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  • OCD - You're Not Alone.

    I grew up in a very stressful household, we can save the details for another time, but the important part of this story is that it left me at an early age with crippling anxiety. We’re talking “if I turn the doorknob so many times some one will die” anxiety. Sounds crazy but many wonderful (not crazy) children (and adults) live their lives like this day to day.

    It changed in many ways as I got older. It was always some new image or memory (though some were the same) I was afraid of and the stakes often changed. Generally they were tied to my success because very early on that’s what mattered most to me (that was my ticket out,  after all) As anyone who knows what this type of anxiety is like (medically it’s called OCD and no, wanting your desk to be “just so” doesn’t necessarily mean you have it) knows the world can oftentimes become a scary and confusing place. It is this “madness” that allows you to go even deeper though. (yes, you’re kind of like a unicorn)

    The first steps I took in handling my OCD was in seeing a therapist who measured my brainwaves by hooking me up to a machine and he noticed that my brain waves were very different to how brains were supposed to function. (note: this is a matter of patterning. You can create new neuropathways with the help of a trusted and credited hypnotherapist - and yes, that shit works) After a few sessions I went on with my life with a better understanding of how my brain works but not much changed ensued. By leaving my childhood home I was released of much of my anxiety (as in far fewer panic attacks) but it was still present in everything I did.

    When I was 19 I discovered an intuitive healer by the name of Jennifer Matthews (organicwisdom.com) This is when my real healing began (though what prompted this was a reading of Abraham Hicks Ask and It Is Given- I had been asking for a career but what I needed in that moment was a life changer.) In my work with Jennifer I learned how to separate myself from my anxiety. How to observe it instead of becoming attached to it. Part of that is doing the thing that causes you anxiety (turning the doorknob only once!) and then not giving in. The time afterward was immensely uncomfortable. What if by not turning the knob I ruined my big shot (or date, or relationship, or even just having a good day)? I could obsess for nearly a whole day just thinking about that door knob (or whatever the object or situation).  But after some practice, soon it was only hours, then minutes and then down to seconds. I’d get on a role for a while and then sometimes I’d fall back into old patterning. 

    Once I started doing hypnotherapy, with a fantastic woman named Heather Hayward, and relieving myself of all the trauma in my life-that’s when things began to get a lot easier. Those haunting images I mentioned - I went into each of them and let them know they had no power over me (do this with a trusted hypnotherapist, not on your own). When I get to live my life without second guessing, without all this fear anxiety brings, then I get to be in the flow. All those dramatic things that spring up in my head don’t happen - instead I drop down to my heart and I start living life from there. It takes a lot of practice and even now some days I’m better at it than others but I’m just so grateful I did the work to get here and that I know that I am in charge - not my anxiety. 

    If this is something you experience, don’t be ashamed to get help. You’re not alone. You’re not “crazy”. But you are missing out on how wonderful life really can be. So make a phone call, read a book, start finding your way into your Light. Because you are worth it.

    A place to begin: https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/

  • Finding Yourself Amidst the Chaos in Your Mind.

    We live in a very fast paced world. Between cell phones and the copious amounts of media we consume on a daily basis it’s no wonder that sometimes we can get overwhelmed and our anxiety can sky rocket. Here are a few tools that I’ve found help when you need to come back to center and ground a bit. (Note: meditation is always my go-to but these are a bit more in the moment)

    PUT THE CELL PHONE AWAY: I promise you - you’ll survive. If you don’t need it on you for emergencies and if work isn’t really pressing on it - put it away. Try doing any internet based work on your computer sans cell phone. At dinners keep it tucked away in your bag and fully engage with the person across from you. Humans are interesting too.

    Get a grip: When your mind is in total chaos sometimes you’ve just got to hold onto a word or a phrase to get you calm and centered again. There are a lot of great mantras out there but something as simple as the words “I AM” work great. Or put your hand over your heart and/or stomach and focus on your breath.

    Make a friend: Engage with the world around you. Take the pressure off yourself for a moment and chat up a stranger or even someone you already know. Being inquisitive about someone else will allow you to forget about yourself for a minute and clear your mind of that incessant chatter. Have your only goal be to listen as well as you can.

    What do you do when you can’t seem to calm down your mind?

  • Making Decisions

    When you’re faced with a decision (big or small) and you can’t seem to choose, generally one of two things are at play. Either you truly don’t know what you want yet OR anxiety has a hold on you. As a recovered OCD and generally anxious girl I know the latter all too well. Making even the smallest decision could leave me with the fear that my world could come crashing down in seconds. If this fear is something you identify with - read on. If not, well you can read on too or check out this cute dog photo.

    What to do when anxiety has it’s hold on you? One or more of these three things will come in handy:

    1. Call it what it is. When I feel anxiety creeping in or even when my head is spinning so fast I don’t even know what I want anymore, I call anxiety out for what it is. Once I can identify it, it begins to lose it’s power. I’m not trying to push it away or call it names. I’m simply acknowledging its presence. So many of our feelings just want to be acknowledged. It doesn’t mean they’re right, wrong or even sane, they just need to know we’ve heard them. Once you do that you’ll often see it dissipate and you’ll be left wondering what you were so afraid of.
    2. Write about it. Whenever I get super in the throws of an anxiety party I take some time out and write to my Higher Guide about it. Don’t have a Higher Guide or not sure how to access it? Just pull out some paper or a notebook and write to it as you would any letter. You can address it by name or just write “Higher Guide” at the top. For a more comprehensive overview - watch this video. When you can access that all-knowing wiser part of you - anxiety doesn’t stand a chance. Sometimes a quick (or long if you’re feeling it) meditation can help you get deeper into a groove. There are some great tracks to try here that take the question out of how to meditate properly.
    3. Just ask “What do I want?”. When we’re really anxious we stop thinking in terms of simplicity. Everything becomes complicated and intricate generally for no good reason. If you can take a second to pause and ask yourself “What do I actually want?” You’ll be surprised by what may come up. It can be helpful to put a hand on your heart or stomach (gut) when you ask since our deeper knowing comes from these areas. When you get an answer - FOLLOW THROUGH. I know how scary it can be to follow through with a decision in the middle of an anxiety attack but trust me, if you can make it through a few uncomfortable minutes afterwards you’ll come out the other side healthier and more confident in your ability to choose.

    Also know that sometimes you’re not ready for a decision, you may need some more information. In those instances don't be shy, ask for more time. Give yourself an opportunity to really check-in with yourself, do some research and write about it.

    Does any of this resonate with you? How do you deal with anxiety? Leave your comments below. I love hearing from you!