Ok, so I know that theoretically, nobody can actually MAKE me feel anything, so obviously: I feel anxious when my children are around.
They came home today after a week’s holiday with grandma and as soon as I got in the car with them, my stomach knotted up with the all-too-familiar fear.
They want to say and do everything AT ONCE. There is no such as things as a linear progression of thought, speech or activity. They are just so ON!
I can’t even tell you what I’m afraid of. It’s more of an overwhelm than actual fear. My senses become saturated within 5 minutes of complete immersion.
So what can I do to help myself in this, my year of MINDFULNESS?
I can focus on my breathing, in and out, in and out, slowly, purposefully, one breath at a time.
I can notice my thoughts – what is happening in my head? what is triggering the anxiety? what thoughts are going round and round? I can ask: Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it necessary? Is it kind? I can change my thoughts, steer them towards something more positive and constructive. “I am OK. I am safe. This is normal. I can deal with this.”
I can take mindful action – do I need to do anything for them? If so, do it, one thing at a time. Tell them to slow down, to decide what needs to be done first. If not, let them be.
Mindfully focus on what I’m doing, use music to form a sound barrier between me and them and then focus back on my own activity. If I’m not doing anything in particular, decide what I’m going to do and do it. Make sure the action is positive and constructive, rather than just a distraction, eg: Facebook, or phone games.
Take time out – retreat to my bedroom and read a book for 15 minutes.
So, from today, that’s what I’m going to do. And I’ll also have a plan for the day – what do I want to accomplish? It’s so much easier to find useful things to do when I have a plan.