A post popped up on my Facebook memories a couple of weeks ago reminding me of a trip I took 14 years ago to the Dominican Republic.
It’s so strange to look back at the picture and remember how anxious I was and how much I loved the trip at the same time.
Things have come full circle for me and they can for you too and it doesn’t have to take 14 years!
When you are anxious, it’s natural to want it to go away NOW.
You might try to fight off or out-think anxiety.
Maybe you have a plan to follow but you feel too scared and defeated to believe it will work.
Or maybe recovery isn’t happening fast enough so you feel frustrate and give up.
It is normal to feel scared and even defeated at times as you’re learning to recover.
I did it too.
What needs to happen instead is for you to develop the belief that you CAN recover without putting a timeline on how long it will take or what it will look like.
Recovery isn’t a gentle slide down a hill, its more like the stock market.
There are ups and downs. You can feel incredible for a month then rotten for a couple of days.
Feeling stressed out and anxious isn’t a problem, but another chance to practice your resilience and grow your confidence in your ability to move forward.
Each time you commit to who you want to become when you’re not anxious and stick to the plan, you create changes in your brain that move you forward.
You start to notice more good days and fewer anxious days and it doesn’t take long!
After 21 days of intentional change, your brain has started to rewire itself.
After 63 days you have created new habits and neural pathways that are faster, easier, and that have become new habits!
But in six months… you’re wondering what happened and who this energetic and confident person in the mirror is. (HELLO BEAUTIFUL!)
This is how I’ve seen it happen in my own life and in the lives of the people I coach. Time is irrelevant because the change isn’t a pinpoint moment.
It's a process of growth and understanding yourself and your power to NOT feel anxious.
This is what that process looks like.
1. Commit to change. Anxiety is a biological response, but it is also a habit.
Your brain will run on autopilot all day long if you don’t check it. It wants familiarity and routines and it will default to things that keep you stuck, even when you want to change your habits.
You will have to be intentional and willing to do things that feel scary or bad.
This is simple, powerful and also uncomfortable.
Think of this like quitting smoking.
You decide to quit.
Every time you have the urge to check (smoke),
to ask for reassurance (get stressed out),
to Google (are around someone else who is smoking),
to believe the thoughts (to think just one won’t matter),
or to make your feelings mean something more (or to give up and buy a pack),
you decide again to quit!
2. Get familiar with how anxiety feels in your body.
You can do this by keeping a calendar journal of your symptoms.
Write and describe your anxious symptoms and thoughts every night before bed.
Begin looking for patterns to prove yourself right or wrong.
Remember that you have felt anxious before and you’re still alive!
You are your own best proof of the truth.
3. Choose to do nothing or to change your normal response to feeling anxious.
When you’re anxious, let the feelings be in your body and roll your eyes at the thoughts.
Yes, they are loud and feel true but you are able to intentionally move on by doing what you planned to do before you felt anxious.
The urge to check and believe your thoughts won’t go away over night.
Go back to the idea of quitting smoking. The urge for a cigarette feels overwhelming and uncontrollable at first. However, when you choose to quit, you intentionally to do something else instead. You create a new response to the cravings.
The more you practice letting the feelings be there and go away, the faster they go away.
The more you learn to ignore the anxious thoughts and find truth in your own body, the less intense and the less frequently you’ll notice the thoughts.
4. Find Support
You have the information you need to recover, but having someone to help support you is critical.
Support moves you forward faster and easier.
Support bring more growth and fewer anxious days.
As your coach, I walk with you through the ups and down of recovery. I help you come up with steps that feel challenging but doable as you create new thoughts and responses that give you hope and motivation to do the things that scare you.
When you hit a dip in the process, I help redirect your intention to why you’re doing the hard stuff - and of course, I get to celebrate like crazy with you when you succeed!
Anxiety doesn’t only take over a single part of your life, *|FNAME|*. It sneaks into the nooks and crannies. When you decide to feel good by changing how you respond when you’re anxious, everything changes for the better!
You won’t only notice that you’re less afraid to do what triggers you,
you’ll also see changes in how you relate to your friends and family, you’ll find yourself having more fun, sleeping better, and having more fun.
I guarantee one day you’ll wake up and wonder when you recovered and how it happened.
Anxiety recovery is a process that happens over and over until it’s a habit that you don’t think about anymore.