There are a bazillion and a half things you can do to heal anxiety.
The list is long, and you could spend a year learning to design your lifestyle to heal anxiety holistically.
(In fact, that’s exactly what we do in the Feed Your Soul Society, puppies sold separately.)
But there’s just one strategy you need to start with.
And it’s so important that without it, you’re never going to heal anxiety.
What am I talking about?
But not just any rest.
You can’t just go to bed at midnight, wake up at 6, hustle through your day and call it good.
If you think that’s working for you, then your brain is so cloudy from the lack of rest that you’re not seeing the situation clearly.
And you know what?
It’s making you anxious.
Sure, the type of rest you’re getting may be enough for you to do your work and drive your car (but on less than 8 hours of sleep you’re not doing either of those as well as you think you are). 1
But functioning is not the same as thriving, folx!
If you want to heal anxiety, you need rest that refills the deepest wells inside of you.
The type of rest that leaves you feeling as self-satisfied as a house-cat who spent the whole day on a sunny window ledge.
But laziness isn’t the antidote to anxiety.
You also need the type of rest that leaves you feeling as energized, excited, and enthusiastic as that cat becomes when it sees a mouse scurrying across the kitchen floor.
Because rest doesn’t just mean sleep.
Too much of any one thing is going to drain you.
Even the best things, like labradoodle puppies.
Have you ever spent all day trying to entertain 20 labradoodle puppies?
They’re delightful, sure, but all day? Really?
After a while you’re going to want to put those puppies in their crate and take a break.
You need a change of pace to keep up.
The sleep cycle is part of this, but there’s a lot more to it when it comes to healing anxiety.
Flowers don’t bloom all year, their energy goes in cycles.
The bloom comes up for a short while, but most of the year you don’t even see that the flower is there because all of the energy is in the roots.
And whether you realize it or not, your energy cycles too.
There’s this assumption in the modern world that you’re supposed to be on all the time, pushing with the same amount of force every day of the year.
But that’s not how it works.
You need time to build up your energy before you can spend it.
And if you try to spend energy before you have it, you’re going to feel anxious.
Want the confidence of a blooming poppy?
Then you have to let yourself nourish your roots every once in a while, resting and gathering energy beneath the surface.
Anxiety happens when you try to bloom all the time.
To heal anxiety, you need more than just sleep.
You need to give yourself a break, too.
Design your life around both deep sleep and cyclical rest, and everything else will fall into place more easily.