fangirl dilemma: managing anxiety

November 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

Congrats to Bekka for winning the BAMF necklace giveaway! Bekka, if you could email me your info at fangirltherapist@gmail.com, we’ll send it your way.

Now for our fangirl dilemma.

Evey writes,

Thank you for your latest post on anxiety, it made me see not only that I need to undertake some action, but also that I could do it myself! My anxiety has mostly to do with ‘drugs’ like Tumblr and fanfiction and other reading, and I’m going to try and turn off my computer early. Could you please write an example of how you’d proceed from there? I feel like the ‘communicating in a nonreactive manner’ you mention (not only concerning people, but e.g. concerning work, too) is something I need to work on, but I don’t really know how to.

P.S. How does meditating help? Isn’t that a moment when you are not supposed to think at all? How does that solve things?

Thanks Evey. These are such great questions, ones that I’m still trying to figure out myself every day, even as a therapist. But here are a few thoughts.

  • Start small. Delete your Tumblr app for a few days. Stick a post-it on your mirror to remember turn off your computer. Sometimes I leave my phone at home when I walk to the grocery store. ready
  • Communicating in a nonreactive manner looks like establishing one-to-one relationships with others. If this is at work, that means introducing yourself to everyone and making effort to understand people’s goals and their perspectives. That way you’ll be less likely to complain about them to a third person and can approach them directly when you have a problem.
  • And finally, meditation and mindfulness are about paying attention to your thoughts and anxieties in a nonjudgmental way, not wiping your mind clean. So don’t scold yourself if you’re obsessing over a ship, but rather redirect your thoughts to something calming. Never underestimate the power of stopping, taking a few deep breaths, and engaging your five senses.

Easy, right?

responsibility

Evey, change is slow. and change is lonely. So the best thing you can do for yourself is to enlist a friend, fangirl or not, to join you in your quest. The more you can encourage each other, the more momentum you’ll gain.

It also means introducing positive habits before you pull the plug on all the anxious ones. Maybe I want to eat more spinach than chocolate chip cookies, but having them both in my life is better than living sans plants.  So if you want to spend less time fangirling, figure out what’s as worthy of your attention as a really great headcanon. For me, it’s being around the people who love me and working towards my goals. When the important things are the main course, then fic is just icing on the cake. Thanks for your questions, and let me know how it goes! For everyone else, my ask is always open.

Keep on BAMFin,

Kathleen

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