Feeling

Anxiety vs Excitement

May 17, 2012

Yesterday, after a day of anxiety, I decided to reframe my anxiety and call it excitement. And oh my, did that shift things.

I’ve been reading through “Glad No Matter What” by SARK. She writes about nudging her feelings. When things feel a bit extreme and not so good, she says “recalculating” to herself (like a GPS) and she moves the emotional needle bit by bit until she’s processed her feelings.

Anxiety runs through my chest, right at the top of my diaphragm, where my ribs split apart. Excitement usually sits lower, a rippling in my stomach. For how they sit in my body, they’re pretty much opposite sides of the same coin.

Brene Brown talks about our inability to feel “negative” emotions, our tendency to numb those difficult emotions, actually keeps us from experiencing the highs as well. Same circuits. Not to mention, joy is a vulnerable place.

“…vulnerability is still just absolutely essential. That we can’t know things like love and belonging and creativity and joy without vulnerability, but in this culture of reflexive cynicism you better also really have an understanding of shame if you’re going to put yourself out there.” (TED blog)

And what is getting married if not PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE. Like the right of passage of vulnerability.

I can be quite stoic. In cases of extreme emotions, my face stays blank, absorbing other’s issues and processing things as quickly as possible. I’ve had people yell at me, “Why don’t you smile!?” People I don’t know. In public.

It makes sense I’m having a bit of trouble untangling my panic, worry and exhaustion from my joy, excitement and anticipation when it comes to the wedding.

So, I’ve changed the tape. Instead of thinking, “I’m so stressed / overwhelmed / panicked about the wedding” I think, “I’m SO excited!” and I feel much more energized and amazing about all of the tasks I’m  working through and the challenge as a whole.

Because planning a wedding is a bitch.

“I got a lot of lovin’ / got a lot of lovin’ / got a lot of love in heart…” lissie

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5 Comments

  • Reply For the Soul… « Allowing Myself May 21, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    […] Other days, it goes out the window with the rest of my sanity. While my new approach to swap “excitement” in for “anxiety” is helping, it doesn’t completely alleviate the drama in […]

  • Reply Package of Love « Allowing Myself May 30, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    […] in my days (good and bad), not to mention more time stuck in traffic and all those wedding planning ToDos, I could use nothing more than a mix tape from a creative woman I know only from her own musings […]

  • Reply Ritualistically Asking For Guidance « Allowing Myself June 4, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    […] I can capture this magic – the turmoil, life so full, the anxiety and the excitement – as the days go by in the next month. It’s not every day I get to plan a wedding, and […]

  • Reply Back Home « Allowing Myself July 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    […] I am looking forward to gaining back a routine that is our life *not* tinged with the underlying panic / excitement of wedding planning. Where those extra hours in a week are there for movie watching, grilling, […]

  • Reply Thank You 2012 « Allowing Myself January 1, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    […] In May I won a Package of Love from a blogger and began the official wedding countdown with my bachelorette party. I renamed my anxiety, excitement. […]

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