As you probably know (because I've been talking about it non-stop on social media), I got married in September! This was one of the happiest and most exciting days of my life. But there was also a lot of build up and all eyes were on me, which had the potential for the anxiety monster to take over.
On the day I had three things in my back pocket that kept me sane. We all have big life events or milestones, so I'm sharing these with you in hopes you can implement some of them and put that monster in his place.
1. I got up early to practice yoga and meditate
I knew I wouldn't sleep well the night before, and the temptation was there to sleep in and catch a few winks in the AM. But having quiet time to move my body set the stage for a calmer, more connected day. I had a video all picked out on Yoga Glo with minimal instruction so I could be guided, yet still flow. I finished with a 10 minute meditation from Insight Timer focusing on grounding and centering.
2. I switched on the relaxing side of my nervous system
Right before the ceremony I was at peak anxiety. I mean helloooo I was about to have everyone turn and watch me walk down an aisle that felt 100 metres long. My biggest fear was that I would have a panic attack while walking down the aisle and have to sit down. This fear loomed over me for months leading up to the wedding.
Right before walking down, I took the opportunity to take 5 deep belly breaths (aka diaphragmatic breathing) to activate my parasympathetic nervous system and calm the eff down. I still felt nervous walking down, but knew that my breathing was slow enough that I wouldn't freak out and pass out. Success!
3. I practiced anxiety reappraisal
I'm all about mindset, and this is one of the top ways to re-train your brain! Anxiety reappraisal is the process of turning anxiety into excitement. The two emotions are very closely tied in the brain and you can "trick" your body into seeing that heightened arousal as positive. When I felt anxious right before my speech I re-framed it as excitement instead!
Also throughout the day I remembered to breathe, steal quiet moments with my new hubby, and stand off to the side to really take it all in. It was wonderful yet overwhelming to have everyone I loved in one place. These three practices let me fully enjoy the day and tell that anxiety monster to sit down and shut up.