This week I have been scared. And by that I mean, more scared than normal. I don't suffer from panic attacks, I don't have an anxiety disorder, but man do I get a mean case of the butterflies. To an outsider butterflies may seem frivilous and weak, but to me they are ferocious.
When I was younger I loved horror films, roller coasters and climbing trees. But now I'm older and wiser, I'm more afraid. I'm pretty sure if I passed my driving test at 17 I would be cruising all over the place without a care in the world, but at 27? It makes me pretty anxious driving without a second pair of eyes looking out for me. This anxiety usually dissipates once I get going and I remember that I am perfectly capable of driving, but for those few minutes in the interim I find it hard to breathe.
Annoyingly for me, when I get anxious my body lets me know via headaches, palpitations and a pissed off digestive system (all of which I've been quietly battling this week). So, rather than sit around complaining about it - I grabbed all the tools available to me. This is what helps me tame the butterflies:
Exercise - it can really help to channel that nervous energy into something physical.
Yoga - offering you time to breathe, stretch and focus only on what your body is doing, yoga is often my saviour.
Mindfulness - when things get overwhelming I root myself in the present and concentrate on what's going on around me. I need more practice with this, but it is really helpful.
I know my anxiety about driving will ease as I get more experienced and I hope that these tools will keep me calm in the meantime. I should also point out that alongside this anxious feeling I get about driving is a feeling of exhiliration. No more waiting for the bus in the rain. No more phone calls to my dad for a 'lift'. It is awesome and I know that, I'm just battling through a few butterflies to get there.
Do you have any butterfly-taming tips?