Hi sister! Welcome back to another episode of a Taylored Adventure to Happiness. If you are new, welcome! If you are a regular, you know I love you!
How do you feel when Monday creeps up on you every week? Are you full of energy and ready to crush your goals? Or does anxiety make it a little hard to breathe?
If you tend to be anxious on Sunday evenings, you are not alone! I have struggled with anxiety since I was a young adult. Not too long ago, I shared with an accountability partner a process I had just used to navigate some anxiety. When I finished, she said, “Oh my gosh, I just love it when you’re human like that!”
That made me think, You know what? I don’t talk about my journey with anxiety enough. So, today I’m changing that and talking all about my struggle with anxiety and the tools I’ve learned to navigate through it and experience a fucking incredible life!
All that to say, if you struggle with anxiety, you’re in the right place because I’m going to share the exact steps I use to unpack my anxiety and regain control of my feelings. You’ll learn a list of journaling questions that help me move from panic mode to I-got-this. And I’ll tell you about a rare but super empowering letter-writing practice that helps me step into my higher self!
I’m really excited to share this message with you, and I hope these tools encourage you to do the inner work necessary to feel good about your life!
Let’s dive in!
Two Things You Need to Know About Anxiety
I’ve joked before that 99% of the time I am a unicorn — rainbow, glitter, gratitude, all of that! But do you know where I’m at for the last 1%? I’m dealing with anxiety or sitting in the shadows while unpacking old wounds, beliefs, and unhealed trauma.
Honestly, I’ve come a long way! Sitting in anxiety and my shit used to be my 99%, and all the unicorn vibes were my 1%. When I worked at my nine-to-five job, every Sunday evening, I would get full-blown anxiety. Actually, I first experienced full-blown anxiety in high school. By the time I was in college, I was on anxiety medication. I have been able to get off of the medications, but that’s the severity of anxiety that I struggled with.
Over the years, I’ve had to unlearn the old programming that it’s scary to start a new week. There’s a belief I think our society carries that tells us we have to work really hard because our value is tied to our financial and professional success. It’s as if the busier you are, the more successful you are.
In the process, Mondays have started to feel like a “new week, new you” mantra. Before you know it, Monday comes around, and you’re carrying the weight of, “I better start strong or show up on top of the mountain; otherwise, I’ll look and feel like a failure.” And, understandably, that can produce anxiety for a lot of people. I know it did for me!
Therefore, when anxiety creeps up on you, it’s important to remember two things:
#1. The root of anxiety is a need for control. Anxiety is the feeling you get when your mind believes you’re out of control. As a result, your emotions spiral out of control. Hello, Anxiety! This can show up differently for everyone, but that’s the basic premise.
#2. The only thing you can control is how you feel. We can’t control what’s going to happen or how life will play out. But you can control how you feel and respond to anxiety. Remember, feelings are like the messengers of our souls. They let us know when something deep inside of us needs to be addressed. Anxiety is a messenger telling us, “Something is out of control!”
As I was dealing with my most recent spike of anxiety, I asked myself, “Since anxiety indicates a need for control, what feels out of control as I transition into a new week?” And it occurred to me that recently I’ve stopped responding to DMs on Instagram over the weekend. Ever since starting my business, it’s been really important to me to personally answer each DM.
It’s not uncommon for me to receive well over 100 DMs a day. So, when I allow them to build up over the weekend, I feel overwhelmed starting my week. Like, “How am I going to respond to everyone, delegate tasks to my amazing team, and serve my coaching clients well?”
Once I identified what was making me feel out of control, I chose new thoughts so that I could control and protect my feelings. Thoughts like, “I take the weekends off to fill up my cup, so I can’t continue to pour into other people’s cups when it’s not a priority.” And, “I give a wealth of free value to my audience. If someone’s feelings are hurt because I don’t respond to them, that’s a reflection of their own wounds.”
Allowing myself to observe my anxiety with these two perspectives helped me figure out why I was anxious and create new thoughts to keep me grounded.
Lovely soul, if you’re feeling anxious right now, I encourage you to stop reading and patiently work through both of these perspectives. You don’t have to stay caught in an emotional tornado, but getting out of it will take some time and an honest look at what is going on inside of you. The good news is, you are capable of doing the work! So, stop right now and do it!
How to Use Journaling to Unpack Your Anxiety
After I observed my anxiety and found some clarity, I was still feeling spun up inside. So I pulled out my journal and wrote, “I am anxious. Why am I anxious?” I answered the question, and then, because I still felt anxious, I re-wrote the question and answered it again. Sometimes different responses came up. Sometimes the same thing came up. In the end, I probably wrote that phrase down 30 times. Eventually, my breath started to come a little easier, and my shoulders relaxed a little more.
I know repeatedly writing “I’m anxious. Why do I feel anxious?” might seem like a crazy way to calm down, but it works, and here’s why. Whenever you’re dealing with anxiety, if you just let the anxious thoughts repeat in your head over and over and over again, you don’t actually shift your energy to a more positive or organized place. The thoughts just keep fueling the anxiety.
