Stress and Anxiety

I attended a class based on neuropsychology and anxiety recently. I got a lot out of it, and I’m realizing I’m so stressed all the time that I don’t know how to relax. And I’ve realized this has been going on for a long time. I’m used to working 12 hours a day, every day. I’m used to not having days off or vacations. I’m used to having 20 minutes or so of ‘free time’ and spending it working on my website, updating social media, or bathing dogs. I literally don’t know how to ‘settle’ anymore. I talk about achieving balance, and that IS what I want. I don’t want to feel stressed anymore.

stress1I didn’t realize all these symptoms were from lack of sleep, mental rest and lack of down time. I seem to always be tired. I’m working on eating healthier, working out more consistently, balancing house chores with work chores, and setting more strict “work hours” for when I do my pick ups, drop offs, and answer client phone calls and messages. But when I’m not working, I’m thinking about work. When there’s just ‘one more thing’ or projects that are incomplete, I can’t stop thinking I’m wasting my time just sitting and not doing anything. I forget things over and over again. And most of all, it feels like my emotions are non existent. Like, I I just don’t feel anything. It’s strange because I’ve always had an over abundance of my emotions and they are normally all over the place. Now, this lack of emotion is disturbing to me.

It feels like once I “get off work”, and try to turn off, we make dinner, and then we watch 20min or so of a show, and then go to bed. There really isn’t time for much else after dishes have been done (and sometimes, we don’t even do that!). On weekends, we catch up on gardening, house projects, cleaning, shopping, and sometimes we’ll have time to go out and do something. But it’s hard to enjoy even getting out because we try to pack so much in. Even when I go to sleep, my mind is still racing. Then, I wake up and immediately my mind is racing. It’s on overdrive all the time. It doesn’t slow down, it doesn’t stop, and when I meditate, I can stay focused for about 3 minutes, and then I lose it. For just 10 minutes, I want to focus on my breathing and thank my body for all it does for me. But I can’t stay focused that long. Apparently, that’s a symptom of stress too.

There are not enough hours in the day to do everything. I’m stretched thin. I’m functioning, and I’m not unhappy, I just don’t have anything else to give at the end of the day. Even in the middle of the day, I have to psyche myself up to do anything that’s not on my normal routine. It shouldn’t be that way. Even if I just need to google something, or return a personal phone call, or clean up a mess. I have to mentally prepare myself to get off track and hopefully I can get back on the track again. I’m just going through the motions, but not really living. That’s stress too, I found out.

Everything in my life is great, and I’m moving forward towards bigger and better things every day. I found a great love, who makes me want to do better, dream bigger, and then make it all come true. We want that for each other, and we want to help each other achieve those dreams. But we are both stressed to the max with all the recent changes in our lives that the big dreams are just overwhelming. Recently though, we’ve both been too tired to do that. Going out always seems like work. I want to go have dates, and enjoy a getaway weekend sometimes, plan vacations where it’s not the most stressful thing in the world to leave, work on chores without feeling like I’m sacrificing down time or having to pick and choose between work and house projects.

stressI want to hear what people say, and stop assigning negative thoughts to compliments. I always hear negativity, and part of what we are trying to work on is removing negative influence in our lives. We want a wealth of positive vibes, happiness, and love. But when we are stressed, negativity makes a nest inside us and comes out in forms of self destruction. For me, it’s negative thoughts that are tied in to compliments, and not feeling like I’m enough. I want to eliminate the stress so I don’t have to feel like this. Because I know that’s not true.

I’m taking a different approach to finding balance and I have started learning about energy healing from within, psychotherapy and reiki. We’ve started on a new spiritual journey together where we are attending these classes and learning how to better balance ourselves and work through our underlying internal issues. I’m scared, but also feel like once I know, I can begin a new path to healing. I want to be able to feel connected to my spirit once again. I want to stop missing the beauty.

 

 

Getting Rid of Control

realyouI am working heavily with a therapist this week to help me with some of my personal issues. I have done quite a lot of self exploration, and I have one big issue that I really need to work on… Control. A lot of people struggle with wanting to control every little thing in their lives. I want to learn not to. So, I’m practicing this week, and learning more about what I need to do in situations where I would normally get upset, anxious, and try to control the situation.

Some of the things I have done are: plan every single second of the day, ask “what are you doing?”, “who are you texting?”, be over critical of myself, judge myself and others harshly, clean the entire house before I go on vacation because I feel like everything isn’t perfect, feel the need to be right, lack of trust, send myself into panic attacks if things aren’t the way I want them, I don’t listen, I micromanage, I can’t relax, I’m not flexible, and I get jealous.

These are not things I have done in a really long time, yet I’m falling back in to old habits. Why? After talking with my therapist, I’ve pieced this together this week as well. Remember when I broke my foot? I felt I lost a lot of my independence since I couldn’t do anything with my business. I managed my moods fairly well for the first few months, but then when I was up on my feet again, since I still couldn’t do everything, I fell into this weird inner-depression like I’ve never felt before. Not like normal… like I felt I wasn’t good enough in any way. I couldn’t walk properly (limp), and it made me feel weak and ugly and ridiculous. I became very self conscious. I was angry at myself for not healing faster, and it caused me to cycle rapidly and lash out in a controlling way, and fall back into this horrible downward spiral.

I also forgot how to manage my anxiety myself and used my boyfriend as a coping tool. That’s not fair to either of us. I have to re-learn how to handle this without using him as a crutch. That’s not his job, and it’s unfair to him. I have had a few panic attacks this week, and was able to get out of them in a fairly quick amount of time (5-15 min) unlike previously when it may be an hour. I do want his support, but I need to do this on my own too. One thing he does that I really like is when I’m anxious at night, he’ll hold me and hum a song to me. So, when I panicked, I held a dog, and listened to my breathing. I was able to calm myself down and manage it.

I am taking this week to really focus on working through that control and finding peace. I am practicing self-acceptance, reminding myself I’m beautiful and independent. I’m forcing myself to eat, sleep, and breathe through meditation and not letting myself fall into the anxiety-ridden roller coaster ride I have been on in the past. I have a few therapy sessions this week to help me work through everything. I will also be receiving a reiki session from an old friend this week, which is very helpful for emotional healing. I am not planning anything, and just doing what I want, instead of trying to plan every single thing for the day. I’m just winging it… which is foreign to me, but I’m finding it very refreshing.

I am learning to slow down and pay attention when people talk to me, listen to them fully, and absorb the information they are telling me, before I speak. I’m also trying to see the other person’s side of things, so I can understand what they are going through, and how I can help. A few other things I have been doing that I want to stop doing are things like nitpicking/nagging, bringing up the past in a negative way, worrying/stressing over things that don’t matter, and bringing up what if’s. None of those things are productive or healthy. In fact, it’s very damaging to both people. I’m committed to stopping this behavior, and letting these types of things go, and also letting go of the control. I do have a longer list, but those are some of the big ones.

So, this week, I have researched a bunch of ways to help myself become a more balanced person while relinquishing the control, learning to forgive and move on, and letting things go. Basically, learning to be a much more calm individual. I have used essential oils, meditation, physical exercise, healthy thought patterns, a journal about my goals, therapy sessions, my dogs, and using good friends as sounding boards.

Now, these changes need to happen because I have not been handling stress in a healthy way in my life lately. And it doesn’t only hurt me. It hurts the people I love the most. So, the changes need to happen. And this week is all about learning, education, and focusing on my needs to make my goals a reality.