So let’s say things are going along peachy, and suddenly a little anxiety crops up. That’s right – our old friend anxiety, the one that causes our chests to feel a little tighter, our breathing to get a bit more shallow, our minds to race wildly. The friend that sends us into a frantic search to soothe ourselves. Perhaps we are still inclined to react and reach for the <insert vice of choice here, wine, ahem, Toblerone, pot, credit card, pornography> and turn on autopilot; that, after all, is what we do. It’s how we self medicate, “take the edge off.” But can’t we change our relationship to our anxiety? Do we have to let it take over to the point where we have to jump ship from our own experience? Can we give it some validation and a place in process, but keep it in a leak-proof container so that it won’t ooze into the other areas of our life and flood the boat completely?
Whether your anxiety is created by a situation (read: your thoughts about a situation) or has just blindsided you with a mass of physical symptoms without a known cause, we have some options when it comes to how we relate to it. You’ve heard the phrase “waves of anxiety” I’m sure –and I actually love that metaphor, because it means we can develop an ability to “ride those waves” and maybe eventually even surf those same waves to shore. Here are a few pointers from my own toolkit that I find useful in riding the waves:
- Embrace It. Anxiety is a physical sensation in the body. Breathe into it. It will pass. We all know that what you resists persists! Denying it or worrying about the fact that it’s there and you “should” not be feeling it will only provide momentum for the wave.
- Get Curious. Put on your compassionate observer hat and start asking questions. Where do I feel it in my body? Hmmm, this is interesting – I notice when X happens, I start to feel this way. What is this about for me?
- Be Kind. How would you reassure a small child who has just had a nightmare? You would hold her in your arms and tell her everything will be okay. You would rock her back to sleep, give her her favourite teddy, and tell her you love her. See, you already know what to do for yourself! Ask yourself what you need right now.
- Question your thinking. Remember our good friend Dr. Beck? Is your anxiety founded on erroneous beliefs? What is going on for you? Is the world really going to end?
- Go to bed. Seriously folks. Sometimes we are just overtired which can make life seem overwhelming. Tuck yourself in (as per the Be Kind point above) and trust that things will feel better in the morning and you’ll get your perspective back.
An amazing number of people experience anxiety – for some it’s a constant undercurrent in their lives, and for others it comes in intense spurts, giant waves that threaten to topple our worlds. You are not alone! Remember, it’s just a feeling and you will get through. Stop holding on so tight: surrender to the experience, and I promise you’ll come out the other end. Before you know it, you’ll be surfing those waves like the best of ‘em.
This is a little diddy from the summer that I thought I’d post since, around these parts, it’s been BBQ weather through and through! Plus, it’s super easy, and super delicious. Oh and did I mention it involves Truffle Oil!!?? What’s not to love?
Flash of Summer Leek and Mushroom Truffled BBQ Pizza
4 sprouted grain (Ezeikeil) tortilla wraps
2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 leeks, sliced
2 tbsp. olive oil
¾ cup pesto of choice (I use store bought in a jam)
½ cup shaved parmesan cheese (optional, of course)
Truffle oil (oh yeah!)
Freshly ground pepper
Salt (if there is no salt in your pesto) to taste
Sauté mushrooms in 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, then place in a bowl for later. Do the same with the leeks. Then, begin to assemble your pizzas on a pizza stone or grill plate, spreading ¼ of pesto on each, followed by your toppings and cheese (if using). BBQ with a closed lit for 5-7 minutes over medium heat, until the cheese starts to melt and the edges of the tortilla brown. Watch carefully! Remove from heat, drizzle on truffle oil and pepper and serve!