I was not stressed. I was anxious.

I was not stressed. I was anxious.

I used to feel anxious before any important or unimportant happening in my life – exams, talking in public, work tasks, talking to strangers. I used to get stomach cramps, sometimes I would block completely, and I would always feel discomfort around my chests. Back then I called it stage fraight.
Today i know it was anxiety.

A few days ago I traveled to my home country to attend 3 days of intense Bodywork Psychodrama Workshop. It’s a workshop where it’s welcome to express emotions and release anger, fear and sadness from your body.
Before I started my trip to the workshop venue, I felt high anxiety about what is going to happen there and also fear of not performing in the way I would like to (looking at it now it seems like I wanted to impress, I guess, moderators? with how much I can do (lol) ) and I started doubting myself that I’m not ready for such deep work.

I felt pressured to do all the exercises needed so that I don’t end up guilty for not using the space given, pressured to use it because I invested a significant portion of time as I traveled 600km, and money.

I was stressed about catching the train on time, getting on the right bus afterward, finding the hotel where I am staying correctly, and so on. It’s interesting how I was able to find my way all around the world but I was too scared to do it in the capital of my home country.
It was overwhelming before it even started.

In power or powerless?

Only after it all ended, it stroke me. No matter how much I work on it, the anxiety it so strongly rotten in me and my nervous system recognizes it as a natural and comfortable place that if I lose the awareness just a tiny bit, it comes back and it hits hard. It reminded me on some many situations in life when I would feel it, but the difference is that back then I was unaware of it and would really fight with it to leave me alone. I was powerless, especially when I was a child. But am I powerless today? Hell, no. The difference in between anxiety back then and now is that now although sometimes hits me hard and unexpected and although I don’t realize it at the beginning, I’m still able to look back and address it. And most importantly, not fight it. Accept it, be gentle and understanding, and try to assess the root cause and main emotion I’m trying to avoid. In my case, it’s fear most of the time.

And what happened with the workshop? I wrote a new article dedicated to that. Let me know if it resonates with you in the comments and feel free to subscribe to my mailing list so you are informed every time I write a new article.

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