The great teacher Lao Tzu was quoted to say, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” How wise those words are.
If we had to think about all the things we want to accomplish in a lifetime, or a year or even a month, it gets be extremely overwhelming.
At one time in my life I used to be frozen with fear and anxiety when I would think about projects I needed to finish and all the things I wanted or needed to do. It’s like I was paralyzed due to being overwhelmed. Procrastination was a huge problem.
Part of that had to do with perfectionism, which I thankfully overcame. The other part was just not being able to live in the moment. I think I was always in a state of free floating anxiety, even if there wasn’t anything to be anxious about.
If you have anxiety, are a procrastinator or get overwhelmed when starting projects I want you to know there is a better way.
Over the course of a year or so I was able to overcome that constant state of worry. Here’s what worked for me.
1. Listening to people like Eckhart Tolle, Ram Das, Jack Kornfield and Ajahn Brahm who talk about living in the moment.
2. Digging deep to find out why I had anxiety and perfectionism, going all the way back to my childhood. I don’t think I could have skipped this part as it was extremely beneficial. When we can understand the “why” it makes so much more sense.
3. Working on loving myself more through self care. I developed a self care routine. You have to find one that works for you but here are some good ideas.
4. Changing any negative thoughts into a positive affirmation. I learned to do this through listening to a lot of Louise Hay talks. I fell asleep to 101 Power Thoughts by Louise Hay many times.
5. Understanding that any negative thought comes from my ego and isn’t real. This is a concept that really changed the way I view myself and the world.
6. Owning my power by listening to and practicing “A Course in Miracles” (people like Wayne Dyer and Marianne Williamson developed their positivity from practicing ACIM as well). Here is the audio book. The first part of the workbook is here. You can find several people on YouTube who cover the workbook lessons one by one if you don’t want to buy the books. Just search for ACIM workbook lessons, if you’re interested.
7. Meditating. It’s hard to do when you have anxiety but that’s when you need it the most. Just like anything, you have to keep trying if you plan on getting any better at it. Don’t give up. Meditating has the power to change your whole life.
8. Listening to and practicing The Neuropsychology of Self Discipline. This book puts things in perspective and helped me to figure out my goals and how to go about them in a systematic way without a feeling of overwhelm. I highly recommend it to everyone.
9. Generally learning to let go of control. Living in the moment helps me to not sweat the small stuff as much. Nothing is perfect. Nothing ever will be perfect. People make mistakes. Life comes with ups and downs. Learning to accept what is out of our control should be a mandatory lesson for every human. It makes life so much easier. Again, this just takes practice. Bite your tongue if you have to in the beginning. Change your thought pattern. Eventually it will get easier.
I read more books to work on my personal issues and listened to tons of YouTubers, psychologists and just regular people who had good tips, but those are the main things I did. Over a course of time I have completely changed.
I still get an occasional feeling of free floating anxiety especially at night when it’s time to go to sleep but I can completely control it with my mind. I breathe and tell myself that it’s my ego trying to creep back in. I say to myself, “these thoughts are not real and I choose to not think them.” If I need help, I pray for my guardian angels and God to surround me and fill me with peace. Within a minute or less it’s gone.
I want you to know that you, too, can overcome anxiety and overwhelm. Obviously, seek professional help if you need it. These are tips to do in addition to receiving medications and counseling if you need it.
One thing I have learned as a nurse and a patient though, is that there is no magic pill for anything. We’d like to believe if we go to the doctor he or she can fix us. That’s just not the case. Prevention is best but sometimes we don’t know how. When we’re faced with something wrong we need to dive deep to learn the cause and start doing things for ourselves to take better care of ourselves. No one said it would be easy but there is hope that it’s sometimes possible and so is very much worth trying.
May you be happy and well.