Thanks for popping in.
What do you do if the smoke alarm goes off in your home? It’s alerting you to the risk of a fire, right? If you’re in our kitchen when it starts beeping, you open all the doors and windows and start waving tea towels around vigorously to expel the smoke! But that’s usually because the smoke in question is a direct result of my culinary skills!
I think that anxiety is like an inner smoke alarm. It is activated when there’s something not right. When the toast catches fire and starts billowing smoke, the smoke alarm lets you know to DO SOMETHING – even if it’s open the window and pull the plug out!
Same with Anxiety. Let’s just say that we all have an inner toaster, and Anxiety is the alarm sensor…
When I get anxious, smoke doesn’t start pouring out of my ears, (well not visibly!) but I do get headaches, chest pains, tearfulness and other symptoms. So there are clear indicators – like a smokey toaster! I just need to start paying more attention to WHAT has set the anxiety-alarm off.
Sometimes, the smoke alarm at home is set too sensitively, and even the steam off the bath will trigger it. Have you ever stayed in a hotel where that happens? What a fiasco! That’s where I am at with my anxiety now. I have to watch the triggers, because some are real – and some are not.
Thing is, there’s been so much slung at us human beings over the last couple of years – on top of normal life – that the inner toaster seems to catch fire every time I even THINK about a piece of toast nowadays!! Does any of this make sense? I seem to panic about stuff that really doesn’t warrant it, or isn’t worthy of worry at all!
We can’t switch the alarm sensor right off – it does protect us from danger. But I need to react more quickly when the inner toaster starts smoking, and not expect the smoke to clear by itself. it seems to build up. Anxiety is the body’s way of telling us something’s not right. But I have to bring my anxiety down to a reasonable level – a level which is congruous with what is actually going on, what is real.
Here are some of the ways I have started handling my anxiety levels, my inner smoking toaster!
- Lay off the caffeine – it makes me jittery
- Go for a walk – concentrate on the trees and birds and flowers
- Have a nap – a cat nap to switch off
- Throw a pot (on the wheel, not at Dave!)
- Make a card – Art is THERAPY!!
- Concentrate on Breathing – that reduces the tension every time.
- Look at WHAT is making me panic, and question it. Am I exaggerating? Am I being rational?
- Reframe my negative thinking. Sometimes I get on the Gloom & Doom Express train to Misery. Total waste of energy.
- Keep it all in Today. Today’s crisis is tomorrow’s memory.
That’s all for today. Writing to you about Anxiety has really helped. I think I’ll pass on toast for lunch though!
Can I make a suggestion? If you, like me, are feeling uneasy and anxious about stuff which you can’t control, write out a list of things you could do which might help you. Then pin it to your fridge, so you remember it! Then peep inside the fridge and find something nice to eat!
Love and BIG Hugs