Overwhelmed. Overwrought. Agitated. Nervous. Tense. On edge. These are just some of the words that describe how I feel when I’m having a bout of anxiety. It’s like I’m waiting for bad news that is yet to happen. A feeling inside my gut that is on the cusp of an explosion. It’s the butterflies but without the excitement, the shortness of breath without the physical exertion, and the random tics that catch me off guard.
Try, try as I might to suppress the feeling to the bottom of my gut, and yet there it still remains, in the pit of my stomach- the core of my very being. All I hear is my heart beating, getting louder and louder with each beat inside my chest- the anxiety’s way of threatening to overtake my entire body. The rain cloud follows me overhead, watching, waiting to drench me in an untamed panic.
In focus, I attempt to gain some clarity to understand my negative thinking better. I tell myself it’s just that–negative thinking. I remind myself that persistent negative thinking is draining my brain’s resources and that by hosting such behaviour I am creating a breeding ground for an unhealthy habit.
Habits. Like many things in life negativity too can become one. A habit is a routine of behaviour that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously. I have a bad habit. I used to think of bad habits as biting your nails or swearing too much- but this habit, THIS HABIT is sneaky, THIS HABIT is sly, THIS HABIT is dangerous.
So what do we do when we have a bad habit we want to kick? We can identify triggers, practice mindfulness and self-care. Stress is usually a factor for me and identifying it by taking some time out, regardless if I’ve done it a thousand times before, not only helps me to understand how I feel and why, but I am able to re-balance myself and align with what I want.
Which is certainly not negative thinking.