I wish they made Thundershirts for anxious people. Have you ever seen a Thundershirt? it is a snug vest that you put on your dog and it makes all their anxiety melt away. I saw an ad for one on the internet and watched this amazing video where dogs with phobias and all sorts of nervous behaviors get immediate relief just from wearing this thing…
See the picture of the relaxed doggies wearing their Thundershirts? Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could put on one of these and then be all chill?
Kidding aside, I guess learning about anxiety self help and then actually implementing the tools I learn is about as close to wearing a human Thundershirt as you can get.
It hasn’t always been pleasant to discover certain things about me, namely that my thinking tends to be negative. Or that I need to work on my low self esteem, mainly because that negative anxious thinking kept it low for too many years.
But on the other hand, had I not decided to take stock of what makes me tick, I never would have learned that I can challenge my fears- every day if need be- make teeny, tiny successes and win the fight against anxiety.
I like to use the term “Anxiety Recovery”- meaning that I am a recovering anxious person. I still have my moments… I still have setbacks, but by and large I am moving forward and continuing to feel better.
I happen to be sick right now. I caught a nasty head cold from someone at work the other day. This is a good reminder for me to remember to use HALTS (for more, please see HALTS for Coping with Panic Attacks)
Since I’m not running at full speed, I found myself feeling anxious and my thoughts started racing to the weird and negative. All negative projections about the upcoming days: I have company coming this weekend, I have to clean the guestroom, I should grocery shop today because I have to work the next 2 days… Man I have so much to do, maybe I should ask them not to come…
Then I start getting mad at the kids and Bob- these kids are such slobs, look at their rooms, disgusting! Bob hasn’t even taken down the big wreath outside – he’s so freaking lazy… No wonder the kids are slobs, they learned it from their dad, the biggest slob of all….How am I going to get all the cleaning and cooking done living with these pigs?…
I had to catch myself there. I wasn’t in a full fledged rage but I was mad, negative and feeling anxious and uncomfortable in general. When I went grocery shopping later that day I almost had a panic attack. I was so freaked out and mad!
I realized, hey Jill, you’re Sick. You gotta give yourself a break. Slow down… Breathe….Just breathe….
I couldn’t calm down. I was angry that I was anxious. I felt so bad that I almost panicked. So I listened to my self hypnosis for panic attacks download while I did my slow, deep, cleansing diaphragmatic breathing.
That worked. In retrospect, I should have prepared myself before I went grocery shopping, but today I’m still sick and I have more shopping to do. So lesson learned.
So friends, I have my invisible Thundershirt- it’s all my tools in my anxiety self help toolbox. Today I will remember to use them. Don’t forget to use your tools too!
I wish you peace,