Guest Post by Christina Sanghera
“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
Well, I am a certified anxious person then, times one thousand. Through the years I’ve struggled with the unknown and simply living in the present moment. Part of this stems from a need to control which most anxious folk possess. The underlying thought process? If you can control it, it can’t hurt you. But we all know that’s not how life works. There are curve balls, dirt roads leading to nowhere and just plain unexpected nonsense that creeps in at the worst time. And in our constant need to control we find ourselves wrapped up in a mind that won’t stop zooming from one could be a scenario to the next. Oh, and let’s not forget that when it rains it truly does feel like it POURS …
When I was in retail banking where I remained for thirteen years my anxiety really came to life. I had next to zero control as I was mainly dictated by corporate policy and angry customers as a result of such policy. There were many panic attacks, heart palpitations and daydreaming of something better. But in spite of the bad, I am also thankful for the good: great people (some of whom became lifelong friends), valuable training on a variety of topics that would later help me transition into full time business ownership and most importantly perspective: I learned that in order to survive each day in an environment that wasn’t bringing me joy, I had to learn how to have perspective instead of falling into negativity and worry. I had to learn how to create my day rather than letting my day decorate me with all of its “problems”.
This realization did not come easy. There was a lot of resistance in the beginning. It was almost as if I preferred mental anguish to actually feeling better because I had become so comfortable with my rapid-fire reactions and a false sense of control. It wasn’t until I started to feel better that I realized how much suffering I had actually endured and even worse, brought on myself with mere thoughts (which are very, very powerful). After making a plan with the hubs to say goodbye to the corporate world and come join the business (this awesome business, Inspired Wellness!) full time, I started devising a plan for how I could keep it together while we worked toward our ultimate goal. I did things like (and I still do today):
- Read awesome self-help books. Yup, I said it. SELF HELP. Aint’ no shame in my game. I’m on a mission to better myself, and what better way to do that than with the culmination of YEARS of experience and wisdom through a super helpful book? And they provided a TON of perspective and peace. One that really stands out is “The Universe Has Your Back” by Gabby Bernstein.
- Started and maintained a meditation practice, even if I only had 5 minutes per day. During each session, I pray, envision my ideal life and think of everything going smoothly instead of all the negative there is to ponder.
- Really started to focus on and believe in living in the present moment. Remember that quote from the beginning of this post? It’s one of my favorites because it brings to light the inner turmoil of choosing NOT to reside in the beauty that the present moment has to offer. Now, when I find myself in FREAK-OUT mode, I stop and recite these words: “I choose to live in the present moment”. I repeat this mantra until I am truly, madly, deeply living in the present moment instead of simply wishing that I were. This is a powerful feeling, one that is almost indescribable. For someone who constantly worries about what’s next, there is total freedom in just letting it go and trusting that things will work out. Maybe not exactly as you planned, but they will and you will be led further down your life path.
- Started to create my day instead of letting my day decorate me with each stressor. This naturally made me start to see the good in the bad and to “chill out” a little more. No need to get worked up twenty times a day. That does no one (or my blood pressure) any good.
That last point above really came to life the other day when I was left stranded on the side of the road at 5am. I posted the story to our private wellness group and lots of people could relate, so I thought I’d share it today in hopes of inspiring you, too:
So this morning my car just stopped working on my way to teach my morning class … wouldn’t start back up and was making all kinds of crazy noises! To say it felt overwhelming at5am and a full list of clients to train throughout the day is an understatement.
I started to panic at first, but then I thought … what can I do in this moment? I can PANIC and prolong the feeling of frustration, or I can take decisive action and handle it.
So that’s exactly what I did. I called roadside assistance, texted my clients to let them know and got a sub for my morning class. About that tow … turns out they can’t be here until 9:55am (as I type this I am still waiting). Okay, breathe. Seeing as though I need to be here when the tow truck arrives, I can’t just leave without having to make my way back later with the right timing. So wait here I did …
I happened to break down right near the freeway where there’s a Starbucks and gas station, so I grabbed my things (lunch pale included) and hoofed it over to SBUX.
I’ve been catching up on various tasks since 5am-ish because I decided to take control of my day instead of letting it control me.
Why am I sharing this? Our mindset in times of turmoil can really shape how long we draw out the suffering. Imagine if I had panicked since 5am and done nothing but sit there frustrated and mad at the world? Believe me, I totally wanted to do this.
But I’m realizing the importance of a positive MINDSET. Of putting good energy into the Universe so it comes right back full circle. I’m learning that moments of frustration don’t have to be entire days, weeks and months. They can be just that: moments.
The next time you find yourself in a less-than-ideal situation, take a moment to assess things from an outside-looking-in perspective. Make the choice to choose positive action instead of panic. Decide that your day will NOT be ruined by one event. You have hours, days, weeks, months, years still to enjoy … don’t let them go to waste.
I’m not perfect and I still have my moments, but I’m working on myself everyday and determined to continue making big strides. I am not ashamed of this side of me. I embrace it and choose to see the bright side.
Do you deal with anxiety and the depression it can lead to? Let’s end the stigma. Know that you’re not alone and it’s OKAY. We are all in this together. Comment below with some of your favorite tips for easing an anxious mind!
An Anxious Gal Learning As She Goes
About Inspired Wellness
We are a wellness movement aimed at cultivating greatness in all areas of life. We believe that everything is connected and that having the body of your dreams shouldn’t come at the price of your mental and emotional health. You CAN have it all; you just need some determination, grit and the desire to truly change your life!
Catch us locally in sunny Sacramento CA inspiring lives at our wellness center with fitness, nutrition and lifestyle programs, or online doing the same thing with our new online training site + community coming soon!
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