5 Superhuman Ways to Crush Anxiety.
There is something to be said for letting go, beyond its obvious necessity in our lives so that we don’t carry around everything we’ve ever accumulated like manic hoarders, and its capacity to fill us up with exactly what we need.
It is counterintuitive to our conditioned thinking of more, more, more to believe that the most important gift we can give ourselves is to kick some things to the MF curb. What does this have to do with anxiety? Anxiety arises anytime you are not living your truth.
The second you deviate from your authenticity, you will be notified by your bodily experience and the Universe (God of your understanding). For some, this is a full-fledged panic attack. For others, face-first-diving into an entire pan of brownies. Or a bottle of tequila. Or both.
People are often apt to blame future-tripping and past-dwelling as direct causes for anxious feelings, and while that’s partly true, the finger is not to be pointed in one specific direction, but more at a very complicated way of understanding.
You can think about your future, you just can’t live in it. You can feel nostalgic for your past, it’s just that it has already happened. In fact, as soon as you recognize each moment, it has already passed.
Our job is to focus intently on making every moment so full of love and experience that there is no need to look forward or back.
This sounds much more involved than it is — everything is already full of love and experience, we just have to notice it.
As someone who has had a lifelong struggle-fest with anxiety, I can speak from experience and a deep-knowingness of what it feels like to be crippled by fear and discomfort.
What I can say is that I rarely experience the kind of all-consuming full-blown panic I used to, courtesy of releasing concern for anything other than making every moment an altar for love and gratitude. This isn’t woo woo. It isn’t New Agey. It’s the real fucking deal.
If you want to tackle your shit and be superhuman, you need to clear some stuff outta the way. Here are five ways to do that:
1. Get off the roller coaster, this isn’t Six Flags.
You’re not going to like me for a second. You need to back away from your Red Eye five-shot trenta vanilla bomb. You need to put down that whack-ass processed candy bar masquerading as energy.
Stop putting shit in your body. It’s as simple as: eat shit, feel like shit. Sugar is crack. It is literally legal heroin.
And nobody needs coffee to function. In fact, if you’re a superhuman, you don’t need anything to function. You’re sleeping in your MF cape so you can jump out of bed with it already on. If you want to feel good, you need to step away from these bad boys for a while.
Here’s the thing: caffeine is cool as far as making you feel like you have the strength of the Incredible Hulk and the badassery of Chuck Norris. Here’s the other thing: it lasts for a brief time, causes you to reach for more, makes you a cranky B, and drains your wallet of those precious dolla dolla bills y’all.
Sugar is the same. Except, it’s worse. It’s also making you fat, making you break out, causing your hormones to throw a coup d’etat, and probably mutating you in more ways than you would like to know. I’m not telling you to quit cold turkey, just slow your roll. Take some steps back.
Meet my good friends, Yerba Mate and Stevia. Tea has this super awesome compound called Theanine that provides you with energy while also promoting relaxation. Coffee just increases your road rage and makes you want to take a nap at 3pm like you’re geriatric.
Get an energy high from green juice, going for a run, taking some deep breaths, or having sex.
Don’t need to tell you to jump on that last one, obviously.
2. There’s this thing away from your computer called the outside world. It’s pretty fucking cool.
Spending too much time with technology can be incredibly taxing on your psyche, your eyeballs, and your posture. Our iPhones, no matter how bedazzled they are, are not rhinestone-encrusted parts of our hands. It is a device. You can put it down.
You can also back away from your Facebook-stalking habit, or tweeting about how much you hate your boss, to take a nice stroll. It is scientifically proven that spending time in nature, even a short amount, can allow you to make better decisions and feel more at peace.
This is one of the best ways to get grounded when you are feeling out of control. The second anxiety hits, step away from whatever you are doing, and if you can, get to a green space.
Sometimes I will just straight-up starfish in the park (starfishing is an elite level athletic activity where you lay on a surface face-down with your arms and legs out straight… five-pointed — if you have a head — like a starfish).
