Saying Goodbye to the 'Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog'
I have thoroughly enjoyed being here, writing the Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog every week for the past eight years. I actually didn't plan to stop blogging for HealthyPlace, but I must do so for health reasons. I've discovered that living with autoimmune and digestive disorders means that I can't just continue to let my mind be fully in charge of what I do, doing what I want, and ignoring my body. Listening to ourselves, tuning into what our entire body-mind communicates is key to both mental and physical heath--including when it comes to managing anxiety. So honoring that, listening to what my body has been trying to tell me, means that I must step back from this blog.
What I've Loved About About Writing This Blog
For me, this journey has been about connection. It's felt like having conversations and providing information that I hope has been helpful. I've enjoyed researching and sharing practical tools to help all of us--myself included--acknowledge anxiety, get to know it and ourselves more deeply, and soar, sometimes past it and other times in spite of it.
I'll still be doing this, just a bit differently. I'll still be maintaining my website and writing books, but I will miss this weekly connection. Stepping back and reducing what I'm doing will allow me to keep providing useful tools in one way or another for a long time to come. It might look a bit different than what I had originally planned, but I take comfort in the fact that I can still do what I find meaningful. Ironically, it's in cutting back that I'll be able to keep moving forward.
My Favorite Anxiety Advice to Take with You
These five principles come to us from mindfulness. At their root is the notion of mindful self-compassion. This is a way of being in the world and is a deep relationship with yourself. It means living fully in every single moment, even if that moment is anxiety-provoking or just generally stressful and challenging. These principles can guide you in breaking free from anxiety's grasp and living with yourself--and treating yourself kindly and gently.
- Awareness--Listen to your body-mind. Notice what is happening inside of you and around you. Notice and name your thoughts, feelings, and circumstances. It is only with awareness that we can take positive, meaningful action.
- Acceptance--Building on awareness, acceptance allows you to stop fighting and struggling. It isn't giving up, though. It's dropping judgments, rules, "shoulds," and expectations so you can unhook yourself from problematic thoughts, feelings, and situations and put some distance between yourself and anxiety.
- Attention--Be selective about what you choose to pay attention to, for what you pay attention to grows. Whatever you choose to focus on, do so mindfully and completely rather than getting caught up in thoughts about it.
- "And what else"--This is a useful way to look beyond anxiety. When you become aware that you're anxious, ask yourself, "And what else?" so you can identify other things you can focus on right now instead of anxiety.
- Action--Intentional, committed action steps toward your goals and values--toward what you want for yourself and your life--will move you away from what you don't want (anxiety). This doesn't have to be grand, sweeping gestures. What small things can you do each day to move toward what is most important to you?
These principles help with anxiety in two important ways. They put space between you and your anxious thoughts and stressful situations (past, present, and future) so you can breathe and decide how you want to be and what you want to do. In this way, they reduce anxiety. Beyond that, they also let you be fully you despite anxiety sticking around. You can go beyond surviving anxiety. You can thrive.
Peterson, T. (2021, September 30). Saying Goodbye to the 'Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog', HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, January 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2021/9/saying-goodbye-to-the-anxiety-schmanxiety-blog
Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Thank you for your articles, they have helped me so much.