The Anxiety STOP Button
When The Heart and The Mind disagree, it’s easy for The Heart to grab the wheel and take control: you fill with feelings of lust, grief, yearning, missing, sadness or overjoy.
It happens when you’re checking out new cars, and you fall in LOVE with a car that you know in your mind, is way out of budget and unpractical for you needs.
But, meanwhile The Heart is like "PLEASE OH GOD THIS IS THE ONE — NO OTHER CAR WILL EVER COMPARE — WE WILL REGRET THIS!" Even if, in a day or two your hearts too busy doing the same thing, over something new.
Hearts Learn Slow 🤷
This week, I passed over the photo of an old lover. The same thing happened, mind and heart in disagreement. Emotions flying in every direction, as my brain says "BOY BAD. SINGLE GOOD. STOP DOING FEELS." and this is the technique I used to calm down and stop myself from spiraling into depression and anxiety, over missing them.
I'll walk you through what happened, and how I handled it so that you can use this technique too.
The photo comes up.
I see his face — the heart goes into autopilot without permission.
He’s cute, I miss him, this photo brings up memories, I should text him- I wish he loved me- why does no one love me- why did he leave- why am I not enough?
*insert head exploding sound here*
The Heart is a powerhouse but in truth, it’s also your innocence. That’s why when we portray the heart in movies and in comics, we use a childish, foolish persona.
Your heart, your love, is just innocence. It wants to love and be loved and when that’s not reciprocated: the heart doesn’t have the ability to know what to do. It just wants to love on the next thing, get love from the next place, or pace around wondering why your ex wasn’t the one.
But you’re heart (just like you) is not alone in this world. Your innocence has a friend, a logical, thoughtful friend; the mind.
The Mind knows damn well: HE was NOT the one for us. He hurt heart and he’d do it again. We can do better. We should do better. Why are we wasting time here? There are other people in this world. There are better opportunities awaiting us, lets MOVE ON!
But in moments like this, that catch us like surprise... when a photo of someone who use to be dear enters your atmosphere, The Heart is already at the wheel. Brain was busy thinking about taxes, and work and how to wrap gifts just right so the seams don’t look ugly.
In moments like this, when The Heart grabs the wheel, you have POWER in being the third party to this team; you. Soul, if I may.
THE ANXIETY STOP BUTTON:
In moments like this, I feel my chest clench up and my cheeks frown, and I have made it a habit to — as all healing techniques should be, habits — to go: HOLD UP, Heart, I love you, value you, appreciate you, but you’re grabbing the wheel too tight. I love you, but lighten your grip.
Mind, please help heart drive this thing. Heart cannot do it alone right now.
I personify my brain and heart, so that I can have internal conversation with them. So that when I feel these things I don’t go AHHH what’s wrong with ME!?
Because THAT is just more Heart Talk, circling around for validation in the wrong places.
This mindset shift opens up the dialog between love, logic and your souls journey to find NOT the "right" answer, but YOUR answer.
You'll build up compassion and love for yourself as well, by letting your heart know how much you appreciate and love it, by being patient with it, caring, kind and gentle; and in turn, being patience, kind, gentle and so on… with yourself.
You gain a new found power over your anxiety and depression by working together with your brain and heart to guide your decisions, emotions and actions.
Essentially, it’s a stop button I use to stop myself from spiraling into the darkest emotions. A stop button I hope you begin to use, too.
Because sometimes, I just wanna have a good day— Can I get an AMEN? #EntitledToGoodDays
And we can HAVE that good day, and bring The Heart and The Mind along too.
Now it's your turn! Share with me below, a time when your heart and mind had been in total disagreement. Would this exercise have helped? I'd love to know.
You are oh, SO, very loved,
Original excerpt from the up and coming book, Fuck Anxiety: The Ups And Downs Of Life, And How To Heal Through Them by Brandon Love. Adjusted for blog readership.