In January 2019 I was mugged in San Francisco. The last 12 months I have read A LOT about this idea of safety.
I have been really exploring this idea of what it feels like to be safe and I’m now incorporating dialogue about this into the way I parent my girls.
We’re all facing the idea of safety and anticipatory anxiety together.
What is the difference between anxiety and anticipatory anxiety?
Anticipatory anxiety is about the future — it’s about dreading the dentist, worrying about the first day of a new school year, a job interview, feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed by the thought of needing to pay a bill, visit a relative or have a difficult conversation.
To contrast, anxiety happens right now — it’s the feeling of uneasiness, heightened awareness, worry, heart palpitations and not being able to cope with your emotions, environment or circumstances right NOW as it’s happening.
Homeopathic Medicine, meditation, mindfulness, constructive/productive dialogue and breathwork are all fantastic ways to manage and treat anxiety and anticipatory anxiety.
The homeopathic remedy Gelsemium is particularly special and a must-have for parents with children who experience dread, worry and have tears at night.
I’m a Homeopathic Practitioner and I’m also a mother who happens to be experiencing this right now with my youngest daughter.
She is worried about the day to come, she cries before bed and no amount of sitting on the end of her bed engaging in dialogue can do as much as two doses of this magic remedy!
Gelsemium is a well known homeopathic remedy and honestly, I cannot imagine what life would be like without this right now. I just dose two drops directly onto her tongue and that’s it.
But let’s talk about the cause. Anticipatory anxiety comes from a fear of the UNKNOWN as well as the KNOWN. It can be the known maths test that your child is stressing about, or a plane flight that you are dreading just as equally as being afraid of what will happen in the future and fear of making the wrong decision.
A study by Bob Livingstone, a licensed Clinical Social Worker brought to life the importance and great need we have to feel SAFE. Many of us have for as long as we remember suffered from anxiety and we put it down to life circumstances or the fact that one or both parents suffered anxiety too and that is not just that.
In fact, this is not the case. Those of us that suffer more anxiety and anticipatory anxiety than others is because we don’t have as much established safety in our lives.
Here are some of his recommendations about creating safety for ourselves as a step toward experiencing less anxiety and fear:
Steps to Feeling Safe:
- Recognize that safety does exist and that you deserve it.
- Journal about the moments when you have felt safe. When you feel frightened, read your journal. (For example, if you remember feeling relaxed and warm laying on the beach, bring up a memory of that and allow it to flow into your fears.)
- Notice which part of you is feeling scared (is it your inner child, what age?) Open a conversation with that part of yourself. What do they need?
- Take care of the basics (get enough sleep, eat well, exercise regularly)
- Take a deep breath and accept everything about yourself just as it is.
- Seek out a professional therapist (EMDR and Sandbox therapy are some places the researcher suggested)
I have noticed already that the more I speak about this with them and of course use the homeopathic remedy Gelsemium every day for myself and for Alyce I am able to process and watch my anxiety and fear dissipate easily instead of the sustained and acute experience it used to be.