Overcoming Anxiety

Overcoming Anxiety

The calm you are asking for is within.

Today many people use the term anxious and express feelings of anxiety. The feeling of being anxious is one we all feel at some point in our life. If anxiety is something you experience on occasion, it is often considered to be normal. In this day and age people have begun to add anxiety and stress as frequent experiences they tolerate each day. Deadlines, bills, hectic schedules and long to do lists are all common in everyday life. However, anxiety also is a feeling that can overwhelm you, for many anxiety is something that can get in the way of everyday “normal” functioning. Many do not know that anxiety creates stress on your body and impacts your immune system too.

When we feel anxious our brain triggers the release of stress hormones. You may have heard the term “fight or flight”. When we feel anxiety our body interprets this feeling as stress and potential danger. We are biologically, chemically designed to release a hormone under this condition that has us either fight or run for cover. The more often this chemical is released into your system, the more it has an impact on your immune system, energy, and your ability to think clearly or think at all. For those of you who have a diagnosis of anxiety, you can see and feel all of this in your life and body.

The first step to taking control of your anxiety is to know the feeling of being anxious is normal under certain circumstances. Begin to take note of how often you are feeling anxious and under what conditions.

Temporary feelings of anxiety in life situations are normal and your body can manage it. This may be doing major life events such as planning a wedding, moving, taking an exam, changing a job. When anyone of those temporary life events lasts a longer period of time your body and mind will begin to feel run down.

Some people who have anxiety daily may have it a low level. It may be fleeting throughout the day, with some subtle triggers. Although you feel it, it feels manageable and your day can still remain on track. Often at low levels people begin to accept and tolerate this as a daily part of their life.

For some an event or stressor may last a long period of time, re-occur daily at work or in relationship or in a specific type of event. When this occurs consistently overtime anxiety can lead to other difficulties such as depression or new fears and difficulties. Some who struggle with anxiety daily over a length of time may develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD.

Steps to Help Manage Anxiety

  1. Acknowledgement. Admit to yourself you have anxiety. Once you acknowledge that this is something that is beyond normal and occasional you can begin to move forward.
  2. Tell Someone. Tell one or two people you trust what you are experiencing. Let them know you are sharing this information with them as one of your first steps in taking control of your anxiety.
  3. Allow. Our first reaction when we feel something like anxiety is to resist it and try to pretend it is not there. What we resist grows stronger. Acknowledge that you are experiencing anxiety, and to the best you can to work through the anxious moment.
  4. Techniques. Seek out assistance so you can learn techniques to help you decrease and eventually prevent your anxiety. Meditation and deliberate breathing are two I teach to my clients. There are many techniques out there find three to five that work for you.
  5. Nutrition. People who experience anxiety should look at their diet. Eliminate foods with caffeine and sugar. They both increase anxiety and stress for your mind and body.
  6. Time. Make time everyday for yourself. You can begin with 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night. Choose to use that time to help you release your stress and anxiety. You may exercise, journal, go outside and walk in nature. Whatever feels like a release for you.
  7. Sleep. Many people with anxiety have difficulty sleeping. Some find it easier to sleep somewhere in between morning and bedtime for an hour and then continue their day. Sleep is a time that does allow you to release stress and heal your cells and mind. Meditation and deep deliberate breathing can also help with falling asleep. You may want to ask your doctor about natural sleep aid at first if you cannot fall asleep. You want to begin a healthy sleep routine. The rest will also help to decrease the stress and anxiety.

There are many additional tools and techniques to assist you in overcoming your anxiety. You will find the ones that work for you once you decide it is time for you to take control. What you will do over time is create new habits that support you and nurture you. I often create audios for my clients with daily mantras or meditations or both. Words that support them in their knowing and believing, everything is working out for them. These techniques have helped hundreds of people overcome anxiety, and you can do it too.

Join Donna in her Deliberate Creation or her Mediation Program. These programs are designed for transformation, connecting with like minded people and moving you forward in your life.

Are You Willing to Be Selfish? A Different Perspective on Priorities.

