Today my therapist said these words to me, “Fire up your frontal lobe.”
A bell went off.
Because it helps deal with anxious thinking. And I deal with that from time to time. My hope in sharing this is that it will be of help to you too.
But first. Here is what is so wretched and cunning about anxiety, it is fear. It is just fear with a different name. It is fear manifesting itself in the body. In a million different ways. Shaky hands, racing heart, flushing face, irritability, sadness, stuck-ness, tiredness or buzzing can’t catch a breath energy. It is fear.
Fear of the unknown. Fear of death. Fear of illness. Fear of accidents. Fear of losing someone you love.
Anxiety for me is like this. I am perfectly happy. I am driving around town by myself or hanging out with my family on the couch feeling the quiet joy of a mellow evening at home when whoomp there it is. Oh no things are going smoothly, too smoothly, things are about to get real.
It’s not a full blown panic attack. It’s more insidious than that.
This anxiety is in the background. It is noise. It is internal. It is underneath. It is palpable and at the same time elusive. It digs it’s teeth into negativity, darkness, and uncertainty.
It feels like something bad is going to happen. That’s it. In a nutshell, that for me is how I experience anxiety.
And it’s total and utter bullshit.
Here is the good thing about it. Anxiety is treatable. Here is where the “Fire up your frontal lobe” part comes in.
Anxiety does not like reason or logic. Anxiety resides in a different part of the brain than reasoning does and reasoning makes anxiety small. Logic, like magic, makes it vanish in a big bellowing cloud of smoke. POOF!
The frontal lobe is the part of the brain associated with analytical thinking and reasoning. So when anxiety starts to creep in, it can be helpful to talk to it. Engage this part of the brain because anxious thinking has no base in reality.
Anxious thinking doesn’t make any sense. Although, it feels very real.
Along with therapy, yoga, meditation, and writing helps me deal with anxiety. Avoiding an abundance of sugar, alcohol, and too many carbs helps too. Not watching the news or violent shows helps. Exercise helps. Distraction helps. Nature definitely helps. And medication too can help when needed.
And reasoning helps too. Reason with that shit. Fire up the frontal lobe, the analytical part of the brain that doesn’t bye into all of the fleeting emotional crazy talk . Catch yourself. Hear yourself going down that path. Observe it, become witness to it and then say Sayanora anxiety!
Anxiety, I hear you. But I am not listening. I‘m watching you go. Away in that puff of smoke. Away in a balloon. Thanks but no thanks.
I’m going back to my breath and enjoying this beautiful sunshiny day.