In a recent blog, I discussed my battle with anxiety and issues I encountered working in an office environment. For this week, I plan to delve into the ways we can help fight anxiety in our every day lives. Will this work every time? Heck NO. Though I choose to fight back always, even if I am losing the fight, I WILL WIN THE WAR. Knowing you’re not alone in this helps, but you must always keep battling.
Like I described before, it’s sometimes like going toe to toe with Mike Tyson. You will end up BATTERED AND BRUISED but, in the end, you will be stronger for having survived the battle. This allows you to go against it next time with INCREASED KNOWLEDGE and confidence. You will have new tools at your disposal and be better equipped for the war on anxiety.
The key is NEVER stop fighting. EVER.
Mindfulness is basically being conscious or aware of something that is going on. It’s about focusing our awareness and accepting our feelings & thoughts. It is about full body and mind awareness.
IS IT EASY?
Nope. Nothing in life is easy or free, except laughter and smiles. We just need to train ourselves to accept things and that, my friends, will take a lot of hard work.
Let us start with the easy stuff you can do. You might ask what I did during my paralyzing stint in a large office? I got up, put my feet on the floor and headed for a shower, every morning.
I always found that a steaming hot shower was incredibly soothing for me. Some people love hot baths to soak in, I am a hot shower kind of guy. In the shower I’d start my daily prep for work. I’d start with some stretching of the neck and upper back.
This might sound weird, but your neck and back are a giant ball of tightened stressful energy when you fight anxiety, like I do. The best way to get rid of that is some mild stretching under the hot water in the shower. It works.
During this time, I am going through my possible routine for the day. Working out what I will do if I need a breather, where will I go. If I have a panic attack what will I do? I think about it happening as I know they will. I figure out my plan of attack to combat them. A plan is your best friend.
I am telling you this will not stop the anxiety from coming. This will just make you better equipped to deal with it, when it does. There is no magical cure for anxiety but, with prep we can have ourselves ready to deal with it when it does.
You then enter that office with that plan that you have ran through your head multiple times. This is one of the reasons I was never late a single day, unless I or my boys had a doctor appointment. I would always be one of the 1st people in to the office. Not by a little but usually by a good amount of time.
I NEEDED THE QUIET.
The key to me having a good day was that 30 minutes of quiet. What I did with that time was, effectively, meditation. I worked on focusing, calming my mind and making sure I had my plan in place if or when I needed it.
I have a playlist on my phone of over 1000+ songs, called my working list. It was a mix of my favorites and new music that I liked. I purchased a noise canceling headset, and I would spend that 30 minutes listening, and checking emails. On the particularly rough mornings, I would take my headset and go sit outside somewhere and mindlessly watch the traffic go by.
I will stop there, for now, on that routine I had made up during my time in the big office. I have other areas I wish to touch on. This was just one of the ways I coped so I could make it through my experience.
Since opening Provoke I have invested my time and energy into new forms of Mindfulness. For one, I discovered Headspace.
Headspace is a meditation service app that you can download on android or IOS. You can access it on your pc, tablet and smart tv via the browser as well. The app itself, and the basic services are free. It has basic meditations that have the option of 3 mins, 5 mins, 15 mins and so on. Now think about where these kind of time spans would be great for?
Exactly, you can use at the office easily and it is not time consuming. Various types of exercises ranging for basic users up to advanced. I would not consider myself advanced, but I would probably be Intermediate.
Think about it. You have a big meeting with a potential client. You need a few mins to focus your brain and calm the jitters. You sit down somewhere take a deep breath and do the exercises. Then head off to you meeting.
I can not tell you how many times I did this, but it worked in varying degrees depending on the amount my anxiety had amped me up. I now swear by it. Having a bad day? Spend a few moments doing a few of the techniques and I would feel calmer.
Would it make my anxiety vanish?
NOPE. There is no miracle cure, as I stated before, but it would set me up, so I could take back control from the anxiety and get my crap together. I would win the skirmish that time in the war. I ended up signing up for a year membership on it, so I would have access to all the exercises.
At one point I believe I had meditated using the services for 35 straight days. The key is making the time. It’s not the solution to anxiety but, it’s a tool in the ever-raging war.
Next week I will return to a blog on anxiety in the workplace. The story I told is only in part and is not the last. Only by talking, confronting and accepting it do we all have a chance to win the boxing match with anxiety.
Till next week, take care…