Welcome to Part I of my Ultimate Guide to Calming the EFF Down. I've done my best to talk about anxiety here in a way that I haven't seen it talked about else where. I've divided this guide up into a few parts so as to not overwhelm you :) I hope you will find this guide insightful as well as practical.
It seems to me that anxiety is constantly framed in really negative terms, which only makes everything worse. Not only do you feel anxious, but then you feel anxious for being anxious, as if experiencing anxiety means that there's something wrong with you as a person. There's no need to add an extra layer of freaking out-ness to an already dense mass of freaking out. Sometimes you just gotta let yourself freak out (in a safe and productive manner).
Think of anxiety as energy. And guess what? You have LOTS of it! Has your anxiety ever helped you accomplish something amazing because of all the energy it generated? Perhaps you're a perfectionist and you create beautifully organized things? Thank your anxiety. Or maybe anxiety immobilizes you and makes you crash? That's okay. Your body is just MAKING you slow down so that you can rest. Thank your anxiety for taking care of you, when you can't seem to remember to.
Anxiety doesn't have to be such a bad thing.
Take a moment to think about what it feels like be REALLY excited about something. Imagine how it feels in your body. Imagine your breathing - the pent up excitment in your chest. Imagine the energy in your feet and your fingers fluttering. The strength of your neck as it squeezes to hold up your head that's over run with chaotic, inspiring thoughts!
That doesn't feel so bad, does it?
Now take a moment to see that being anxious, or freaking out feels almost EXACTLY the same as being super excited. The only difference is the thoughts attached to each experience; how you're interpreting the situation and feelings in your body. With anxiety your attaching negative thoughts and interpretations to feelings in your body you might otherwise enjoy.
So next time you're freaking out, just pause to feel your body and simply NOTICE the energy you are feeling in your body. It's just energy! If you want, you can decide it's excitement.
Grounding techniques refer to practices that help bring you into the here and now.
The above point where I asked you to imagine feeling excitement in your body is one example of how this can be done. A big part of grounding yourself is noticing what is happening in and around you; observing yourself and your surroundings.
If you start to find yourself feeling overwhelmed simply take a moment to notice everything around you. No matter what you are feeling, see that you're okay, nothing bad is actually happening to you (it's just your thoughts telling you you're feeling bad). You have two main choices here. You can simply observe what's happening here and not judge it all until you feel your body calm down. Or, as I suggested above you can tell yourself you are feeling energy. You can try to bring that energy down... or just go with it, and use it in a productive manner.
The above method for grounding yourself, where you observe what is happening with all your senses, is pretty handy because you can do it anywhere and anytime.
Other grounding methods can include simply getting yourself out of your head through movement. Walking, running, dancing, yoga, even less "active" actions such as singing or painting can be helpful as well. Focusing on movement is a good option because a lot of the times anxious feelings are exasperated through your thoughts, and what starts off as tiny feeling of energy can be taken into a downwards negative spiral through the power of your thoughts. So, just shut them down before they start.
Finally, simply going outside and walking on the ground can be very - you guessed it - grounding. Walks in forests are my personal favourite grounding technique. :) I love feeling and hearing the leaves crunch under my feet and the smell of pine trees. If nature walks aren't a regular part of your life, I recommend you try it out :)
If you've read other anxiety guides they all tell you to learn to manage YOUR emotions. Keyword: YOUR. If you're an empath, you're not just feeling YOUR emotions - there's tons of other ones in there too.
Have you ever looked around yourself and noticed there was truly no reason to be feeling anxiety, but the feelings persisted even though you were aware that nothing was wrong?
This is a strong indication that you may be highly sensitive to other's feelings. You can't get rid of the anxiety your body is feeling because it's not yours. In this case, to reduce the feelings of anxiety, what you want to learn is how to disconnect yourself from the emotions and energy of others.
Watch the short video below about how to do an energy break - this is one simple thing you can start practicing in order to disconnect from the emotional energy of others.
If this resonates with you, click here to check out my free e-book and video for more tips on how to disconnect from others' energy.
That's all for this post. Let me know if you have any comments or questions below! Stay tuned for part II.