It seems my mind never switches off – and I say this because when I undressed and hopped into bed to the sound of rain on a tin roof playing on my phone, as is my sleeping ritual, I thought about the people out there, somewhere along their journey, anxious and alone and feeling like today is the day their mind will finally break.
I can’t help everyone, I know that. It’s impossible to. Sometimes you have to let people find their own way through their struggles. But that doesn’t stop me from trying, from offering a non-judgemental space to talk, to offer mentoring.
I thought about all this while my body went limp, while I felt the gentle breeze of the fan pass by my feet, left to right, right to left. I heard the rain, soft and relaxing, create a space for me, a dome in which I was perfectly safe.
If you’re out there, reading my words and we’ve yet to talk for whatever reason, might I suggest some sort of nude therapy? What’s a noise that you love, a noise so calming to you that it brings you to a halt? It could be the sound of the shower running, the ocean waves crashing into shore, birds in the forest, cars on the highway? Something soothing and sweet to your ears.
If you are ever anxious and the world feels like it’s about to crash around you, do me a favour and try something.
Find an app or a CD or something with your favourite sound, rid yourself of your clothes, find your favourite space in your house and lie down. Have a think about your body – what’s tense right now? Your shoulders? Your neck? Stretch out, flex those muscles, and let yourself go limp. Relax your entire body.
Think about how your body feels in the moment – the sheets around you, maybe a breeze on your skin – think about yourself in this space, free to be exposed to the air and the room and your favourite sounds.
Listen to your breathing. If you’re anxious, steady your breathing by breathing in. Hold. One. Two. Three. Release slowly. Wait. One. Two. Three. Breathe.
You’re a beautiful, liberated being – encased and protected in your favourite place and space. Forget about the outside, easier said than done I know, but in this moment, there is only you in this world, just as there is only me in the country side, laying in the grass and feeling the rain pelting my skin as I look up at the stars. I’m free, just as you are free.
Meditating has helped me in my most anxious times. It centres me, helps me breathe, helps me realise the truths about my life and where I am going. It’s not for everyone, and it takes practice, but if you are feeling anxious, down, hard on yourself and your body and your life, I recommend you try it.
And as always, if you are struggling, for whatever reason, remember you are not alone. There is a whole support system out there for you, even the hotlines – which I know are embarrassing to call but are full of lovely people. Talk to someone, a friend, a friendly stranger, me. My door’s always open.