Where are you on your list of priorities?Growing up for many of us, we were taught to put others first. My whole life I watched heard people say, “Ill do this after my daughter finishes school”,  or I’ll go to the doctor as soon as I have a second to stop”.  Honestly, I can go on with the long list of excuses we all have used to put off our own needs. We certainly do desire to help and contribute to others. We also do not want to seem selfish. Being selfish after all is really bad, isn’t it?

I spent many years learning in one capacity or anther how to care for others. Years of psychology course work, education classes, healing courses, observing other people in the world around me. I personally love being a contribution to others. It makes me feel good to do it. However, as I observe those around me, and as I experienced in my own life, when you are always giving, eventually the cup runs out.

I listen to clients who are struggling with health or relationship issues and I almost always hear feelings of resentment, frustration, and exhaustion.  They express feeling as though they are doing for others and never receiving anything in return. This feeling is often coupled with feelings of guilt for even wanting something in return. They certainly did not choose to contribute with the thought of wanting something in return. After time passes though, they seem to feel as though someone should at least offer to contribute to them in some way. We  learn not to block off our own receiving. We also learn having needs and desires are a bad personality traits.

Being of service and being a contribution to others does not mean you must neglect yourself, physically, emotionally or financially. In fact, if you would like to do it successfully, more easily and even joyfully, you must make your needs a priority. If it sounds as though I am promoting being selfish well, I actually am. At first those I work with seem surprised when I say I am promoting them being selfish.  They immediately state that in their observation I am always working, giving, contributing often for more hours than many people.  I learned the hard way, in order to do what I do every day, I must start  with me and each and every day.  I have  non-negotiable time in my schedule for me to care for me. This could be morning mediattion, which I do daily, a walk in nature, deliberate breathing, drawing, sketching, a hike in the woods or something that is nurturing, fun and feels good.

As I watch my clients literally force themselves to begin and end their days being nurturing to themselves, I can see they are resistant and uncomfortable. This begins to shift anywhere from 3-7 days of consistently taking time for themselves each day. Within 30 daysI begin to hear and see some very different resposnse from my clients and their family members. They are more joy filled, more energetic, more focused, more clear, and getting more done. My clients are busy people, so when I tell them making time for them every day, no exception,  will actualy create more time for them in their life, there is a strong response followed by a clear doubt that I must not know how busy they really are each day. I mean you know your life, can you imagine squeezing anything else into your day? Absolutely not, not even for three minutes.

One of the amazing things about caring for you and meeting your needs is, it will be the first time in your life you can actually feel like you are giving your all in each area of your life. If you are not taking care of you, you are sitting there often feeling out of balance. You may be feeling great about what you are giving to work, but feeling like you ae lacking in the time you spend with your family. You may feel you are doing well with your family time and work time, however there is no time for friends or fun. Something just always feels like it is getting the short end of the stick. There is a very simple explanation for that feeling. It is not possible to give your all to everything, if you are not even able to give anything to you.

Over the last 20 years I have worked with people all over the world. I have worked with people who own very successful companies. The businesses that have created the most encourage nurturing yourself, in one way or another. It may be flex scheduling, or breaks or planned fun events or including families in alot of projects and company functions. These companies grow at exponential rates. It is not just obvious in business either. Yes, all my clients make more money as a result of including themselves in their list of daily priorities, most importantly, they are happier in every area of their life.

As my clients include themselves on their own priority list consistelntly for 30 days, they notice their lives, relationships, businesses changing and initially that is not the focus. I even have had family members indicate they notice such a difference that now they jump in to help and insist the person take the time for themselves. They love spending time with this person now. Everything feels different to everyone in a relationship with a person who takes care of themselves. It benefits everyone if you are feeling good, energetic and appreciated. This is a true win-win choice

Would you be willing to include you in your own life plan? When I ask the question that way it feels different doens’t it? Most of you may initially think you are in your plan. Look at your daily schedule, what is on your schedule each day? Look at your three and five year plan, do you see, a house, a vaca tion, a retirement fund?  Now write down how you fit in those plans. You own a home, that is wonderful. You have created possibly more work for you and more of a reason why you have less time for you in your life.  Where are you taking care of you each day? Where are you modeling nurturing and kindness to yourself for those around you? You do know when you choose it you are also opening up for others to contribute to you too. What you may not realize is, it makes them feel good to be a contribution to you.

