The way the modern world is stacked up, unfortunately, we get a lot of anxious time. This is time very often spent in anticipation, frustration, aggravation, and, well you know.
So how can we leverage this time to become our teacher? There’s information packed into our internal state and how it is cooking at these moments, so why not leverage it for growth?
The velocity of time is oftentimes too fast when we’re anxious. The blood flow is going to the hindbrain, which is telling us to fight, flee or panic. It is being cut off from our internal organs, immunity, digestion, and higher reasoning. Again, sadly, we run a lot of miles in this lane, so let’s take this as an opportunity for greater awareness.
Scan your mind today at random times and ask yourself if you sense anxiety. Make that your mantra for the day. Keep scanning and checking in how you feel. When you identify a state that would would label as anxious, the game is on. Now, it could feel like “slightly anxious” 😟 or “agitated” and that’s good enough for our exercise today.
The key is to grab some sample data from this state to reflect on.
Okay, so you’ve identified an anxious state. Now what?
Ask yourself the next series of questions:
🛎 what does this feel like?
🛎 is it warm or cold?
🛎 where do I feel it in my body?
🛎 is it moving around?
🛎 can I attribute a quality to this feeling? E.g. is it dull, fuzzy, heavy, or painful 😖?
And then follow with the next series of questions:
⏩ where did this feeling come from?
⏩ was there a thought or a conversation that elicited it?
⏩ when did it start?
⏩ do I often feel this when thinking about the same situation?
⏩ how is this serving me?
The next step is to acknowledge he way you’re feeling and then take 10 deep breaths to your lower abdomen. Put a smile 😃 on your face and stretch your body put however you need.
Did any of it shift? Now how do you feel?
The challenge of today’s exercise is to isolate a moment when you’re feeling anxious and use it as feedback for the way you experience time and life in those moments.
The more awareness you can bring to this experience, the better you’ll get moving out of that feeling and, later on, the better you’ll be avoiding the reactions that lead to that state in the first place.