Other times I sit by the ocean (I’m lucky for that), but any body of water will do. Watch the sunset. Climb some trees. Touch some grass. Conquer a mountain. Build a fort in your backyard with your kids (or not, this can definitely be done solo).
If none of these are possible, start scheduling time on the weekend to get out of the city and to a place where you can be alone to breathe and surround yourself with natural things.
3. Have intimate relations with the flow of your mind. Chronicle that shit like a Discovery Channel documentary.
Every morning when you wake up, resist the urge to check how many likes your got on your Instagram selfie. First order of business, keep your eyes closed and take some deep breaths. Flip your palms to face upward, and set an intention for your day.
The truth behind every old adage of ‘You can do it if you put your mind to it’ or ‘Anything is possible’ or ‘You are a badass’ is that your thoughts create your reality.
If you are waking up freaking out about what you have to do during the course of your day and immediately filling your face with screens and e-mails and feeds and notifications, it’s pretty inevitable that you’re going to feel like a roaring, rollicking insane person. Nobody wants to be around that.
Notice what’s freaking you out, turning you on, tightening you up, or lighting you up — and pay attention to it. Don’t run away with each thought, just be aware of it. This practice is important. Meditation and mindfulness are not for sissies. They are the cornerstones to how you’re going to live an epic life.
Noah Levine can you tell you that better than I ever could. Keep a journal, a pad of paper, a napkin, an old receipt… doesn’t matter… next to your bed so you can jot down the things you’re present to and laugh at them later.
The things that scare us the most end up being ridiculous lies we tell ourselves. It is always this way.
4. Be around people who make you feel like your heart is exploding, you could be levitating, and you forget what time it is.
Human connection and feeling supported are integral to feeling like you are not alone, because you aren’t. Often anxiety arises from feeling like we have to take care of things by ourselves, that we must go it alone or that life is every (wo)man for (her/him)self. This is all bullshit.
We are all here to support each other, we’re all struggling, and we all deeply need each other. Being an asshole is a joke. Surround yourself with people that make you feel good, that you admire, that do things that make you laugh, that make you tea and encourage you stand on your head.
There are many people in your life who love you and would help you in any circumstance. We forget this basic truth because we let ourselves be overwhelmed by a small world that we create with our thoughts.
Our problems are not even real. We create them. The more we focus on them, the more real they become.
Therefore, focusing on things that make us feel loved and supported are going to negate any bad juju.
Find people who make you feel infinite by connecting more deeply to activities you love; go to shows and approach someone, go to the book store and ask for recommendations, go to the tea shop and sit next to a stranger, go to Yoga and connect with someone. Reach out.
Give the love that you hope to receive.
Support someone else in dealing with their small world and you will elevate yours.
5. Put on your big girl (boy) pants and ask for what you need.
Complaining doesn’t do a damn thing. You can chastise the system, your parents, your bank account and your Starbucks addiction all day, but it’s not changing your circumstances. It’s just making you a whiny headcase continuing to wallow in negativity. Sounds like a party.
You are only a victim if you make yourself one, and frankly it’s far more exciting to be an adventurous life-lover living at the front of this MF ship (Jack and Rose would approve).
Want more money? Think about what you love doing and reach out to people who do that. Ask if you can support them in some way for extra income while you learn more about what they do. Use your talents to leverage your dream life. Freelance. Consult. Bartend. Whatever.
Want more love? Be more loving. Like attracts like, and when you shift your perspective to be encouraging of what you would like to be in the midst of it will happen. That’s it.
Change your life by changing how you think. Ask for it.
Life is short, no rejection or comment from someone else is going to end it, but if you don’t take advantage of your ability to change your life, you’re ending yours.
Make sure you are getting enough rest and feeding yourself things that actually came from the earth. Be kind. Be compassionate toward yourself. Be relentlessly adventurous. Don’t do things that are not in line with the life you want to live. Stay too inspired to be scared. Stay open.
“This moving away from comfort and security, this stepping out into what is unknown, uncharted and shaky — that’s called liberation.” ~ Pema Chödrön