Our Mongers (a.k.a anxiety) can show up in a variety of ways; sometimes we get so comfortable with it we forget that it isn’t helping. Here are some ways the Monger/Anxiety has shown up this week for my clients, myself, and my friends. (FYI, I made up the names!)
Stephanie was feeling so good she had a day of peace and was finally seeing how all this work in channeling her Biggest Fan was helping. She decided to take a quick walk to enjoy the outside when she returned from the walk she was angry, overwhelmed, and bitter. She realized her Monger had been chatting with her the whole walk telling her that she was wrong, this stuff wasn’t working, and she was still a loser.
The Monger gets nervous when we are too comfortable and let our guard down. One of her rules is don’t be too vulnerable because when we are vulnerable, she believes we risk more pain, later.
Cindy had a busy week. She spent the whole week pushing and hustling. Hitting deadlines, checking in on her Dad, running her kids from practice to practice. She was amazed at how much she was getting done and how good she felt! Yes, she was exhausted each night, but she was checking things off the list and being uber-productive. Friday night, she LOST it. Her husband failed to buy milk at the grocery store, and she went ballistic. All the exhaustion, emotions, and overwhelm from the week came out in a mini-tantrum over milk, which led to an all-out fight over who does more.
Anxiety had been with her all week she had just chosen to push it down until it boiled up with a ten reaction to a two situation.
Molly met a friend for lunch, and they had a great time catching up. On her way back to work, Molly kept replaying this one part of the conversation over and over. “I can’t believe you said that!” Her Monger chimed in. “What were you thinking!?!? She is probably so offended”. After spending the whole afternoon spinning out about potentially offending her friend, Molly called her friend to apologize. Her friend responded with amazement, ‘What are you talking about?!?! I can’t even remember that part of the conversation, so I am certainly not offended”.
Molly wasted the whole afternoon, making up stories and spinning out.
Jen had a major win at work. She had taken on an unhappy client and turned them into a raving fan within a month. She was recognized for her work and received a lot of accolades this week. She wanted to celebrate, but her Monger kept telling her it wasn’t that impressive because it came so easily to her. “ANYONE could have done that, don’t get too big for your britches, Missy.”
Truth is not anyone could have done it. It was Jen’s skill set, her strengths, and yes, it came naturally to her, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a win!!
Can you relate to any of these stories or a version of them? Our anxiety shows up in the sneakiest of ways. So what can you do about it?
The first step, is recognizing it is your anxiety/monger talking, and you can choose to listen to it. (Yes I know this is the hardest step!)
The second step? Practicing A. S. K.
Acknowledge what you are Feeling: Label those feelings,
Stephanie was feeling happy joyful, scared, cautious, and insecure.
Cindy was feeling tired, fearful, exhausted, overwhelmed, taken for granted and proud.
Notice how VARIETY in the feelings. When we start to acknowledge our feelings, we can see the wide range of feelings we experience. Our anxiety/monger likes to keep us in black and white and limit our feelings.
Slow Down and Get into Your Body
Do a full-body movement, touch your toes, stretch for the sky, or wiggle your body.
When we can get in our bodies, we can make some distance between our anxiety and reality. We get trapped in our heads and forget we have a body.
Kindly Pull Back to see the Big Picture.
Give yourself some kindness.
Molly would say to herself, “Julie has been a friend of mine for years, I can trust her to tell me if she was offended.” or “I know you like to pick one thing and obsess on it, but this just isn’t worth it. Julie loves you and she knows you love her, let it go.”
Jen would say to herself, “You did it. You used your strengths and you made a difference, how cool is that?!? You didn’t have to struggle, not all victories require struggle, that is a new belief for you and it is still true.
Sometimes with high functioning anxiety, we feel so alone as if we are the only ones who are experiencing this mind jibberish. I like to share these stories so you can see you aren’t the only one. Plus the more we hear these stories, the more we can recognize them playing out in our own lives.