Guest blog written by Erica Arvanitis. Original post can be found here: http://ramblingredheadsd.blogspot.ca/2017/02/how-simple-habit-helps-me-slay-anxiety.html
I like to call myself really self aware when it comes to my anxiety, but I didn’t always used to be that way.
Before I started the journey into therapy last June (almost a year ago – nuts!) I was thinking irrational, insecure thoughts and having trouble keeping the people in my life because of the intensity level of my anxiety. Once I got into my sessions and felt comfortable talking about my insecurities and coming to realizations, I began to want to know more about why I was the way I am.
I delved deep into self help books, podcasts, and also guided meditation. When I first thought of the idea of mediation, I was entirely too judgmental of it. I thought it wouldn’t help me, and I’m not capable of shutting off my brain for any length of time…but’s that’s not all it is.
From exploring yoga, guided meditation at my old work, and different podcasts, I discovered Simple Habit. Donned the “Netflix of meditation,” this helpful app offers guided audio meditations anywhere from fifteen to five minutes long so that busy people can squeeze some tranquility into their daily lives – and anxious ones can have a vital resource.
I used Simple Habit for months before I made the leap into paying for the app. Unlocking the premium level allows you to listen to any of the meditations with specific scenarios such as having a tough day to happiness at work. None had such a profound effect on me as the “Dealing With Failure” meditation.
The session, “Shame” is one that I turn to on my worst days of anxiety, stress and fear. The reason I do this is because within that session, the narrator, Quentin Finney, teaches you to approach failure with ease and compassion – rather than fear and insecurity. He does this through a guided meditation and the use of repeating six key affirmations that can be applied to any kind of anxiety or specific situation in your daily life.
Whenever I’m feeling severely anxious or like I’m not good enough, I grab my phone, break open the Simple Habit app, and get outside for a walk and a guided meditation.
Here are the six key affirmations that continue to help me each day:
I am worthy of happiness:
Say this to yourself over and over and over until it’s memorized in that anxious brain of yours. I’m very guilty of forgetting that I’m allowed to be happy. Sometimes we can get caught up in all the negative thoughts and personalizing, that we forget to just stop and enjoy the things and people we have as a constant in our lives. Cherish them and realize you’re worthy of happiness.
I am worthy of appreciation from myself and others:
When someone gives you a compliment – don’t just shrug it off or say, “don’t lie.” Accept it because guess what? You’re worthy of someone appreciating you or your awesome style. Even more importantly, appreciate yourself! If you’re feeling your outfit, hair, face, ass, boobs – whatever, voice that to yourself. Or if you know you rocked an interview yesterday or nailed a presentation at work – celebrate the small victories!
I am worthy of forgiveness for my mistakes and I recognize that others are worthy of forgiveness for theirs:
This is a tough one for most. Like most people with anxiety, I can be incredibly hard on myself. Making mistakes are shrouded in anxiety and insecurity for me. Whenever I slip up or do or say something wrong, I don’t just apologize – I think about it for entirely too long.
How could I be so stupid?
I’m the worst.
I’m not good enough.
These thoughts should be sweating they run through my mind so much. Ruminating on negative thoughts is just a common part of having anxiety, but it’s crucial to combat these thoughts with reality. That’s why this phrase is great – it forces your mind to think about what is real. You aren’t perfect, you make mistakes and that’s okay. And guess what? You can forgive others when they make mistakes too.
I am worthy of being seen and heard – my actions and voice have value:
As a woman in the workplace, it’s so important to know this affirmation. For years, I was not aware of the idea that my thoughts and opinions mattered at work, or really in general. I wouldn’t speak up in meetings or in social situations because I would just think, “well they don’t care what I think.” I’m here to break it to you – they do care. Turns out your opinions have value and sometimes you can have an amazing idea that no one else has thought of, you just have to speak up!
I do not have to be perfect and I learn from situations that have outcomes other than what I anticipated:
Personally, this one hits home. I’ve never really considered myself a perfectionist or a control freak of any kind, but my anxiety flares up when things change. I can get a plan into my head and when something diverts from that, my anxiety has a hard time dealing. More recently, I’ve been able to battle this specific part of my anxiety and it’s been incredibly rewarding.
I am good enough:
Sing, rap, whistle, scream – SHOUT this from the rooftops because you will literally never say it enough. You are good enough. I am good enough. I was never told or didn’t tell myself this mega important affirmation so I’m making up for lost time. I listen to this session daily and repeat this last phrase to myself over and over until I feel it. Whether I’m driving to work in the morning or going to bed at night, it’s the best way to end or start a day.
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