Today, I made a bold decision. A decision I didn’t even know I could make. The decision was to have a day without full-blown panic.
I was surprised that my decision resulted in minimal panic. Normally, I panic at every unexpected circumstance. This time, if I felt myself starting to panic, I was able to calm down. I didn’t consciously use any one particular tool. Honestly, I’m not sure I used any anxiety management tool.
Here’s what happened. I was able to be flexible. And when I felt like I was going to panic or be hard on myself, I thought about the circumstances and was able to think about the consequences of my actions. I was able to recognize that if I made the wrong choices or a mistake, it wasn’t the end of the world. Nobody was going to die. I didn’t need to go into spiraling anxious thoughts that I was unable to rise out of.
The day started like any other day. I didn’t expect anything to be different. Yet, I got through my morning routine more quickly than normal. I was present with what I was doing. I was able to multitask, something I’ve always had difficulty doing and never thought it was possible for me to do.
I work in a Montessori school. I arrived at work a few minutes early rather than my usual rushing through the door. When I was unexpectedly pulled to sub as the lead teacher in a classroom I’d never worked in before, I was able to go into that classroom with minimal anxiety.
When things didn’t go perfectly, I didn’t beat myself up. I may have gotten a little anxious about how I could have done better. But, instead of shutting down, I briefly thought about what happened, mentally recognized that I was anxious and about to beat myself up, and then got focused on my work again. I had heard about getting centered when you’re off-center but have never put that into practice. This time, I did.
I noticed that I had moved into a place of service. When I focused on serving the students, I was able to forget about my own concerns about perfection and my own anxiety. I was smiling more because I had more awareness that I was coming from a heartfelt place.
There were times the anxiety started getting to me. Anxiety about things in my control and about things beyond my control. But, instead of freezing in the middle of it or allowing it to overtake me, I shelved it for later.
In shelving the anxiety, I allowed it a place. I was not fighting the anxiety. And by allowing it, it seemed like the anxiety did not feel a need to come back full force. When I returned to it later, the anxiety wasn’t there. Or, if it was, it was minimal.
I can’t really point to one thing that caused the shift. While maybe I wasn’t consistent with all of the practices I know can be helpful, if I’m honest with myself, I’ve been doing a little bit every day. I have, however, been fairly consistent with ThetaHealingⓇ, addressing fear-based beliefs with this energy psychology technique. Sometimes, it takes time to experience the full effect from a ThetaHealingⓇ session.
When I really thought about it, I realized that there is probably a compound effect of using these tools. You think that the tools aren’t doing any good until you see the impact on your daily life. It’s like learning to ride a bike – the repeated activity is creating new connections in your brain, but you don’t get any feedback until one day, you can ride the bike as if you’ve been riding it all along.
Making the decision not to panic today has shown me that it’s possible to have a day without panic. And, if I can have one day, then I can have more than one day. I’m beginning to see that it’s possible to live without panic being my go-to reaction.