Finding normality – a route out of anxiety. I have had bouts of anxiety throughout my life but actually knowing it is happening to me is often more scary than not knowing; I am actually watching myself walk over the abyss. It is a matter of believing in myself that I can turn around.
When I feel like I am losing grip on my life and lacking the capacity to engage in a normal constructive and positive way, I find myself taking the easy option and retreating. When my marriage ended it took counselling to rebuild my confidence to step back out. It was a mental challenge and lonely at first. I was going through the motions, before I had the self confidence to just do it.
And it is happening again. That sense of not engaging with life because it is easier than confronting it. When I learned about my mind taking fight or flight, I understood my mind was protecting me from my negativity, the fear of failure. I have done so much in my life to be in a normal state – I exercise twice a week, I eat well, I have a stimulating, stretching job, a steady marriage and son. The mind is capable of interpreting any of these in a fearful way – the inner critic (mine is myself but it can be someone else) – which then overflows on to those relationships.
I now understand the importance of being in a state of rest and digest. There are other actions I am focusing on – breathing exercises (box breathing) and meditation. The hardest challenge for me is positive self talk. Learning to use logic language to counter harmful thoughts. The drift into anxiety through negative self talk is something I am fully conscious of to the point of knowing what is happening to me but being in that state that I am actually working with it rather than against it.
I have tried apps but ultimately I am my own master here. Apps are a prop not the answer. It is about teaching myself to be mentally in control; this is a long term challenge – I do not have it and I know it will take time and mental effort to change my natural thought pattern. That I understood is to find normality, find my route out of anxiety.