I got the Azerbaijanian cooties and have had to push through my days despite feeling like I have an elephant sitting on my head. If you have been following my journey you know I was in Istanbul, Turkey a few weeks ago, and then headed to the small country of Azerbaijan. I share more about this below.
But I first want to fill you in on a bit of an anxiety secret.
Most people who are struggling with anxiety (or any issue, really), continue to struggle despite saying they want to stop.
Because they are waiting to FEEL BETTER before they start making the needed changes. The inner dialogue sounds like:
“When I feel better / am not so tired / am not so stressed / am calmer / stop feeling panicky… …I will start / do / stop / change xyz.”
The problem is, their current choices are exactly what’s triggering anxiety. So unless you make DIFFERENT, more aligned choices, anxiety and stress hang out with you.
Procrastinating, putting off, and waiting until “later” FEED and FUEL anxiety and overwhelm.
Therefore, if you are waiting for anxiety to disappear BEFORE you take action to undo the circumstances triggering it, then you will be sorely disappointed… and stuck. (And if you believe that anxiety or your circumstances are happening TO you, and you are a helpless victim, then you will REALLY stay stuck.)
If you believe anxiety is happening TO you, and you have to learn to “manage it”, then you have just made anxiety your BFF for life.
The SECRET to getting rid of anxiety and overwhelm lies in pushing through anxious, depressed, whatever feelings, to make the needed changes so that you can actually get rid of said miserable feelings. I share with you the example of when I left my former marriage. I had a tremendous amount anxiety for about 6 months because internally I knew that I needed to leave. I also had a tremendous amount of anxiety over the act of leaving and uprooting my entire life!
What if it didn’t work out? What if I regretted my decision?
All of the self-doubt surfaced, and yes, it fed the anxiety I was feeling even more. But guess what, I did not get rid of the anxiety until I sucked it up, put on my purple power panties, made the committed decision to leave, and actually left. Truth be told, it took about 3 months after my departure to experience about a 50% reduction in stress, anxiety, and overwhelm. But by 6 months, I was settled and could feel a state of inner-peace returning.
I had to push through what I was experiencing to make the needed change in my life, so I could return to inner peace and calm. Had I “waited to feel better first”, I would probably still be in that marriage, plus have like stomach cancer or something because it was just too much gut tension for my physical body. The good news is that there are tools you can use to support your uncomfortable feelings so they don’t completely take over and sabotage your actions. I used Tapping and breathing exercises EVERY day to support myself in taking action despite how I felt.
The SECOND secret I have for you today is to learn exactly WHY you are experiencing anxiety / your struggles so you are taking the “right” action. Shoot, if you are going to push through the discomfort, you probably want to make sure that you are making choices that support an anxiety-free lifestyle versus ones that bring on MORE anxiety or have zero impact.
Don’t you agree? So many people swap one bad choice for another, simply because the second option is the “lesser of the two evils”. I don’t know about you, but I am not a big fan of wasting time and energy for nothing. So to review, the SECRET (well, actually 2 secrets – bonus!) to getting rid of anxiety are:
1. Stop waiting to “feel better”.
Start taking action, pushing through the anxiety and overwhelm, and make the needed changes.
2. Know exactly WHAT current circumstances are creating the anxiety.
So you don’t waste time, money, and energy making even MORE misaligned and anxiety-provoking choices. Know anyone else that would benefit from learning these “secrets”? Please SHARE this with them. The truth is, I am not a big fan of secrets!
When I tell people I was in Baku, Azerbaijan, most first ask where the heck Azerbaijan even is. That was actually my response too when the husband told me that we were speaking at a conference there. Azerbaijan is a small country bordering Iran, Armenia, and Georgia. I know, fun places. But I was pleasantly surprised at this very secular (despite being predominately Muslim) and very modern, clean, and safe city of Baku. It combines the old with the new, as in this header photo. You can see the historic mosque with the “twin flames” in the background of the more modern high rises. (I know, they kinda look like horns in this pic.)
Needless to say, we were very busy here, being fed and stuffed to the max with local foods, and schlepping from one activity to another, that I was not surprised we both came home depleted and sick. The 24 hour travel home on several cootie-ridden airplanes didn’t help either.
If you are interested in following my travel ventures, head on over to Instagram and follow me there. That’s where I post most of my travel pics.