Monday, 11 January 2010
Worry and anxiety don't give them houseroom!
This morning yet again I can't get to work. I set off,I got a few yards down the road and my car started skidding from side to side of the road. At the bottom of the road there was a queue of traffic and an accident ahead, so I turned right thinking I'd be okay going that way, next hill, cars in trouble. By this time the snow had got heavier and I just reacted instinctively turned another two right turns and found myself back home.
The snow is heavier now,the journey to work is 27 miles, so with my sensible head on I know that I've made a wise choice to stay put and not put myself at risk. I have left messages with all my clients to phone me and have therapy via the phone.
All well and good, but why oh why do I feel so pathetic and guilty?
This plays in to the stuff I have been working on in myself recently looking at my own anxiety and looking at how it makes me feel physically and what I can do about it, rather than endlessly suffer it.
I have never been a worrier, I can't be bothered. But as I've got older my ability to deal with anxiety over things has got worse. Especially early in the morning, like this morning when I remembered I have to have a mammogram on Friday. On the one hand that is no big deal,as I am of the opinion there is nothing wrong with me I've had my cancer can't get it again..... and yet and yet!!!!
What I have been learning is to accept these overwhelmingly awful feelings whatever they are about. To know that my letting myself observe they are happening to me, rather than fight them, then they will not last as long.
I keep an eye on my breathing, as when the thoughts start going haywire the level of breathing in increases, as my mind feels more scared and adrenaline is being released into the system. When this happens I do control my breathing I slow it down, concentrating on the breathing out very slowly through my mouth. This has the affect of diluting the mixture of oxygen and carbon dioxide which in turn stops the feelings of panic.
There are several techniques that can be used to calm the mind spiralling out of control.The reason these work is our brain patterns will be working in one way when we are hooked into an anxiety. By doing something else we shift the pattern so the fear is calmed.
The things that can be done are swearing loudly(you can all guess this is one of my favs!)There is tapping acupuncture points on the cheekbone, collar bone, side and then top of the hand about ten times each and repeat until thinking has calmed. There is smelling a fresh lemon.Running up and down stairs works. Basically anything that will stop your brain thinking in what seems like that one worry track, by moving your body and concentrating on another activity than worry.
What I am hooking into here is the mind/body connection. Whilst always knowing that the two are obviously connected it's been interesting to prove how much as my anxiety has been veering out of control if I let it.
I do enjoy sitting on my own shoulder, and seeing what happens to me and making sense of it as I go through the life experiences that cause distress in me. As I know that by learning about myself, that I can then use these skills with other people.
Don't get me wrong this is doesn't mean I'm some sort of superhuman, more I just know what is going on and can get to grips with it quicker than others who don't have my knowledge base.
The other big thing that helps is communication. And since basically because of the snow I have not had contact with anyone for nearly a week I do know that I have to phone people up when it gets overwhelming, as in this morning. Because once spoken about, then the worry is reduced to manageable proportions and I can function till the next time it grabs me!