Michelle Hopewell's Anxiety Tips

Tuesday 14 November 2017

For the first of my wonderful guest posts while I'm recovering from my surgery, here we have the amazing Michelle Hopewell and her tips for dealing with anxiety!

Right, let’s go for a show of hands on those of us who spend hours letting our anxiety kidnap us, throw us into the back of a DeLorean and travel back into time to the clock tour that got struck with lightening, i.e. every failed relationship, every time you tripped over, any argument you failed to properly articulate your point in, any time you have over anaylized, any time you've slipped into harmful old habits, thoughts and feelings and every time you’s basically failed at life. 

All of us? 

Just as I thought. 

Though lets be real, as awesome as time travel is, its hardly helping us grow and progress as people. Popping back and forth into the past stops being a helpful way of learning and starts becoming the biggest mental blocks we learn to erect in our own minds.  

The reality is we need to stay in the present. If we spend most of our time being consumed with the past and things we don't actually have the power to control or change, than how are we meant to forge forward in the present and how are we meant to cease our futures? 

We spend so much time putting our energy and power into things that have already been. Moments that we should have long since grieved and let go of, instead of allowing room for the birthing of new things. 

Here are a few tips I use to stay in the present. 

1. Journal - I find that if I haven't closed a chapter on something, it continually rears its ugly head. Sometimes this can be in situations I have been in or relationships I have had, regardless of their definition. Waiting around for a person or a circumstance to provide that closure is not always helpful or possible. So I have found writing how I am feeling down helps me begin to untangle all of the things I need to process in order to provide myself with that closure. 

2. Gratitude - Sometimes its hard to think of things in a vast or global way. It makes whatever you're struggling with feel even more overwhelming. That's natural. So bring it down. Focus it in. What can you be thankful for? In the moment. Even if its the smallest thing. It doesn't have to big and it doesn't have to be mind blowing. Sometimes the only thing I can be thankful for is that my bus turns up when its meant to. 

3. Worry, but just not about yesterday - I'm starting to realise that telling myself or other people not to worry, doesn't mean that I wont worry. I think there's something in my nature that automatically has an affinity for this. So while I work on dismantling it altogether, I have to just accept the fact that I do worry, but I can limit the amount I'm doing. The reality of things are, even though we do our best to plan, anything could happen at any given moment, but I can't spend time worrying about the things that did happen or could. I have to focus on each day and doing my best to overcome any obstacle in that present moment. Take less off your plate and focus on the things that our worrying you right now. Then take those things and myth bust them one by one. 

4. Ask for help - If you're anything like me, you sometimes forget to ask for help. You think you can do it all by yourself, but that's not the truth. I raised to be a fiercely independent black woman, but I forget that a truly fierce and independent black women is successful when she knows when to ask for help and accept help. So don't try and do it all alone if you are struggling. Whatever form of help you need, find the right person or people to ask. We are stronger together than we are alone. 

5. Forgive - Yourself first and foremost. We've all got the ability to hold and grudge and surprisingly you would think that we would be able to hold it against people longer than ourselves, but that's not strictly true. Sometimes our inability to forgive someone else is wholly tied up in our inability to forgive ourselves. Whatever you think you did or are doing that doesn't measure up to an impossible standard you've created in your mind, discard it. Forgive yourself for all those years of finding new ways to dislike yourself, hurt yourself or others. Your body is so rooting for you and so in love with you that it past the need for apology, it simply wants to get on to the business of living. 

We can’t let ourselves be consumed by this nostalgic idea of how things used to be and we cannot let ourselves be defined by the pain of what has been. 

Set yourself free and focus on living for the joy of what time you have.

Follow Michelle at the following websites - 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome : Colourpop Haul