Oh that’s a hard one. The unknown can be so scary.
I’ve done a lot of work in my life to build trust. In my experience, a lack of trust in The Universe results in anxiety. It’s natural to want to feel in control, but I’ve learned that control is an illusion. Despite my best attempts at controlling my life, things still don’t go as planned. The worry that comes from a lack of trust for the future creates so much tension. It’s hard to remember and believe that everything will ultimately be ok.
What do I do when I feel like my world is out of control? When that lack of trust starts to build anxiety? Here are a few of my go-to “trust builders:”
- Meditate. Currently, I’m taking a Hypnobabies course which is really just a meditation for pregnancy and birth. I’m finding it very powerful, mostly in that it has helped me to re-frame my ideas about labor and pregnancy through positive affirmations. The quiet time helps to relax me, and the affirmations help to retrain my brain.
- Yoga. I don’t practice this enough anymore, but physical exercise (especially yoga for me) has a hugely positive effect on my mental well-being. It also helps me get my mind off problems for a while by focusing on something else.
- Walks. Being in nature does wonders for anxiety. When I see the magnificence of the natural world around me I’m reminded of how amazingly perfect it all is. It’s incredible how every piece of nature is like a perfect part of a jigsaw puzzle. It also reminds me that I am just one incredibly tiny part of it all. It might be strange that being reminded of the level of my insignificance relieves my trust issues, but it does. It helps me to see that I’m important, yet not so much that I have to worry about taking on the world. The world does not revolve around me – that takes a lot of pressure off.
- Listen to this song. It’s happy and a good mantra.
- Call my mom. She’s the best listener and always has good advice.
- Snuggle. The touch of a loved one can be so incredibly reassuring. It’s good medicine.
- Read this book, or this one. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Eckhart Tolle and A New Earth changed my life. I grew up with a lot of anxiety in my blood. When I went to college, I had a horrible experience with panic attacks to the point where I was actually quite debilitated for a month or so. I did a lot of mental work on myself to try to fix the problem over the course of many years. While most of the panic attacks went away eventually, I still experienced a day-to-day constant level of anxiety that was not particularly fun or healthy. Then, at the end of grad school, I discovered Eckhart Tolle (thanks Oprah) and had a complete paradigm shift while reading his words. I can honestly say that I’ve never had that blanket of anxiety take root again. Sure, I get anxious from time to time, but the lessons of trust I learned in that book reshaped my life and brought me to a much healthier place.
- Work on writing my list of my reassuring truths. I love Oprah’s series, “Things I know For Sure.” I think it’s beneficial to keep a list of these things as a reminder and something to refer to when life is feeling too crazy.
A few of my reassuring truths are:
- Past and present don’t exist. All we have is the now, so be present here.
- Evil is the absence of love.
- The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but rather your thoughts about it (this one is from Eckhart Tolle).
- If you cannot change something you would like to, it is best to accept it instead.
- Worry serves no purpose.
- You are what you believe. Your thoughts have the power to transform your reality, so think positive.
- Trust your instincts. They are strong.
- You must love yourself before you can love someone else fully.
- Follow your passion and others will come along for the joyful ride.
- It is better to give first and then receive, and receive with grace.
What are some of your techniques for reminding yourself to “trust?” What are some of your reassuring truths?
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Another great post Kimberly! I love also going on walks and though I live in an urban neighborhood that is sometimes pretty bustling (vs. calm + nature-y) I find it has the same effect you described – everything’s gonna be alright AND the world does not revolve around me..both good things to remember. i ALSO love the reassuring truths thing – definitely reading O’s post + going to make my own list asap 🙂
Thanks Sara! Urban environments can definitely be just as cathartic! Maybe it’s really just the process of walking and getting out of your head. I used to live right in central Tucson and taking walks around my neighborhood was one of my most favorite things ever. I miss all the visual stimuli…it get’s a little boring out here sometimes when it all looks the same. It’s is meditative though. Glad the post inspired you to make your own list of “truths!”
Just looked for my copy of “The Power of Now”, hmmm I must have loaned it out or given it away. (Amazon here I come.) I love your truths, and thanks for sharing the song link! Listening to that was really nice this morning 🙂 I always need a reminder that worry is worthless. Great post Kimberly, Thank You!
Thanks Sheila! Oh no! You’ll definitely have to get another copy. I can not read that book enough…I learn something new every time and no matter what page I open to. Glad you liked the song too! <3
Thanks so much for using my artwork and for the link back 🙂 love the blog.
Thanks Catina! Your artwork is so lovely! Cheers 🙂