A long time ago, when I was pregnant with my daughter, I was in the throws of incredible anxiety. I went to see an energy healer to help me. At the end of the session he gave me advice that changed my whole life. He put his hand over mine and said,
“You have to trust yourself.”
I didn’t get it at first. I had never thought of the relationship between anxiety and trust at all. But now, it makes so much sense, I can’t not think of it.
Anxiety is feeling helpless, out of control and powerless. You don’t think you can handle anything. In short, you don’t trust yourself to handle anything.
It may feel like you don’t trust other people or the situation, and you are right. You can’t control other people.
All you can control is yourself and your response. But if you don’t trust that, you are sunk:
How can I survive ________?
This is how self-doubt adds to our Anxiety. If you don’t think you are good enough and always second guess yourself, why would you think you can handle difficult situations? If you can’t handle things then you are powerless, and Anxiety takes the reigns.
A gratitude journal is great because it makes us pause and see that there are some good things in our life. But if there is no connection with our own personal agency, we can feel like a passive recipient of life, and this does nothing for our anxiety. It just makes us feel more out of control.
Forego the gratitude journal, and do this instead.
How to Deal with Anxiety and Trust Yourself
Therapeutic documents like these are great tools to re-training the brain. They are easy to make, inexpensive and provide a clear, concrete action that you can practice without adding stress. The repetition and ritual of reading them daily serves to remind you what you know but keep forgetting.
Our problems can too easily talk us out of seeing the good things about ourselves. We have to stop them from undermining us that way, by getting all the support we can get. Documents are the best way to do this. They are by far the best way I know of to get rid of Anxiety.
Writing things down gives them a bit of authority. It makes them visible and real, and easier for us to accept.
Do this every night:
Take two minutes every night write down the things that you accomplished that day.
Of course you can include everything from washing the dishes to reaching out to an old friend. Don’t let any effort go invisible.
We hardly give ourselves time to pause and appreciate ourselves. We are too quick to go onto the next thing and look at what we didn’t get done. This just increases our stress and anxiety.
It’s time to change the plan and connect with ourselves and our abilities. This will help us begin to trust ourself.
Your anxiety will decrease but you’ll also reap other benefits. When you celebrate your accomplishments, you’ll have more energy and less stress. You’ll find yourself happier and calmer. You’ll be more productive and have more free time. Also, you’ll find yourself more generous and patient with people around you. All good.
Try it right now: Tell me one thing that you accomplished today before reading this post.