How to take off your layers of anxiety

I have a new practise when I am feeling anxious, and it seems to be working. I take myself somewhere I can be alone (yep, often a toilet cubicle if I’m having an episode at work) and I start stripping myself of all of the layers that add weight to my world. All of the varying identities that we put out there that can end up suffocating us if we don’t rid ourselves of them every so often.

I strip off the layer of me that is a girlfriend.

I strip off the layer of me that is an office manager.

I strip off the layer of me that is the creator of Run Talk Run.

I strip off the layer of me that is a runner.

I strip off the layer of me that is a friend.

I strip off the layer of me that is a mental health advocate.

I strip off the layer of me that is a daughter.

I strip off the layer of me that is a job seeker.

I strip off the layer of me that is the gym lover.

I strip myself of ALL of my identities, going through them one by one in my head, just placing them on the floor around me. That way I can sit with myself, my core, who I am WITHOUT all of those things and I can view them from a distance.

Because yes, all of those things DO make me who I am. But they are not me, at my core. And sometimes I focus my attention on all of the layers of me that I end up neglecting that core part of me. That core part of me still needs love too. Sometimes I feel that when I practise this, I find I end up sitting with my inner child and I feel a sort of connection to myself that I might not get had I not distanced myself from the layers of life.

I don’t care that this sounds hippy-dippy. I think we should all try it more. Who are you, really, underneath all of those layers? Do you need some attention, some love, a conversation with your ‘self’?

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