As I was giving some thought to our theme of Coming of Age, I realized most cultures and religions have specific events, ceremonies, or celebrations associated with maturity milestones. Then, I started thinking about the period of time just prior to a major transitional event…a time which can be filled with feelings of anxiety.
I’ll share here that just before my wedding, I remember feeling very “off”…. My heart definitely loved the man I was engaged to and yet my mind was bringing up all the crazy scenarios that might go wrong with our relationship due to our significant age gap and how different our personalities were.
Letting go of “one way of being” and embracing a new path can conjure up fear. That’s natural. Even a happy occasion like a wedding can produce feelings of grief and worry. Yet, we all must get past our apprehension so we can move forward, grow, and experience more of life with a more developed sense of awareness, responsibility and compassion.
5 Practices to Help Ease Anxiety
1. Focus and steady your breathing.
- Begin by getting into a comfortable seated position.
- Close your eyes and inhale slowly through your nose.
- Follow this inhalation with a deep exhalation.
- Continue to breathe deeply and fully, in and out of your nose. Allow your breath to be a guide to the present moment.
- Use the mantra, “Here Now” as you breathe… “here” on the inhale and “now” on the exhale.
2. Change how are you evaluating or interpreting the event:
- You get to choose how to view the event. For instance, by deciding to view my marriage as a beautiful gift; having someone to share life’s ups and downs with gave me a lot of comfort. I also knew that I would be giving the very same gift to him, and that felt wonderful.
- Try to decide that it’s going to be an adventure and that you’re going to learn and grow.
- Know that you are capable of facing anything and bring up evidence from the past to reinforce your self-reliance.
- In a perfect world, you’ll have support from your friends and family. However if this is not the case for you, it’s important to take some quiet time and be with your decision…let your heart be your compass and remember, no one knows you better than you.
3. Write down your thoughts
Getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper is a good way to actually see what you are actually thinking about and ease anxiety. You’re more able then to really look at your thoughts and inquire…
- Are these thoughts really true?
- Or, are these thoughts just the same ole, same ole loop of mind chatter?
- Are these thoughts making you feel small and limited or expansive and alive?
We can be fooled by our mental narrative and so by writing out our thoughts we are able to ease anxiety and start to relax.
4. Realize the physical sensation of anxiety is very close to that of excitement.
- When you are nervous about something, try to stop your thoughts or the “story” you are telling yourself and instead focus on the physical sensations you are experiencing.
- Fluttering in your stomach, sweaty palms, rapid heart beat – all could also be interpreted as the physical sensations of excitement.
- Give meditation, going for a walk, or perhaps taking a bath a chance to understand and view the experience that is bringing forth these physical sensations as exciting instead of anxiety producing. When we allow our minds to relax, great ideas are more easily accessible.
5. Use aromatherapy to increase relaxation and a sense of calm.
- Essential oils are quite effective in soothing the nervous system.
I personally like using Lavender Oil.
- Place a few drops on a tissue and breathing it in, placing a bit of the oil on the soles of my feet or adding it to my bath water to offer some anti-anxiety benefits.
It’s funny, I don’t think I would have grown as much into the woman I am today if I had married anyone else. My husband has made me a better person by encouraging me to look at and release some deeply held erroneous beliefs I had about myself. Now I comprehend myself in a more expanded and empowered way and for this, our children, countless beautiful experiences and so much more, I am forever grateful for my wedding day.
Give your busy brain some time to reset, improve your health and nurture your soul by fully taking in the beauty of nature.
By JEAN TREBEK
Jean is a Professional Religious Science Practitioner, Reiki Master and Sound Healer. She grew up on Long Island, NY, and now lives in Los Angeles. She has two wonderful adult children, Matthew and Emily, with her beloved late husband, Alex. Jean enjoys taking long walks, watching movies, and traveling. She is very grateful for her family, friends, Luna (the dog) and good coffee.
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