I got some bad news yesterday. Not the “totally bad, no good, terrible” kind of news, but the kind that makes you fret and worry and build scenarios in your mind.
After falling into the worry-meets-anxiety-meets-panic-then-depression kind of mode, I realized I was in a downward spiral which felt so familiar and welcoming, but into the darkness I didn’t want to go. So I tried to pull myself up through whatever means I found.
I wrote down what I felt.
I cried a little.
I watched a movie (not a good idea, since it made me cry a bit more).
I washed the dishes.
I went swimming this morning.
Eventually, somewhere along the way something did make the switch and I found myself feeling slightly better, like this state is somehow falling beneath me and I rise above it.
Fake it till you make it, huh?
So here is a list of things I consciously try to do when I feel anxiety and panic creeping over.
1. Becoming aware of the feeling and staying with it. Not running away or pushing it away, not trying to “force” happiness in.
2. Some form of art (the above was done this morning after some bad sleep, when I saw this inspiring quote on Instagram and decided that it fits). For me, calligraphy art is really easy – I find a nice quote and in 10 minutes max I put it on paper, embellished and coloured and all.
3. Meditating (especially the Headspace pack on Acceptance is awesome)
4. Doing some form of exercise (cleaning the house included).
5. Keeping busy. I delivered a coaching training this morning and I can’t even begin to say how much good it’s done me.
6. Talking with dear ones (especially POSITIVE people!). Consciously asking for encouragement, jokes and upbeat conversation. Definitely NOT staying alone.
7. Watching comedies. Not science fiction dramas.
8. Listening to happy music. This morning, in the car, I was listening to (obviously) Pharrell’s “Happy” and felt felt so far away from the state the song is trying to evoke. First I thought that’s kind of ironic (don’t you think? ) but then I said, you know, maybe it will work in the long run. Which it did.
9. Eating good stuff (and trying not to overdo it ).
10. Some form of kindness and patience towards myself – showing myself that I’m okay and that I have a friend in myself, even if I’m in a lower state.
I think if I try hard enough, I might come up with more ideas..so far these seem to work, even if maybe not all the time.
I’m constantly learning new things about myself and I’m becoming more and more grateful that by understanding, there is so much good, light and love inside that just waits to be unveiled.