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This place is for you: To explore what your soul needs to hear today.

You don’t need to get rid of your anxiety

I had a session with a client yesterday, and we were talking about how she’s feeling with a new guy she’s dating.

“I just wish I wasn’t so anxious waiting for him to text me back,” she said. “I wish I wasn’t like this.”

Hi, 🙋🏻‍♀️, oh boy can I relate to this.

For years… I fought and fought my dating anxiety.

I hateddd this part of myself.

Why can’t I just be one of those easy breezy dont-give-a-shit women who are so confident and carefree in dating? (ps. still unclear if this is just a fantasy or if any women are actually like this?… but regardless, I had a fantasy of this type of woman in my head who I thought I SHOULD be.)

I fought this anxious part of me so hard.

Trying to change my thoughts and beliefs so that I magically didn’t feel anxious.

Trying to convince myself I didn’t care or like the person at all.

Trying to constantly distract myself from the feelings.

Until one day… I just freakin’ stopped fighting. I was exhausted trying to NOT feel how I actually felt.

I was exhausted trying to push this anxious part of me away.

And so I finally…. just surrendered to it.

Hi, anxiety, I guess you’re not leaving me. So let’s just be friends.

I remember this day vividly. In my NYC apartment. Finally stopping the fight. Finally just throwing my arms around myself, around my stomach that was in knots, giving myself a hug, and just saying…

I accept you. I’m going to stop trying to get rid of you.

The relief. The weight off my shoulders. To finally just stop fighting it.

And that was a PIVOTAL moment in my life — not just in my dating life, but in my life in general.

To just learn to love this part of me.

So here’s what I started doing differently in dating:

1: I accepted that OF COURSE I was anxious in dating — because I wanted a partner so bad! Why wouldn’t I be anxious? 

I started talking to that part of me with so much compassion. It was the part of me that so badly wanted a partner and a family, and was so scared of not having it. So anytime I felt uncertainty and vulnerability in dating, that part of me would feel triggered. Rather than hating myself for it, when I started just loving that scared little girl inside of me, I started trying to comfort her. So when the anxiety would come up — as I was waiting to hear back from someone I liked for instance — I just started comforting that part of me. Wrapping my arms around myself saying, I know this is hard, honey. I know you want this so badly. I love you. Doing comforting things while I waited — drinking tea, watching a movie, going for a walk, dancing to music that soothed me, crying on my yoga mat to let some of the emotion release. Rather than wishing it away, I gave myself so much acceptance, love and comfort in those moments of uncertainty, in those moments of ‘waiting’ and ‘not knowing’.

2: I practiced both sitting WITH the anxiety (because in life we need to learn how to be with our anxiety) BUT at the same time, not torturing myself with it. Knowing when action was necessary to alleviate the anxiety. 

This is key. I practiced a balance here. Sitting with some anxiety, because we must learn how to sit with anxiety (tip #1 helped with this a lot — giving myself lots of comfort), BUT also… owning that my anxiety was a part of me, and taking action on trying to alleviate it. For instance: let’s say I was waiting to hear back from a guy I was dating about a weekend plan, and it was making me anxious not knowing if we had a plan or not. I would practice being with the anxiety for a period of time, but if it was going on and on forever without hearing from him, at some point, I would reach out, for the sake of my own desire to have a plan and not be sitting in anxiety and uncertainty forever. THIS changed so much for me — owning what I needed as a person and acting on it. And guess what? It never freaked out any guy I was dating. More often than not, they would say things like, “thanks for following up on this! Yes, let’s make a plan for Saturday…” or “So sorry I had such a busy day, would love to hang out, let’s do ___”. Boom, done. I kept learning from the Universe that there was nothing wrong with me.

I do this same two-part process today with anxiety in other areas of my life. I practice sitting with it and comforting myself in it AND asking myself, is there an action I can take to help alleviate some of the anxiety? That is part of my self-care.

I think anxiety gets a really bad rap.

We think we shouldn’t have it.

But I am telling you — because I work with women intimately as my JOB — that we all have it about certain things.

And it’s typically related to the things that we care about most deeply in our lives.

About our kids.

Our partners.

Our work.

Our health.

And I’m SO GLAD I learned how to intimately dance with my anxiety through the world of dating… because now I know how to handle it in the other areas of my life in which it pops up.

The keys are:

  • learn to just accept this part of yourself
  • what would happen if you stopped trying to get the anxiety to go away?
  • what if you loved this part of you, and let her be there, too?
  • give her lots of love and comfort
  • own what you get anxious about, and stop torturing yourself. work WITH this part of you — what does she need to feel better? what needs to be said? what question needs to be asked? what support does she need? what action could be taken to help her?

I hope this helps if you’re feeling anxious about anything in your life right now.

Your anxiety doesn’t need to be shunned.

She can be loved and embraced as a beautiful part of you — a part of you that just wants everything to be okay.

I love that part of you — can you, too?

xx!

Jamie

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Jamie-Mendell-Sq

This place is for you: To explore what your soul needs to hear today.

I mainly write about Inner CriticSelf-CareFollowing Your IntuitionLife + Evolving, and the occasional Recipe. Enjoy!