Friday, May 6, 2011

anticipation = anxiety

credit for the goodness here.
anticipation:

1. to realize beforehand; foretaste or foresee: to anticipate pleasure.

2. to expect; look forward to; be sure of: to anticipate a favorable decision.

3. to perform (an action) before another has had time to act.

6. to consider or mention before the proper time: to anticipate more difficult questions.

7. to be before (another) in doing, thinking, achieving, etc.: Many modern inventions were anticipated by Leonardo da Vinci.

9. to think, speak, act, or feel an emotional response in advance.

{I edited some of the definitions out...hence the missing numbers. Just so ya know.}
 
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No...this is not a post about Carly Simon. Um...I'm feeling a little anxious today. It actually started yesterday. There is a lot going on today and over the weekend. Simple plans really...and nothing overwhelming or huge. But I have this tendency to anticipate everything I have to do...every plan I've made...every obligation I've been given...every expectation of me...and lump it all into one big tangle.
 
I take all of those things and pile them into one big pile of "to-do's" and next thing I know....I'm feeling nervous. My heart is beating a little faster...my mind is racing in about 40 different directions. My stomach feels a bit nauseous...my limbs feel heavy...and I have to deliberately take good deep breaths to stay calm.
 
It used to be that this feeling...this anxiety...would stop me dead in my tracks. Possibly even for a day or two..or three. It would stop me from going places...and talking to people. It would stop me from enjoying the day...my family...my blessings. It was a huge distraction. And still can be on occasion.
 
The difference between then and now is that now I am aware of how I'm feeling. And I'm usually even aware as to why. What I've learned to do is to stop, take some good, deep breaths and then say a prayer. I stop and think about what is making me nervous...and anxious. Many times it's a busy schedule or maybe a relational issue with someone. Or maybe it's what I think someone is thinking about a certain situation...or how I think someone is feeling...or what I think....think...think....in my own head that is quite often not the case!
 
Once I pinpoint what is making me anxious...like right now for instance...I know I have a lot going on this weekend...so the anticipation of a busy schedule is making me anxious. But what I'm learning to do is to break it all down into manageable bits. I have to stop and take a realistic look at what it is I'm doing...the actual times they are happening...and then I can see that there is plenty of time for all of it. It's not all happening at once.
 
When I do this the anxiety dissipates almost instantly. Sometimes it takes me a little longer to realize what's going on inside and I allow the anxiety more power than it deserves.  (Which is NONE.) But more often than not I am able to recognize what's happening, deal with it accordingly and then move forward.
 
 
Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

4 comments:

Denise said...

one day. one hour. one minute even ~ at a time. Breathe and pray.

Beegirl said...

I can relate. I can't breathe when there is too much on the calendar. The last two weeks have been an amazing mess and I am amazed I made it through the week! Hang in there and take it one step at a time. Lovely scripture..One for the medicine cabinet ~ : ))

Sandy said...

Have you ever taken the Meyers-Briggs personality profile? I'm an INFJ and I do just what you've described here. I just wondered if there was a connection. Sister, you and I are two peas in a pod. A giant pod that spans several states, but a pod nonetheless. Praying to for you to have a peaceful weekend!

teekaroo said...

Perfect timing. I am currently trying to deal with some big and scary things (to me) and I am having to take it a bit at a time. It's funny how quickly things feel better when you accomplish some small thing.