Earlier this month, I published a book. Yes, I’m sure you’re all very aware, considering I blasted it all over the internet for the past two weeks (sorry?).
You would think I’d be thrilled considering the outpour of love I’ve received from friends, family, and even people I’ve never met (thank you all VERY much).
However, it’s created far more anxiety than I ever thought it would.
Anxiety and I have become dear friends over the years. And by friends I mean, he torments me daily and I hate everything about him (don’t ask me why I consider anxiety a dude). Great friend though, right?
My roommate used to come home from work and find me sitting in the dark living room, shades drawn, huddled in my Saints blanket watching The Office. He would ask if I was okay (nice guy, right) and I would look up and say, “sorry, dude…my anxiety is through the roof.”
Yeah, it was that bad.
The term ‘anxiety’ derives from a Greek word that literally means, “to be torn apart…” Hmm, that’s reassuring.
Seems fitting. Anxiety truly does tear me apart, and torment me on a daily basis.
What will people think of the book? Will they hate it? Was this a realistic and sustainable career move? Will I actually be able to help people and serve the world with this?
These questions, along with countless other negative emotions, have flooded through my mind since the book first went live.
If you asked me 6 months ago what would make me the happiest person on the planet, I would’ve told you seeing my book for sale on Amazon…
Well, it’s here…so why am I not the happiest person on the planet? I’ll tell you.
It’s because once we accomplish something in this life, we don’t take the time to actually appreciate it and be grateful for how far we’ve come.
Now, I’m certainly not going to sit here and brag about the fact that I published a book because that would be lame. But, what I am saying is that I, and maybe we all, need to learn how to appreciate the small wins in life and be a little bit more grateful for what we have accomplished.
Here’s what I’m currently doing to solve my anxiety problem…
1. Create and Appreciate Small Wins
I think we all need to understand that failure is inevitable. All success requires some sort of failure. So, to deal with failure in one arena, all we need to do is accomplish something in a different one. Call them small wins if you will.
I’ve been getting quite overwhelmed with marketing and what needs to be done to get this thing off the ground. And because of that, I’ve created far more anxiety in my life.
So, I put everything on hold for a few days and took some time to appreciate what I had just accomplished. In doing so, I ventured back to the root of why I started all of this. To help people.
And in the process, I realized that there were people right in front of me who I had been neglecting to help. So, instead of complaining about my problems, I decided to help them with theirs.
And those small wins have truly made all the difference.
2. Get Out Of The House
(DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN SIT INSIDE AND CRY…)
Okay, I haven’t really been crying (or drinking) but you get the point.
I’ve spent countless hours staring at my computer screen wondering what the feedback would be on my book. Isn’t that strange? Didn’t I just write about how we can’t rely on other people for our own happiness? And here I am being a hypocritical, nervous-reck.
So, I closed my computer and started getting outside more. Gym, coffee shops, hikes, you name it. Anything to get outside and keep my mind off the anxiety of my book.
No, Netflix is not an acceptable alternative here.
3. Give Gratitude
It’s been a long road to get here, and NUMEROUS people have done everything they can to support me. So, I reached out to those people and thanked them.
It wasn’t fair to them for me to sit here and complain about all my issues – it’s almost like a slap in the face to them. They’ve done everything in their power to get me to this point, and here I am bitching (sorry for the language, mother) about how I’m not doing enough to get this thing moving.
So, I reevaluated what I’m grateful for, and why I’m grateful for it, and who would’ve thought? I’m happy again.
4. Get Back On A Routine
I’ve been slipping in my routine. Hmmm, and I wonder why I have anxiety?
So, I regrouped. I went back to my roots, reread my life goals, and started writing 3 things I’m grateful for every morning, 3 things I’m committed to, a few words to describe my state of mind, a joke to calm the storm, and three goals for the day.
Annnnd you’ll NEVER guess what happened? My mood changed and my anxiety is gone.
5. Ask For Help
We can’t try to conquer the world alone. Believe me, I tried and it doesn’t work. So, after I regrouped, reread my life goals, and got back on a routine – I started reaching out to people who I thought would be willing to help. And guess what??
Their direct response was, “It’s about time you moron. I’ve been waiting for you to ask.”
Great friends, I have, right?
Ask for help and you’ll be amazed at who will rally in your corner.
6. Laugh More
I told a friend about my anxiety and how I was getting depressed again. Guess what she did?
SHE BOUGHT ME A DAD JOKE BOOK? I read that damn thing cover to cover in one sitting and I’ve never laughed so hard in my entire life. (KP, you’re a legend – thank you for that little slice of heaven).
I think we all need to laugh more. We become so consumed with success and how we’re going to accomplish all of our hopes and dreams, that we forget to appreciate the small joys of life.
I’m never doing that again. Even if it takes me writing my own Dad joke book to bring joy to my life, I’ll gladly do it… I clearly have the time these days
In closing, I’d like to point something out…
Notice how I titled this post, “How I’m ‘Solving’ My Anxiety Problem…” Solving being the key word here.
Battling anxiety is a lifelong journey. It isn’t something that is cured overnight and then all of the sudden it goes away and you’re happy forever.
So, I’m certainly not going to sit here and say that I found a secret recipe to curing anxiety. I’m just another lost 20 something trying to figure life out too.
The only thing I know for certain is that we have to continuously work on ourselves and take small steps every day toward living a joyful life.
Anyway, hope this post didn’t ‘tear you up’ too much…yes, we’ve resorted to anxiety puns now. God help us.
That’s all I got for now…stay tuned, friends