I’ve had my fair share of panic and anxiety provoking moments in the past decade, possibly made worse with the traumatic childhood I had growing up. With that, I’ve tried lots of solutions to try and reduce this anxiety so I could at least attempt to live a normal life and there’s one in particular I’d like to share which might help you in these uncertain times.
Over the weekend I was asked by a friend, “How are you so freaking happy right now? I’m scared shitless!” I replied that I had survived 100% of my worst days and my experiences have conditioned me to trust only what is within my control.
The problem with any form of trauma is that it can condition you to not trust your mind or your sensed anymore. You become disassociated from your own body and it’s the most devastating type of trauma that can have long-lasting effects. The good news is that you can condition the mind and the body to learn how to trust itself again.
I’ve had a handful of EMDR
sessions which has started to break the barrier in helping to peel back the layers of that trauma and I’ve also found solemn in my own form of Stoic Meditation.
Anytime you feel anxiety in physical or mental form, go inwards, eyes closed and imagine what your child self needs. Then create the conditions necessary for what the child inside you needs. For me, it’s oftento feel safe. So I created a half-cyborg, half-human child version of me who controlled the world through portals along with his cyborg cat who could transform itself into a dragon whenever I needed to fly away from danger. It’s fun!
Then find a maxim you can repeat to yourself, here’s some of my favorites:
“To be always fortunate, and to pass through life with a soul that has never known sorrow, is to be ignorant of one half of nature.”
“Clear from your mind the many useless things which disturb you, for they lie entirely in your opinion.” IX.32
“Do not disturb yourself by picturing your life as a whole; do not assemble in your mind the many and varied troubles which have come to you in the past and will come again in the future, but ask yourself with regard to every present difficulty: ‘What is there in this that is unbearable and beyond endurance?’ You would be ashamed to confess it! And then remind yourself that it is not the future or what has passed that afflicts you, but always the present, and the power of this is much diminished if you take it in isolation and call your mind to task if it thinks that it cannot stand up to it when taken on its own.”
“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”
“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”
“Death smiles at us all, all a man can do is smile back.”
“I was once a fortunate man but at some point fortune abandoned me. But true good fortune is what you make for yourself. Good fortune: good character, good intentions, and good actions.”
“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”
In such an uncertain time, we all need ways to comfort ourselves in healthy ways, as it’s far too easy to find ourselves resorting to our bad habits of the past. So recognize that no matter what happens in the world, your mind is always within control.
🍺 to a great week ahead!