I’m not normally one to watch the news however, like many, I woke up early to see the news of Grenfell Tower in London on fire and I froze with fear as the story unfolded – heartbroken as the missing people count increased and sobbing watching the fire-fighters exhausted from the overwhelming truth of what they had been part of. I had that blooding thumping feeling at the hopelessness to what I was witnessing.
As the days passed, I become addicted to watching and reading the stories unfold; the feeling of despair mixed with anxiety and worry as thoughts raced around my mind. I was thinking how devastating this all was, like a nightmare being played out in front of your eyes. This went on for a few days and then realised I needed to switch off, not because I no longer cared or because I was being heartless, but because it was generating a feeling of despair, rushes of panic and unease that was starting to be a big focus of my day….
I could rationalise that I was not in danger and was unlikely to get hurt but I was feeling scared and that tsunami of worry was beginning to take over! When I realised what was happening, I knew I needed to take back control….
Some of us may have grown up in homes that felt as though we were constantly under threat and some of us had parents who did a good job of modelling calmness, but it is life itself that can put us on edge and can make us afraid of partaking in normal activities. So when things happen like an inferno or if our family of life events predispose us to fear, we can learn to be calm and still feel other emotions and learn to enjoy moments.
Could calm feel normal, alive and show passion? Or do we have to experience anxiety like it’s a throbbing fever to think we are feeling in the moment? Could this throbbing like feeling be additive? Ongoing anxiety and worry clouds logic, destroys joy and produces constant stress.
Here’s my definition of anxiety: it’s a thought, with feelings attached that we may not be able to make sense of or feel is out of our control. It is generally linked to a specific fear, a cluster of fears or an event that is tightly protected and believes it’s working its best to help you.
Remember, anxiety is addictive and it believes its protecting you. Replace fear with calm. Go ahead of yourself and identify with what you’re afraid of. Connect with your triggers: that first point of acknowledgement that lets you know anxiety is coming. With practice we can have a calm nature and to do this we first have to go through the process of giving up anxiety.
Respect what your thoughts and feelings are saying but cultivate calm, breathe. It is critical that self-love wins.
Love, Respect and Protect