Friday, August 16, 2019

Can Anxiety Be a Good Thing?

Just by reading my title, you're probably shaking your head and saying, "No, no no!" And as I sit here typing, I had just finished doing some deep breathing exercises to lower my heart rate just so I can drink my coffee. Sounds bizarre, but I can't give coffee up. Generally, people with anxiety shouldn't drink coffee for obvious reasons. But for me, it makes me feel good, especially if I can control my anxiety. The last few weeks, my heart rate has been 100+ --- sometimes reaching 130bpm. I've seen emergency medical doctors, cardiologist, therapists, psychiatrists to all tell me it's anxiety. Basic 'calming techniques' were given and of course, the follow up appointment.

So Why Would Anxiety Be a Good Thing? 

It's really not, but I just learned from both my sister and therapist that when your heart races or you feel this surge of anxiety rush through you---that can mean you're on the verge of a breakthrough and spiritual awakening. It can mean that God is giving you something greater. For instance, I'm moving and every time we think we are all set, the moving date gets pushed down another week or two due to another issue we have to fix in the new home. It's not huge issues, but ones we'd like to fix before the furniture arrives. This has left me waking up with a rapid heartbeat every single morning. But the thing was, I would entertain it, coddle it, FEAR it, where it would exasperate the anxiety even more. Totally my mistake. And no doubt, moving is a huge change, especially for me, where I am leaving my ancestral home where I took care of my mom and dad, so it has a heavy pull on my heart. This is completely normal! I should know this, but when you feel like your heart is in your throat, your mind can drift off and say, "Am I okay?"

Excess Energy & Grounding

An article I read over on this site said, "Anxiety is a NATURAL part of the awakening process (it may be natural, but its not actually necessary). The anxiety that you’re feeling absolutely WILL PASS and Its actually a sign that you’re right on track. Spiritual awakening anxiety is natural because when those large quotients of energy begin to flood our system, our energy bodies are highly charged. Think of it like leaving a charger in the electrical socket too long. We get charged so much that we’re practically buzzing, and there’s nowhere for that excess energy to go. Now, it has good purpose – it awakens us, and it opens us up to heal our emotions and reconnect with source through our psychic senses – however, it is not necessary for you to feel anxious in order to awaken. It's really important that you grasp this, so I’ll say it again, it is not necessary for you to feel anxious in order to awaken. However, our bodies have likely never experienced a volume or intensity of energy like this, ever. It often perceives it to be anxiety when really, its just energy – we’re just super charged – and our bodies simply don’t have enough physical density to be able to balance it out or to anchor us to the earth. It feels like anxiety, but really, it is just energy. The good news is, that if we can anchor that energy to the earth, and hold enough physical density in our bodies to absorb it, the energy can be balanced, and the anxiety can be released. We do that with grounding."

It's going to feel like nobody understands you, especially if you don't understand the process of "good energy" that's considered to be "bad" --- it's typically just uncomfortable if you're resisting it. Naturally, someone experiencing this out of the blue will automatically think the worst case scenario, rush off to the doctor to be only told that it's anxiety. They'll sit there wondering what they're stressed about or what they were thinking when they were hit with a pounding heart. It can definitely be confusing. Knowing what I know now, I've been using grounding techniques that I should've been doing in the past. I learned how to stabilize myself, while having a racing heart or a panic attack in other forms. I typically just sit, relax, put on this video on Youtube (click here) and start to deep breathe along with its soothing music and affirmations. Then I start my grounding techniques: I name 5 different things I can see, 4 things I can feel, 3 things I can hear, 2 things I can smell and 1 thing I can taste. It's using your senses that make your mind distracted. It truly works. When I'm having these episodes, it's important for me to walk around barefoot. This is also a grounding technique. They say to walk barefoot outside, but it hurts way too much! So I play it safe on my hard wood floors.

Self Dialogue is Important! 

