Living with intense stress and overwhelm is becoming more and more common in our culture due to our demanding lifestyles. We are trying to juggle stressful jobs, long work days, and family, often finding very little balance. Figuring out how to take care of ourselves is increasingly difficult. We are stretched too thin and it is hard to find a way out. Mindfulness provides a path towards emotional balance.
Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” ~Berne Brown
Anxiety (Mindfulness-Based Approach)
A Day Living with Anxiety, Stress & Overwhelm
You wake up groggy. Despite your good efforts to put yourself into bed early last night your mind raced as you laid restlessly awake and exhausted simultaneously. Sleep evaded you. You drag yourself out of bed and take in a good dose of caffeine throughout the morning and maybe the whole day.
Before your day has even begun you feel a familiar tightness in your chest making it hard to take a full deep breath along with a weight or ache in your shoulders. Somehow co-existing with exhaustion is a wired, jittery feeling that is always just sort of there.
Throughout the day your mind is foggy making it difficult to remember things. You find yourself forgetting things absentmindedly. On really bad days even have trouble stringing together a cohesive thought. Staring blanking at a computer screen wondering how much time has passed since the last time you were fully present.
You find yourself more irritable and short with your kids and spouse. You have every intention to be patient and calm but it feels impossible. You often feel terrible about the interaction you just had with your kids and/or spouse.
When you are not feeling anxious and wired you might find yourself feeling depressed with low moods coming and going more and more frequently. The stress is draining and wears on your mood and outlook.
Eventually you get yourself back to bed. Where despite being overwhelmingly tired, again you can’t sleep tossing and turning. Struggling with racing thoughts about the day, what needs to get done tomorrow, what you should have gotten done today and on and on.
MAKING SENSE OF MY ANXIETY
There are many possible contributing factors to anxiety. Anxiety may be new for you and only brought on recently by an event such as moving, job change, transition into a new phase of life, divorce, death or any other stressful or overwhelming life event. Also, many of us may not have learned the ideal coping skills from our parents even though they were doing the best they could. Still other people have had some sort of anxiety most of their lives and would like some peace from a longtime companion.