It's 3.43pm on Monday afternoon.
I've had the day off.
I've got nothing urgent to do and nowhere to be. My wife accidentally took both house keys to work which means I can’t leave our studio apartment without it locking behind me.
In other words, I'm home for the day.
Here's the thing.
Lately my mind has been wired. I've had so much going on that I've always had something else to jump to. But today, I've been forced to slow down.
I've been bored.
But my mind is still busy.
When a busy mind meets boredom, it's the perfect recipe for anxiety.
All day I’ve been jumping from task to task on my computer to try and offer myself the sense that I'm making progress on whatever is causing my mind to be so energetic. I wasn't focused on one single task, I was just busy being busy.
I just stopped.
Busy doesn't equal productive, but today I've been acting as though it does.
Now that I've noticed, here's what I'll do.
- Breathe – Sit down and take some deep breaths. Breathing has the incredible capacity to flood any tension with peace.
- Listen – What is actually on my mind?
- Write – Get what is on my mind onto paper. Being able to clearly see what is causing you to feel wound up is much easier when you can see it before you. When it's just neuro-transmissions firing in your brain, it's hard to know how to respond to that energy.
- Exercise – Gym session and Yoga. This is a nice way to release some pent up energy.
Though busyness is a nice alternative to listening to our anxiety, it's not the cure.
Stop for a moment. Take a breath.
What is your anxiety showing you?
Maybe it's time to slow down.