Anxiety is a bitch. If you’ve experienced it, you know it can be triggered by something big…or insignificant…or come on without warning and for no reason. You just feel freaking nervous…and anxious…and like something bad is about to happen…and you can’t breathe good…and there’s some weird fear thing happening…and you shake a little….
Today, I feel all those feels. I feel anxiety in my shoulders. I am a little shaky. My resting heart rate is 94. Bah!
Want to jack me right up when I have anxiety? Here’s how to pour gas on my flaming nervousness…
Tell me to calm down. Oh, hell, why didn’t I think of that? Let me just calm right down then. Great. And thanks, Buddy. I’m not sure I would have ever thought to do that. *screams inside*
Ask me why. I don’t know…or I do know. In either event, I am not sure what to tell you, what you would really appreciate hearing, how much time you have, or if you’re really willing to get down in the trenches with me. *screams inside*
Tell me to go have a drink. Listen. Don’t think excessive drinking, binge shopping, and other oxytocin-inducing vices don’t appeal to me. I actually work to talk my self OUT OF stress eating and self medicating with stuff that’s not good for me. Definitely don’t suggest any. *screams inside*
Try to get some rest. Yeah, so when your mind goes at the speed of a jet and you’re nervous, kicking back in near to impossible. I want to, but it ain’t that easy. *screams inside*
Get you some medicine/see a therapist. Right. Some decisions are super personal and private, despite what the world would have you believe about sharing your personal health information, and I don’t always feel comfortable about getting into that conversation (especially when I’m already anxious!). *screams inside*
Let go of _________. You know…anxiety is often driven by a full plate, the desire to get everything done RIGHT NOW, and not being able to conceptualize a light at the end of the tunnel. If I am responsible for the thing, I will have to keep the thing and can’t really let it go. And if I’m not responsible for the thing, I have trouble seeing that for myself (even if you can). *screams inside*
So what can you say or do? Try these…
- Anxiety is hard. I feel for you.
- Let me know if I can listen, help, or bring you anything.
- Show up with coffee/wine/a treat without saying a thing.
- I worry about you when I can see that you’re anxious.
- Can I take anything off your plate?
- Send a thoughtful text to check on me.
- You are smart. You are good. You are enough.
- Pray for me. Seriously.
Writing this has made my anxiousness subside a little, so thanks for the therapy session. If you experience anxiety on the regular, you feel me, but if you don’t, I hope this helps shed some light on how to help a panicky princess like me. Chances are we know what we’re going through, we are working to figure it out, and we sometimes suck at dealing with it, but we will go *BOOM* for sure if you pour fuel on our nervousness then fan the flame. And bless your soul, you probably won’t even mean to do it.