Last Thursday we were treated to Don’s most recent presentation entitled “ Life on the Edge “.
Don began by sharing with us that the last few weeks have been more difficult for him, much more than normal. Sometimes you feel it coming, and you start to feel yourself looking over the edge. You start to become easily annoyed, and you might strike out at others more easily than usual. Your blood pressure and heart rate may start to rise, and you just don’t feel yourself. Don explained that he wanted to look at things a little different, especially when it comes to life on the edge. Rather than just looking at the negatives, Don told us there are positive aspects of life on the edge.
First though, it is important to examine how you got there, and realize that as this type of anxiety is a little different than clinical anxiety.
This type of pressure or anxiety is event driven, and it’s usually a caused by a stressor that may take you from your baseline anxiety to other levels. Don shared that right now he is truly living on the edge. His Son was recently fired from his job. He admits that every marriage has its bumps, and he shared his wife’s current stress in her life that trickles down to him, as he feels like he is the family sponge. And for better or worse, at work he has a truly trusting boss, who likes the work Don achieves. After working on designs for the last two years, money has been spent and things are coming to life. Will it all work as well as Don thinks? Also, Don talked about his physical health being a push every day, and his fatigue, anxiety and troubled heart have him concerned.
However, Don pointed out, the good side of Don’s living on the edge, is that his technical and creative sides are being challenged every day, which for him is the upside. He feels alive and is really working through some big projects. Life on the edge is truly a two edged sword.
With every challenge and stressor, the only solution is to get over to the other side. Don realizes that sometime soon his projects at work will eventually get built, his son’s situation will stabilize, and his wife’s work project will be over, and his stressors will lessen.
But if you are living on the edge, you have to choose an edge you can live with. There are some things you can do to help you reduce your stressors;
1) Reduce stimulants, such as caffeine, alcohol and especially social media.
– try and focus on doing one thing at a time
– remember to keep your mind engaged .
2) Get plenty of sleep, and keep your routine. If you normally go to bed at 10pm every night, make sure you stick to this routine.
3) Name your stressors. When you know what they are, you can work on them. And if you can’t name your anxiety, then start journaling to see if that will help you define it.
4) Relaxation…..is a skill you can learn over time. Try exercise, breathing exercises, or if you’re artistic, just getting lost in your art. Try writing, and make sure you take breaks in your day. Try going outside and watching the birds. Or maybe try meditation.
5) Accept your anxiety, and accept that it’s okay. Choose to live with your anxiety.
Don shared a quick quote with us :“ When we let anxiety run it’s course, and live in the moment, it soon will pass. “
Also remember, the thoughts you resist, persist. And don’t criticize yourself for your anxiety.
Try and do a reality check on your anxiety, once you have named it. There will always be other stressors in our lives, and you may not always have the bandwidth to deal with it.
The bottom line is it is OK not to deal with every problem you have at once. Prioritize and only work on what you can achieve without adversely effecting your mental health. Be good to yourself. When you are good to yourself, you are actually drawing a boundary around yourself, which in turn will always help you with your mental health!