other things in my life. I choose to practice living in a relaxed state. I like it much better there. My body and mind are happier there and I’m much more fun to be around.
What can you do?
Practice being aware of whether you are relaxed or anxious. Practice choosing in which state of being you want to be.
You can also get help. Making this choice & this switch isn’t always easy to do on your own. I’ve got a new online group program starting on March 21st. It’s called 8 WEEKS TO LESS ANXIETY. Check it out & let me know if you have any questions. I’d love to have you join us!
I can’t wait to get started in supporting this new online group & I hope to see you there!
Love & Hugs,