I know my theme for May is Spring, but what keeps coming up lately is the ways in which I leak energy, and apart from pretty pictures I post as accompanying images, these posts have little to do with spring. But then again, perhaps, spring is the time when I am more awake to how I expend my energy or when I lack it. So, I am following the impulse to write about these energy drainers.
I had a tough day yesterday. A lot of fear and anxiety was coming up.
Just follow your own advice. Breath through the emotion, feel it and then let it pass through. This fear is not real. Nothing bad is happening. You are worrying about the past or the future. No threat is imminent right now.
I kept staying with the emotions, which kept coming up in waves. As soon as one wave settled down, the next one caught me off guard. I felt completely overwhelmed. I used some healing techniques to help to move those ‘unwanted’ emotions, but they were relentless.
This morning, the saga continued. If only I had 15 minutes to myself to sort these emotions out, I kept thinking throughout the morning while comforting my toddler who is poorly and snatching every opportunity to attend to my young one. Eventually, I gave up trying. I forgot about the tools I could use to bring me back to the present moment. I didn’t even know I was gone, until I checked my e-mails.
‘A strategy for overcoming worry, fear or anxiety’ was the title of an e-mail from Dr David Hamilton. The strategy he suggested in his e-mail was not new to me: when you are stressed, focus on breathing, though as a scientist he explained the brain chemistry behind shifting attention from worry to your breath. Apart from the timely reminder, what I found useful was his explanation that worrying is like a muscle: more we worry, the stronger that muscle becomes. We can then become consumed by anxiety out of habit, even when there is not much to worry about.
This habit is a massive energy drainer. Now that I have some distance from my worries, I can see clearly that there was so little point in getting worked up. Shifting my attention from fear-driven behaviour to being present takes time and commitment. I am hopeful it’ll pay off in more energy, which I could choose to expend more constructively.