My alarm clock was not the only thing waiting to greet me this morning. I woke up, not necessarily on the wrong side of the bed, but more like on the anxious side of the bed. It was a familiar feeling, but it had been awhile since I began my day feeling like this. It definitely was not how I wanted to begin the week, and it felt like the Monday-est of Mondays ever.
As I went about my day, the anxiety went with me. It was frustrating and threw me off for a bit. Until, in the midst of it all, gratitude crept in to loosen its grip.
When the anxiety lingered, I dissected it, trying to discover what may have set it in motion this time. There were no obvious triggers, but I dug a little deeper and found a faulty thought leftover from last night that was the culprit. I was grateful to have figured out what caused it, because I then went to work changing the thought, which, in turn, changed how I was feeling. It was a gradual process, but eventually, the anxiety all but disappeared.
Part of this process was focusing on what I had to be grateful for today, instead of concentrating on the anxious thought itself. At first, it was tough for me to focus on anything other than that anxiety riddled thought that was holding me hostage. Slowly, though, I began to realize that there was much to be grateful for on this rainy and cold Monday, anxiety and all.
I am grateful for being able to begin my week by working from home. It really was nice not having to leave home to spend the day in the office, especially on a dreary Monday, and most especially, when I felt anxious. I find comfort and security in my cozy, little home, so, I was thankful to be here today.
I am grateful that when I experience bouts of anxiety now, I am able to manage it much better than when it first entered my life seven years ago. As much as I wish that it would go away never to return, when the anxiety does return, it tends to be short-lived and less intense. This reoccurrence served as a reminder of just how far I have come, and I was proud of myself actually. It is all about progress, not perfection.
I am grateful for my friends who texted me at various points in the day. None of my friends knew that I had been feeling anxious, so, the timing of their texts was uncanny and left me smiling and laughing. It never ceases to amaze me who shows up when I need them the most, without me having to say a word, and today, they showed up in spades.
I am grateful for our two sweet cats. Having been a dog person most of my life, I still cannot believe that we have not one, but two, cats. After our other cat died nearly eight years ago, my heart was broken, and I did not think that I could ever open my heart and home to another cat. Enter Peanut and Callie. They were found by a dumpster when they were only a few hours old, almost three years ago. I quickly went from not being able to imagine life with them to not being able to imagine life without them. Today, they provided lots of comic relief and affection, which helped lessen the anxiety, and they were the best anti-anxiety medicine possible.
I am grateful to have something to look forward to with people I love. When I felt trapped in the present with my anxiety, I was so grateful that the near future looked brighter. Dinner with a high school. A movie with a college friend whom I have discovered is my kindred spirit. A weekend get together with more college friends. Thanksgiving with my family. A post Thanksgiving get together with dear friends. Whenever I thought of these upcoming events, I felt a surge of happiness that chipped away at the anxious feelings.
I am grateful for music that truly soothes my soul. Before and after work, I listened to some of my favorite music and lost myself in the lyrics and melodies. It worked like a charm and helped me change my tune.
While I did not start Monday off on the right foot, I am grateful to be ending it with both of my feet up and with my mind feeling calmer and clearer. I made the most of this Monday, and that was more than enough.
Just one thing each day. . .
Categories: Just One Thing Each Day