One of the many amazing teachers I studied in my life was Carl Jung. He wrote about how we often grow up with a set of beliefs that at least once in our life we begin to question. We then often decide the beliefs may have served us prior to this moment, they do not serve us any longer. Priorities is one of those areas we all eventually shift.  Your priorities are driven by those beliefs. Both men and women change drastically when they begin the time in their lives around  mid life and later.

If you are reading this now, you are lucky.  You do not have to wait to shift. You can make yourself a priority now and reap the benefits in your life as soon as today. In choosing that, you also demonstrate to your children, your family, and all of those people who observe and learn from you the power you gain in this choice. It can begin with something as simple as thinking of five things that feel like fun and joy to you, and then  do one of those things every day for 15 minutes no matter what comes up. Do it first thing in the morning before you start anything.

If you are looking to shift anything in your life, boost your business, have more passion in your relationship, create a nurturing relationship, be more available and energetic and happy in whatever you are doing, it is time to look at your priorities. Start today and add you to your calendar. I assure you my friends, it is a game changer.

 

 

 

 

What do you do when everything you have tried does not feel right to you?

I began studying Psychology in high school. However, my whole life I was fascinated by behavior. Throughout my life I had been in and out of traditional counseling. There were times when so much was happening in my life I thought I would find it helpful. In some ways it was  helpful. Speaking to someone who maintains confidentiality and who hopefully holds a space of no judgement is helpful. Yet, I always felt like it should be getting me somewhere, somehow. Something was missing.

In graduate school I studied every type of psychology I could read about including forensic and criminal psychology, both of  which I love. What I found was I felt a pull to the areas of therapy where there were more questions and planning than there was sitting and listening. I saw people change their choices when someone utilized therapies such as Reality Therapy. I began using tools from those types of therapies in conversations when working with students. Tools that connected their choices to consequences. The consequences were not “good or bad”. The conversations were pointing out that your actions create results. If you are looking for a specific result what action can you choose to get there? I had amazing results. Using language the way I did  completely eliminated any conversations about me imposing a consequence on a student, such as detention or not earning a point in our classroom behavior system.  The conversations we had  supported the students owning their own choices and creating their own lives. I was able to have incredible success with the programs I created in part because I remained in question, willing to not have “the answer” however to have a fluid system that could be changed by adding additional components for those students who required more than just the classwide program we implemented. I kept choosing and creatng and asking questions and found I created a system that truly made a difference.

What do you do when something is not working? Often while sitting with my peers in class I hear people say they worked with a client for some time and every session was the same. I would ponder that thought and ask myself how the client must feel about that, if that of course is the clients perception. You show up each week to therapy, share information, nothing changes. What do you do when you have tried different therapists, differnt modalities or specialists and you keep ending up where you are when you started?

I have found that those who do achieve their targets when they go to any type of doctor, they keep looking for somone whose plan of action, sugestions, recommendations, resonates with them. Often they say “I dont’ know why I switched doctors, something he said did not resonate with me”.  I hear statements like that  from people of all ages. In our society now often we are encouraged to have a blind faith in the experts. People outside of ourselves that have a title and know more than we do. In some cases I am that expert, and you may be one too. Looking for an expert is a great way to gather information and in many circumstances it is absolutely required. However, what do you do about the voice inside of you telling you what this expert is saying does not feel right?

My grandmother always used to tell me “you always know”. I believe we do always know. We each have our own internal “GPS” if you will. It offers us information and lets us know if something does not “sit right” with us. What if you used that system in conjuntion with your search? Read the information, go to the experts, and trust you. If something does not feel right, it probably is not right. We often invalidate our knowing and follow expert advice. What if you include your knowing in the decision making? So you keep searching, speak to a different expert and keep your own knowing as part of the equation when you choose your course of action.

Keep asking questions and keep choosing. Each experience provides you with more information that will get you where you want to go. Trust you, you are the only one who can feel what is right for you.