Some things just don’t need to be shared. Anxiety is one of them.
We all need to vent from time to time, but when we find that our conversations are mostly complaints, it’s time to take a few breaths and reorient our thinking.
Anxiety is energy
Anxiety is a form of energy – and not necessarily a good kind.
When we feel anxiety within our bodies and minds, we get all amped up and jittery. Sometimes, this can drive us into action and help us accomplish our goals.
But when we get anxious about silly nilly stuff too frequently and let it build and fester inside, there comes a point when we either start to leak slowly or become a ticking time bomb…
The slow leak
We all know what happens when we become a ticking time bomb – kaplooey!
But what about the slow leak? What about the tiny bits of anxiety we release wherever we go and in all the corners of our lives?
And how does it affect the people around us?
Welp, consider this: You’re making your way through life taking an occassional huff of a cigarette.
One little huff certainly won’t kaplooey you or anyone else in that very instant. But, a little huff every few minutes for the next ten years will certainly chip away at your health as well as the health of those around you.
Anxiety can be thought of in the same way.
When we release a bit of our anxiety frequently throughout the day over a span of our lives, we not only chisel away at our own health, but we also chisel at those around us.
Anxiety need not be shared
We often don’t realize how our words and actions affect other people because we are so wrapped up in our own worlds that we forget anyone else exists.
And when it comes to anxiety, we definitely forget to consider the possibility that anyone or anything besides us could be affected by it.
But the reality is that our anxiety has a huge impact on our environment, including people.
How do you feel when some dude in front of you starts yelling at the grocery store clerk for entering a price incorrectly?
How do you feel when people start honking their horns at a car who isn’t turning on an arrow?
How do you feel when your coworkers vocally express their strong dislike for your boss?
You start to feel pretty crappy, right? Maybe it doesn’t consume the rest of your day, but you definitely get a little tinge of anxiety yourself and sometimes even jump on the bandwagon of unnecessary stress.
Exhale your anxiety
The best way to manage anxiety in the heat of the moment is to breathe deeply.
No need to convert all that hyped up energy into words that may make their way into other people’s heads who may or may not take it home and spew it out to their families only to make everyone in their house go to bed feeling grumpy.
Instead of dumping our anxiety onto others as words or actions, why not just take a deep inhale (go ahead, do it…)
(…nice…), then exhale all the frenzy out (okay, go…)
(…a little more to get that last bit out…and…okay now do it again…hehe).
Keep breathing deeply through the nose – and exhaling a bit longer than the inhale – until all the tension vaporizes into microscopic substances and dissipates into the atmosphere.
Sure, the energy is still technically there in the surrounding environment, but it’s all disintegrated and the dosage is much less noticeable to those who come into immediate contact with the plume. (Too nerdy for a wellness blog?)
Well, I guess we already did the action part. So, the next step is remembering to do it when it really matters – in the heat of the moment, when it seems least convenient, the times you don’t want to.
The more we practice managing our anxiety in quiet, mundane moments when no one is around, the better we will be at practicing when it matters most. (Notice how it’s still “practicing”…)