How do we support ourselves when struggling with anxiety?

The news these days is frightening. Many countries have recently elected leaders that have made decisions for their countries, that not only benefit themselves but threaten the lives of their constituents. This country is no longer the exception. The news is regularly disturbing and what’s happening is having an inpact on all of us.  

In an article found on Medical News Today, it is written, “The American Psychiatric Association ran a poll on 1,000 U.S. residents in 2017, and they found that nearly two thirds were “extremely or somewhat anxious about health and safety for themselves and their families and more than a third are more anxious overall than last year.”

They also noted that millennials were the most anxious generation. In 2018, the same poll was repeated. Anxiety was shown to have risen again by another 5 percent.”

What do we do with all of our anxiety? It helps to talk with others, lessen our exposure to the news and get active, both politically and physically. When we are politically active, we feel able to make changes, not accept what’s happening, challenge the norm. This also helps us to feel less alone with our anxiety. Being physically active, not only changes our brain chemistry, but it also helps us to recognize our physical capabilities. 

Another thing that helps me is looking at pictures or watching videos of puppies. Another study from Very Well Mind, entitled, “Stress-Relieving Benefits of Watching Cute Animal Videos,” states that “These findings even surprised the researchers but showed that there is a real potential benefit to viewing pictures of cute animals and that this can help people to feel more positively about other things (and people) in their lives as well.”

Lastly, I try and balance the bad with the good. I have a stream of articles on my social media pages and in my inbox that are all doom and gloom. I’ll read some of them because I want to know what’s going on in the world and but I also have articles that make me feel good, hopeful and positive. Below is a poem that I’ve come back to many, many times. It has created a wonderful balance for me. I hope that it does for you too.

Someone

by Mary Standing Otter

“Right now there are Tibetan Buddhist monks in a temple in the Himalayas endlessly reciting mantras for the cessation of your suffering and for the flourishing of your happiness.

Someone you haven’t met yet is already dreaming of adoring you.

Someone is writing a book that you will read in the next two years that will change how you look at life.

Nuns in the Alps are in endless vigil, praying for the Holy Spirit to alight the hearts of all of God’s children.

A farmer is looking at his organic crops and whispering, “nourish them.”

Someone wants to kiss you, to hold you, to make tea for you.

Someone is willing to lend you money, wants to know what your favorite food is, and treat you to a movie.

Someone in your orbit has something immensely valuable to give you — for free.

Something is being invented this year that will change how your generation lives, communicates, heals and passes on.

The next great song is being rehearsed.

Thousands of people are in yoga classes right now intentionally sending light out from their heart chakras and wrapping it around the earth.

Millions of children are assuming that everything is amazing and will always be that way.

Someone is in profound pain, and a few months from now, they’ll be thriving like never before. From where they are, they just can’t see it .

Someone who is craving to be partnered, to be acknowledged, to arrive, will get precisely what they want — and even more. And because that gift will be so fantastical in it’s reach and sweetness, it will quite magically alter their memory of angsty longing and render it all ‘So worth the wait.’

Someone has recently cracked open their joyous, genuine nature because they did the hard work of hauling years of oppression off of their psyche — this luminous juju is floating in the ether, and is accessible to you.

Someone just this second wished for world peace, in earnest.

Some civil servant is making sure that you get your mail, and your garbage is picked up, that the trains are running on time, and that you are generally safe.

Someone is dedicating their days to protecting your civil liberties and clean drinking water.

Someone is regaining their sanity.

Someone is coming back from the dead.

Someone is genuinely forgiving the seemingly unforgivable.

Someone is curing the incurable.

You. Me. Some. One. Now.”