Anxiety. That dreaded word that most of us deal with ourselves and in our children’s lives. I am learning how to ‘wing it’ to a certain degree with my own anxiety, which is no small feat for the control freak that is me. 🙂 I am a touch of Type A personality. No surprise then that Michael’s anxiety is high. But I believe in a higher power, and I know that God has a sense of humor. Why else would he choose a worrier like me to teach my very anxious son with autism the need to let go and relax? But it’s getting easier. Other than the obvious ways to center myself and relax; yoga, meditation, exercise, wine, (and not necessarily in that order) :), I am learning to laugh at frustrating things, see the humor in people’s actions. When you step back and look at our crazy species, believe me, there’s plenty we all do that is downright funny, and learning to control the things I can and cherish my blessings. Things don’t always work out like we plan, and even when we don’t get it, I believe there is a good reason behind it. And so I am teaching these things to my son Michael. You can say we’re learning together.
This morning, I thought of the ways I am modeling to Michael how to let go and be less anxious. I think they are working, as despite the anxiety, Michael is learning to regulate by asking for what he needs (a mouth chewie, a break to walk around, a squeeze) and so am I (time alone, a walk, writing poetry).
3 Ways To Control Anxiety and Learn to Let Go:
1) Ask myself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” A wise friend of my husband’s who has managed all his life with a medical condition, reminded me of this. And it’s true. Often, even imaging the worst case scenario, makes it seem less terrifying as we have demystified it. And often we see that we can, in fact, handle it.
2) Pretend I’m seeing myself from the outside and laugh at my actions. OK, this is little easier for the artists out there, who often have that second eye when observing people and scenery, but we all could do it if we try. You’ll see how you’re most likely overreacting, and immediately come down to the present moment which you can handle.
3) Ask that old Oprah question to myself, “What is God trying to tell me?” If you’re not religious or spiritual, you can ask what is life trying to teach you? There’s always clues out there. A crisis of any kind is a way for us to redefine what is important, what matters.
We all need great coping mechanisms to make it in this very fast-paced high stress world we live in. As a matter of fact, I believe Exceptional Moms need it even more. Remember, when you have great coping mechanisms for your own stress, only then can you live the best life possible and show your child/dren how to do that as well. Until next time.