If I were to define anxiety in general, I would say it’s formless. It is ever shape shifting. Unique and different almost everyday. But I am determined now to befriend it, understand it instead of succumbing to it’s dark forces. Instead of labeling it a blanket term of “anxiety” I am starting to get to more detailed in what I am feeling in that specific moment. What I’ve learned is that it’s different every time. And usually, as it’s occurring I don’t even realize it! Because anxiety isn’t a feeling. It’s a build up of a lot of feelings.
When I’m experiencing “anxiety” what I am actually “experiencing?” I am asking myself “what is coming up for me in that moment?” How can I acknowledge it and alleviate it? At the very least I’ve started to talk about it. It’s important for me to call attention to it instead of silently battling.
This morning for example, I woke up and could not bear the thought of getting out of bed. I had two errands and I felt like it was impossible. That’s a usual sign for me I’m having anxiety. I have learned to become a detective while I’m also not thinking clearly. It’s been a process.
Why did I feel like it was impossible? Because I was tired? Maybe too tired? I was also cold. My lungs kind of hurt and there is that a Corona Virus pandemic we’re all dealing with. Little by little any reason to not get up- started to pile up. Like a thousand soldiers of problems, issues, fears etc… all lining up towards the edge of an errant cliff and in one swoop of a domino like effect- all my problems could tumble me over the edge sending me into an abyss.
I think this particular anxiety occurs when everything seems beyond my control. So even the most basic “to do” list can seem impossible to me. The errands seem like a pile on to an already endless vastless list in my head. Subconsciously I am worried about health, taxes, bank balance, bills, relationships, work etc… things that I am aware of but also not an immediate pressing issue. So I’ve also concluded anxiety is not rational.
Today I am in a new environment (staying in Chicago). I don’t know my routine. I pulled the blanket over my head and hit “snooze.” I fell back asleep quickly but knew that if I didn’t get up with the second alarm, a worse anxiety would occur and that would be in the form of me yelling at myself all day for being an hour behind on things. That’s a real fun one!
This state, I mind you, is a terrible start to the day. Overwhelmingly terrible. Terrible for my body for my brain and I am tangled into fear paralysis. No joy.
So what do I do? I turn to my handy tools! This kind of morning, a self sabotaging anxious riddled morning I’ve learned it’s best to be extra cuddly with myself. So I turn to what is most trusted. A gentle yoga practice. Gentle because I need it to feel good. I need to feel better.
I know what you’re thinking, “how does this woman have time to sit around and contemplate what her issues are? I’m so busy (with work, parenting etc..) when I wake up I don’t even have a choice! I don’t even have time to deal with this!”
Yes my time is a privilege. And because of it- I am able to contemplate, create and construct simple and effective yoga routines to immediately help us all. Because you may not have time. But that doesn’t mean anxiety isn’t there. If it is, here is an immediate way to support you for the most optimized day.
If you don’t have time to feel into it, or take time to listen to yourself, it doesn’t mean it “disappears.” It means it gets buried. Being busy can numb and suppress it and then years of stress and emotion can build. It’s important to pause and reflect. Practice the following for morning anxiety and you will have a complete and immediate turn around of your day.
The reason I wrote the above, is because sometimes we run around with a deep sense of uneasiness, fatigue, depression, uncertainy, fear etc.. I want to help link those feelings with this healing calming practice. So if you ever feel this faceless angst lingering at the edge of your awareness, you can crawl on to your yoga mat sanctuary and utilize this supremely serene routine!
Gentle Yoga for Morning Anxiety 20 minutes
Duration 4-5 minute each pose