Every day anxiety——- not anxiety every day

There are so many things that can make us anxious. These days, the world is in a buzz about the Corona virus, but when that is over, there will be something else, shootings, terrorism, traffic accidents… In fact, all those things are already a threat while the Corona virus is also happening. Each person probably knows their level of anxiety around the world and is managing it, more or less. Every day anxiety in our world today is normal, but we don’t want to regularly feel anxious. In this post, I want us to work on balancing the anxiety producing things with things that make us feel good.

Think of something going on that makes you feel good. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but I want you to notice where in your body you know you feel good. Maybe your co-worker said they like your shirt. Not a big deal, but can feel good, it can feel like a big deal to your body, and we can use those feelings to balance out the anxiety.

Exercise 1:

First: Write a sentence or two on those anxious feelings. What are you anxious about. You can even start by writing: I am anxious about… or I feel anxious because… Notice whether you feel anxious as you think and write about these things. If so, notice where you feel that anxiety in your body. Write that down too. Just noticing and writing. Take three to five minutes to write this. Afterwards take a deep breath. No need to go back through and read it. On to the next part.

Second: Write about the situation you thought of that made you feel good. What happened? Describe it in detail. How and where did you notice in your body that you felt good when this situation happened? Do you notice that good feeling in your body now? If so, where? Take about ten minutes to write this, describing the situation and your feelings. When you are done, take three deep breaths (from deep in your belly) and then read back through the thing that made you feel good, noticing how you feel in your body.

It is important to balance out our anxious feelings with positive ones that make us feel good. We can do this by noticing our body’s sensations and responses. It’s not just about thinking about happier things and putting our anxiety aside, it is noticing both and noticing in the body where we notice the positive, retraining the body in a way. Writing about it can also evoke those feelings and help our bodies remember to feel good.

Exercise 2:

Make a list of things that help you calm down and not feel anxious. I have a friend who suffers from great anxiety and she gave up all social media for a month. It has been hard for her to navigate certain things, but seeing her, the difference is astounding. She seems calmer, her presence is calmer. In being with her for a few moments, I was able to note she was not as anxious, so I asked her and sure enough, she reported that she feels less anxious. Maybe on your list is stopping social media for a while or reducing time spent on social media. Maybe it’s eating only plant based foods. Maybe it’s meditating or praying. Maybe it’s making your schedule for the week or the week’s meals ahead of time or making your lunch the night before. maybe it’s walking your dog. What are things that make you less anxious?

Begin your list: I feel stronger in myself when I…..

You don’t even need to mention the word anxious or anxiety. Just write ways you feel good in yourself. And write about how you will do these things? When? How will you fit them into your life?

Thank you for writing with us today- and thank you for writing about you.

Thank yourself for writing today.

If you like writing about you and working on strengthening mental health through writing, please sign up for the blog and we’ll see you every Tuesday.

Best,

Liza

Published by lizawolfffrancis

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Poetic Routes, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (2015, Swimming with Elephant Publications), which is a collection of poems about the Mexico- U.S. border. She loves breakfast food, popcorn and dark chocolate.

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