Challenges in life are inevitable. How we handle those challenges is what determines our happiness.
Life is HEAVY. We are STRONG.
Life is HEAVY. We are STRONG.
Most of the time, even if it feels like my anxiety comes out of nowhere, I know why it’s there. I have a big event coming up, I have an unresolved issue with a friend, maybe it’s as simple as a full laundry basket that needs to be cleaned. My anxiety makes me feel lonely. I isolate myself and feel unfriendly and irritable. I lose my power to this tight feeling in my chest and the butterflies in my belly. I let a feeling take over my mind.
How do I overpower anxiety? When it feels all consuming, it’s easy to hide under a blanket, give up on the day, vow to try again tomorrow. But I don’t have to feel this way. I don’t have to bow down to my emotions, my emotions bow down to me. I’m the boss, and I’d rather be happy.
I’m writing this post as a coping method to my current anxiety. Since I started writing, I already feel my breathing has relaxed. My jaw is unclenching and I feel the light of the sun hitting me as a cool breeze sends my hair waving. I feel vulnerable to the freedom of the day. Open again to the beauty that surrounds me. My blinders come off as soon as I’m able to take that control back. Welcoming refreshment, exhaling what’s bitter.
I suddenly have a lot on my plate. Forced out of my home by the dangerous crime scenes that have taken over my city. I thought I could stay. I thought I put aside this decision, squashed my anxiety by choosing to stay and fight for a cleaner, safer city. That decision was made only 4 days before an incident occurred that threatened my safety. If I’m being smart, I know I need to leave.
I’m not leaving for work, I’m not leaving for pleasure. I’m moving from my home, my community, my routine and the life I’ve spent the past few years building for myself because it is no longer safe for me to stay. I have to decide where I want to go. Find a new apartment, and go through all the steps of relocating my life and my dog’s life. My anxiety at this current moment is valid. I understand it and I leave room in my heart to be soft on its presence. However, I know I can navigate through this move with an excited attitude and positive mindset. I know I can make life easier for myself than it feels right now.
Taking care of that laundry, having that needed conversation with a friend, tying up those unsettled pieces is always a good place to start. Triggering endorphins through exercise, maybe a satisfying meal, even reconnecting with an old friend can be good strategies to refocus with. Practicing smiling, offering out compliments to strangers, opening doors and other gestures without expectations from others bring me back to a healthy balance. Remind me what matters. It doesn’t matter where I go, how much work is thrown at me, or even that I had a traumatic scare a couple days ago. My mood is operated by my mind. I have the tools to adjust my settings when I’m entering breakdown mode. Restart and refresh.
I am capable of as much as I deem possible. My ability to create and exude happiness is my protection. How lucky I am to have already learned how to carry happiness inside of me, instead of pull it from outside variables. The security that comes from relying on nothing and no one but myself. My anxiety is just a piece of life that keeps me strong. Humbles me and reminds me that I don’t have a happy life because my life is easy, I have a happy life because I work for one. I’m not a superhero. I don’t have magical healing powers other than my own will to heal. My desire to be strong. My knowledge that I will always carry the cape that saves me and it will always fit when I’m ready to put it on.
Lindsay Greenberg, providing perspective on how to live a magical life.