“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu

(Read: get out of your own way and live in the moment.)

Advice Overload

Easier said than done when you suffer from anxiety, right? Not if the internet is to be believed, with its constant stream of ‘hacks’ for beating anxiety.  

The problem is, with so much information coming from all corners of the world wide web – different treatments, techniques, products… the list goes on – it can actually increase your anxiety trying to cut through the clutter and find what works FOR YOU.

It can also be stressful trying to achieve the level of ‘perfection’ and ‘happiness’ presented online, when following the ‘sure-fire’ advice of ‘gurus’ and ‘influencers’ so far hasn’t worked. This can leave you feeling like a failure.

It can also be difficult to implement said advice into your life in a practical way that fits in with your budget, free time, family support, work commitments, health concerns and other limiting factors. In a perfect world, all of these things would be readily available/non-obstacles, yet for most of us, we simply don’t have the ideal resources.

Furthermore, a lot of advice is conflicting, creating further confusion.

A lot of this conflicting yet well-meaning ‘advice’ can also come from friends (e.g. “take a long bath or walk on the beach”), which work for them, but not necessarily calm YOU down.

Have all the instructions and quick fixes you’ve been given to ‘stop stressing’ gone in one ear and out the other?

Do you feel even more anxious than before, simply because you have anxiety and this makes you feel like a failure, unable to manage it on your own?

There is a very pervasive narrative that anxiety is a flaw.

Worrying about the future is actually a very understandable space to be in right now -or at any time you are going through “stuff”, for that matter.

I would like to share with you one very simple thing that has worked for me: stop trying to stop feeling anxious.

Instead, acknowledge the presence of your anxiety and give yourself a break for feeling anxious.

Please also know that you’re definitely not alone.

Anxiety is the single most common mental health condition in Australia. It’s estimated that over two million Australians suffer from anxiety right now.

Accept Your Anxiety

You may not be your best, most calm self, every second of every day. So what? Sit with and acknowledge that.

That’s all being ‘present’ really is. You don’t have to go through a complicated ritual.

The present moment doesn’t have to be blissful. It can be uncomfortable, sad, scary or annoying. That’s OK. Being present simply means taking a moment to check in with how you’re feeling, acknowledging your anxiety and accepting “it is what it is”.

Emotions are not fixed. There is not one emotion you’ve ever felt that has consumed the entirety of your life. We all drift in and out of different emotions all the time. Sometimes unpleasant emotions stay for longer than we’d like and enjoyable emotions leave faster than we’d like, but eventually, they all pass.

Emotions are like waves. They can’t hurt you if YOU ride THEM. That means giving yourself permission to feel what you feel, on your own timeline, and trusting that “this too shall pass”.

You are in control of your emotions.

If you find yourself ruminating on thoughts that are causing you distress or acting out in ways that are do not serve you, ask yourself, “Why am I giving away valuable real estate in my brain to these bad tenants?”

Calming your anxiety may mean different things for different people at different times. Experiment with what works for YOU.

Pay attention when your anxiety is on the rise and identify what might have both triggered and alleviated it.

This could mean doing something restful (e.g. having a massage), something to switch your mind off (e.g. TV), something artistic (e.g. painting), something hands-on (e.g. gardening), something physical (e.g. running) or something therapeutic (e.g. counselling). Whatever works!

If you’re having trouble identifying your triggers, articulating why you feel anxious, sitting with your anxiety, learning what alleviates it and managing your behaviour, please seek support from a GP or a mental health professional.

I also offer a range of modalities including Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Hypnosis, Time Line Therapy®, Access Bars® and Life Coaching and can work together with you and your support team to maintain continuity of support.

I remove anxiety using concentrated Time Line Therapy® sessions to create shifts in both the conscious and unconscious mind, by releasing the emotions that lead to and create anxiety. To initiate a personal breakthrough, it typically takes 10-12 hours working together, with one 2 hour session per week, for 5-6 weeks.

For more information please visit www.purposefullife.com.au. To make an appointment, please phone on 0481 877 860 or email hello@purposefullife.com.au.