ANXIETY


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Whenever I was stressed at uni and would call Dad mid anxiety attack, he’d slow me down and say ‘ok, remove the emotion from it, and tell me what needs to be done?’.

The behavioural responses of males and females to particular situations is quite amusing. We can teach each other a lot.

In my opinion (formed via observation and experience), males find it quite easy to remove the emotion and simply DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. Females on the other hand... yeaaaah, not so much.

After the tears had subsided enough for Dad to get another sentence in he'd say 'OK Snot Face, what's up?' and I'd blubber back 'I'm so anxious and stressed'. To which he would reply, 'how about you try saying I am experiencing anxiety and stress'.

You know when you're a kid and you scream 'I'mmmmm hunnngrrrry!'
And you get a 'Hi hungry, I'm Mum' response. -_- 

Well Dad has always had a way of making me aware of the words that leave my mouth. I am not anxiety. I am not stress. I am Eliza experiencing those emotions.

[My Mum was also my most frequently called throughout uni however she will feature in a different blog <3].

So once I had acknowledged this and created a bit of distance from the emotion - as opposed to being completely consumed by it - I moved onto the DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE step.

Back then Dad's job was to calm me down and set me achievable tasks. Eg. 'Research the topic a bit more so you understand what the assignment is asking and then give me a call back to chat some more.' Godsend, right!?

Quick note: Anxiety has only ever really achieved one of two things (for me) - sometimes both, consecutively. It tends to:

1. Stall me to the point of feeling temporarily incapacitated. And/ or;
2. Propels me in the opposite direction of where I want to go.

Not a very productive, constructive, or effective emotion. Is it?

Now that Eliza is wiser... I can confidently say it was never the assignment itself that produced anxiety. It may have been the trigger but it wasn't the cause.

I have learnt a thing or two about navigating anxiety over the years.

First step is checking the person with the oxygen mask. That would be yourself.

There are some basic needs that need to be met. If they aren't being looked after, I can almost guarantee you that an element of anxiety will be present.

Ask yourself...
Have I...

  • slept well
  • filled my body with nourishing food
  • exercised
  • cleaned myself and my surroundings
  • had a nature hit
  • stretched with Get Bendy

If the answer is no for any of the above, notice that and act accordingly. A lot of the time I hadn't done anything on the list.

If I was to go back and give younger Eliza some advice I'd say -

'Ok, you little ball of emotion, get out of your pyjamas, get outside in some fresh air, go for a run (without your phone), have a stretch followed by a shower, eat a healthy meal, do your washing, clean your room, and then have another go - and get a good nights sleep k!? Oh and PS. Stop taking this so seriously, you're about to start doing something you REALLY LOVE ;).'

This is not procrastinating. This is called 'giving the human body and mind what it NEEDS in order to function!'.

If the anxiety is still present after getting these things in order it would be time to turn to your surroundings.

Ask yourself...
Is this anxiety stemming from...

  • Family
  • Friends
  • A relationship
  • Work

If you answered yes to one or more of these categories, start investigating. A lot of issues can be solved with communication combined with a touch of vulnerability. Be clear about what it is that you want and have the courage to talk about anything that needs to be discussed.

[DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE GET CLEAR CHECKLIST HERE]

It might be helpful to apply my 2017 mantra here too: FOLLOW WHAT FEELS GOOD. PS. It solved every issue in the above category for me.

I'll leave it at that for now. I hope this provides some helpful and actionable steps for you.

Lots of love and light,

Elle xx

PS. LAUGH every time you feel anxiety creep in. Laugh it off. Laugh at it. Distance yourself from it. You are a bundle of love and a joy, purely by default. Don't let anxiety take over and call the shots.

PPS. If you've made it to the end of this blog post and would like a Get Bendy poster on your wall to turn to when you're mid anxiety attack and my Dad isn't answering your calls (due to the fact that I haven't given you his number so I have no idea who you are trying to call) you can grab it here. Let me know how you go :)

 



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