"It's 'okay'----you know what this is, you've been through this before and know how to calm yourself. It's only anxiety and this too shall pass. You don't need to go to the emergency room or see a doctor, you just need to ground yourself, take a deep breath and know that this positive energy surging through you is a good thing!" By the time Alexa and Siri hear you, the men in the white coats will come to get you. Ha. Sometimes, you're the only comforter you have. I also pray to God, because for me, He is my comforter. I always reiterate to myself, "You're not alone, God is here and it's okay." Pretend you're talking to your 8 year old self having a meltdown. "Don't worry, just calm down and let's go out for ice-cream." Ok, that was my selfishness slipping in there, and yes, sometimes this does require ice cream! In all seriousness, self-dialogue is what helped me today. Be kind to yourself. Let yourself feel what it has to go through---all the emotions, good and bad. All the heartbeats that tell you, "Yes! You're alive!' Remind yourself that what you are experiencing is something signifiant. You're on the cusp of a wonderful breakthrough. Believe it.

Here's What I've Noticed About My Kind of Anxiety

I noticed the most important factor of my "panic attacks." Anytime I have something really good to look forward to, my heart races. In the past, this would be thought to be a bad thing---like maybe God is telling me not to do this, etc. My anticipation about this very important move in my life (which is sooooo healthy for me) is all good! Sometimes, I'll get so excited to see my sisters or my friends that my anxiety exasperates into a full blown panic attack. For instance, a few months ago, we made plans to meet all of my family at this restaurant on a Friday evening. I was so excited to see everyone. As the day went on, I felt a little anxious---nothing huge. I did some shopping, came home and got ready to see the girls. All of the sudden, I felt my heart racing a mile a minute. I'm like, "What now???" I was so frustrated because for me, this meant that I would have to tell everyone I couldn't go. But something told me to go against it---to do it in fear---to go with your heart racing and all. And I did. I had the best time and I was so glad I pushed through it. That was a huge feat for me, to go into a crowded restaurant on a Friday night and to sit at a big table and be social, all while my heart was going thumpity-thump-thump-thump!

Another thing I noticed, is when the anxiety is notable a negative kind, it seems to hold different feelings and symptoms. For instance, when I knew my mom was dying, I would go upstairs and cry my eyes out and stay up till 5am. Insomnia is a huge sign of my negative side----but it can also mean good as well depending on what's going on. So when I am going through something very negative, I won't sleep, and most likely will have more shortness of breath and random chest pains. There's hardly any racing heart with this type of anxiety.

For any anxiety, if I just take a brisk walk outside, or just be in the sun for 15 minutes, this helps me a lot. I'm not a huge fan of exercise either. It just means my heart will race more. But lately, I have noticed that if I am more active one day, my heart rate will go down, due to keeping it up intentionally. There's some science to being calmer after exercising.

One last thing, I know coffee is a known 'no-no' when someone has anxiety. I mean, if you're having an attack right there and then---do not drink coffee. But if you are calm, and your head is in the right place, grab your cup and enjoy. For me, if I skip my coffee, I get migraines and also a rapid heart rate from the withdrawal of coffee. This confuses so many people, because they've been taught to steer away from coffee while having a panicky day. I say, drink it with moderation. Coffee has so many benefits. There's a study they did where they found that people who drank coffee on a regular basis were less likely to become suicidal. It really does give you this 'feel good' vibe, which has an addicting quality. It's also proven to strengthen the heart and prevent cancer. So as someone who suffers with anxiety and the symptoms of it, I am a total advocate for the java bean,

I'm writing this to share what I experienced this morning. I woke up with a pounding heart and calmed myself down. I prayed and did my grounding work. It went from 130bpm down to 85bpm which is really good. As long as my mind is occupied, either by reading, writing, cleaning, cooking or walking the dog, I seem to incorporate grounding techniques just by the distractions of it all. Watching TV is a huge no-no, because it's not enough distraction. You're still. You're not moving and most likely, if the show is kinda on the boring side, you're going to notice every symptom that comes across your body. However, on the opposite of that, if you sit still and listen to quiet music while intentionally grounding yourself with breathing exercises, you can truly calm yourself down. You're in control. Your mind and heart need to coincide so they can both be calm. If your heart makes your mind race, then let your mind slow down your heart. Your "motherboard" needs to dictate all that happens in your system. Believe me---I'm STILL learning to practice these steps. I like to share what has helped me when I'm experiencing a rapid heart rate or anxiety in general.

Remember, if you can't think of something bad or negative happening in your life, and your heart is still racing---know that you're on the cusp of a major breakthrough. Use that energy---spend it! Make it work for you. Right now, I'm attempting to clean my house and make sure my garden is weeded. I will not be a victim of "good anxiety," because I'm supposed to use it, enjoy it, and maybe even have it inspire me to exercise....maybe.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com
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