Do you ever wake up after a good nights rest to be greeted with a pit in your stomach or tightness in your chest.  Some form of anxiety has taken over your body and yet you have nothing you can really pin it to.  Your day may seem like any other, and yet in some ways you feel paralyzed. Anxiety can and does seem to appear out of nowhere, but I want to share with you a few things that may help you narrow down what’s really going on so that you can get on with your day.

The first thing you may want to ask yourself isn’t just whats on the agenda for the day, but what has the entire week or even month been like?  All too often we tell ourselves I shouldn’t feel stressed or anxious, it is just a regular old day.  But usually our body is the first to let us know that we need to slow down.  Most of us tend to plow through crazy schedules and not take notice of how often we don’t get enough sleep, good nutrition, or relaxation.  Just like a tired little 2 year-old can have a melt down in the middle of a store after missing their much needed nap, the adult body isn’t all that different.  So, when that sick or heavy feeling comes over you, listen to it and take a moment to assess what you need.

Another common trigger for mysterious bouts of anxiety can actually be specific dates and seasons.  Although something stressful or sad may have happened 3 years ago, it isn’t uncommon for the body to respond similarly to how it felt at that time.  If you were dealing with a stressful divorce or sick child as the fall leaves were beginning to change and the air became cooler, don’t be surprised if some of those feelings creep back a year or more later even though in your mind you have moved on and know it is over. Our bodies are responsive to our surroundings. Something as simple as the smell of paste or crayons can transport us back to 1st grade. Powerful memories can have the same effect on us in many ways.   Be sensitive to what you are feeling and nurture yourself.  If it feels bigger than something you can manage alone, reach out for support or consider seeing a professional.

Photo Credit: Cy Ott