But when you take those thoughts and write them out on paper, you’re energetically getting them out of your body. That’s why I’m a major proponent of journaling — I believe it will literally change your life.
Another thing that happens when you see “I am anxious, and I am overwhelmed” on paper reflected you is that you begin to detach it from yourself. It’s as though reading your emotions and their triggers helps you realize that it’s all just an experience you’re having. You are not anxiety. Anxiety is just visiting you.
Now, you can look at it and say, “Okay, Anxiety, you’re not in me. You’re just an experience that I’m having.” And you can begin asking yourself, “How can I begin to honor this experience and evolve?” Remember, as we ascend, it’s really important to have the ability to look at the world and our experiences from a neutral perspective.
You can do this by looking at everything you’ve written and saying, “Anxiety, you’re not a bad thing. I used to think you’re a bad thing. I thought that you were ruining my life, but I realize you’re here to visit me, teach me something, and have me reflect on something. Thank you, Anxiety, for showing me what still gets to be unpacked and what still needs to be healed.”
With that gentle gratitude-filled response, you’re taking back your power, becoming empowered, and disempowering that anxious spiral of doom.
The Power of Writing Letters to Your Lower and Higher Self
The last tip I want to share with you today for handling anxiety is really fun! I learned this little trick in anger management and overeaters anonymous. Because as you can imagine, as I was going through anger management healing and overeaters anonymous, a lot of feelings came up. I would try the numb or express these feelings with food or throwing things. Immediately afterward I would feel like my lowest self.
It was in those moments I learned to write a letter to my higher self. With full-blown honesty, I would write something like, “Dear higher self, I am feeling like total shit right now. I am overwhelmed. I am anxious. Life sucks right now, and I don’t feel like I know what to do or how to handle it. … Love your lower self.”
Then I would fold it up and keep it in my purse or wallet — somewhere accessible. I would carry it around with me, and then on a day where I was on cloud nine, and everything was flowing, I would pause and catch myself. I would bask in the feeling of completely being my higher self, feeling really good, and having no anxiety at all!
From that energy space, I would write a letter to my lower self. It would say, “Dear lower self, I love you. I see you. We’ve got this. It’s all gonna be okay. Everything’s happening for you — for me. We are humans trying the best that we can with what we have. So don’t give up. I love you. I see you, and your feelings are valid. Love, your higher self.”
After a while, I had stacks of letters from my higher self and lower self. When I was in my lower self-energy, I would pull out a letter from my higher self and read it. Those letters helped remind me that this feeling, too, shall pass. Reading them gave me space to be a human trying the best she can with what she has. And it gave me the freedom to see that we all have multiple sides to ourselves. It doesn’t mean we have multiple personality disorders. It just means that we’re human. And to be human is a fucking beautiful, powerful, and magical thing!
So, dear sister, if you struggle with anxiety or any emotion that takes you by surprise and gets you to act in ways lower than your higher self, I highly encourage you to try this practice.
Why You Need to Honor Your Anxiety
When I shared with my accountability partner about my anxiety and how I was working through it, she was reminded of what it means to be human. That reminder gave her permission to experience anxiety as a valid feeling, too. What a beautiful and powerful gift, right?
This happens all the time. When someone, like myself, is committed to doing the inner work and experiences victory, sharing that story encourages listeners that they can have victory, too.
So, if there’s only one reason you commit to working through your anxiety, let it be this: To be able to give others permission to be human and fight for victory for themselves, too.
If you’re looking for a real community and accountability as you take strides to embody your higher-self and not be a victim of anxiety, I have something special I want to tell you about! Ascend, my membership program all about ascending into your divine goddess self is opening for enrollment really soon (late February 2021).
I created Ascend with the vision of giving women a safe container of community and educational resources for everything woo — from sexuality, childhood wounds, clearing chakras, re-writing money stories, and shifting from toxic masculine energy to vibrant feminine energy. If this sounds like something you’ve been looking for, hop on the waiting list to be the first to know when enrollment officially opens — I’d love to have you join us!
I hope this message helped you feel less alone and equipped you to navigate anxiety with more intention and hope. If it supported you, please make sure to screenshot this and share it on Instagram so that other women who are struggling with anxiety can receive the tools, too. Tag me, @iamtaylorsimpson, and let me know which golden nugget you’re most excited to try!
Thank you for hanging out with me today. Remember, anxiety is not a part of who you are but an experience you’re having. We’re all human trying the best we can with what we’ve got!
I love you. I see you. And, as always, don’t forget to choose happiness, because, well, why the fuck not?!
Get on the Waitlist for Ascend 2021! Here
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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
- The exact steps I use to move from a place of panic to feeling good about my life
- Two things everyone needs to know about anxiety
- How to use journaling to unpack your anxiety
- Why journaling is my favorite self-development tool
- Two reasons to write letters to your lower and higher self
- The ripple effect that happens when you honor your anxiety