I didn’t need a psychiatrist, I needed the dog whisperer….

I see a lot of posts on Facebook about anxiety. I suffer from anxiety. Whether it is from years of living a very stressful life or because of my heath, I don’t know. No one seems to be able to figure that out. So, it’s kind of irrelevant. I am on medication. Actually, a few medications, but I still have meltdowns.

I get very ‘nervous’ for lack of a better word to describe it. I feel as if something bad is about to happen. I go through a little routine where I list all the things that might be wrong, but aren’t. I may text all the kids to make sure they are ok. I don’t actually say. “Hey, I’m havng a total nervous breakdown right now, just checking to make sure you’re still alive.” Now, that is what I am really wondering, but I usually just say hello and if I get a response, I can check them off of the list.

Now, I’m going to tell you a secret. It’s kind of embarrassing. No, it’s really embarrassing, but I feel like you should know this. It’s so simple, maybe it will help you if you have these issues, as it has helped me. It’s not a cure and I don’t plan on not taking my anti-depressant (Tom Cruise can go flip sand), but it really has made a difference.

Ok, here it goes. We have an unreasonable amount of dogs. Through no fault of our own, really. Some people are babe magnets, we are dog magnets. They rule our house and are completely out of control. We decided to watch a show on Animal Planet with Caesar, that dog whispering guy. I mean, it couldn’t hurt…Anyway, in one episode, this woman was making her dog incredibly tense because she was so tense. Her anxiety was making this poor dog nuts, and he acted out. Ceasar The Fantastic dealt with the dog, but he also sent the woman to someone to help her with her feelings of anxiousness in hopes that she would calm down.

The woman showed up for her appointment and a bunch of stuff happened that I can’t really even remember. She was going to be shown how to breathe, to take some of her anxiety away and the hope was that she wouldn’t freak the dog out if she was breathing the right way. I watched this whole episode in kind of distracted way. Ken and I were laying in bed watching TV with all of our bad dogs and I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention. But, God was watching too, I guess, and he thought I needed to pay attention. I starting watching what they were teaching her. Literally, they were showing her how to concentrate on her breaths. What did her body feel like while she was inhaling and exhaling? That’s all she was to concentrate on. Simple, huh? Sounded like snake oil to me.

Of course, when she and her pooch were united, she breathed the right way and he followed her commands and stopped trying to kill everything they passed while they were taking their walks.

I have always thought I’d try yoga. But really, you know, who just sits down one day and does yoga? I have tried to meditate several times, but my mind is a whirling dervish of chaos and I just can’t do it! Never-the-less, I got anxious one day about nothing. I was stressed and freaked out and upset and tired. I started to breath. Just like that gal did on Ceasar’s  wonder dog show. I concentrated on how each breath felt on the inhale and the exhale. I paid attention to how it felt in each part of my body. I started with my head, feeling each part of my body on the inhale and exhale. I did this three times. It lasted about 20 minutes, I guess. I just concentrated on breathing. Because I chose to concentrate on each specific part of my body and each breath and nothing else, I was able to keep my mind focused. When I stopped, I was so calm. I wasn’t nearly as anxious and I really did feel more relaxed.

For a few days, I would get anxious and think, this won’t work this time. It can’t be this simple, yet it was. Now I’m not telling you that I am this non-crazy, peaceful, Dali Lama-like person now. I never will be. I’m just too high-strung. What I am telling you is, this really does work. If I find myself freaking out over nothing, I just start breathing. It may not completely fix it, but it always helps. That’s a win in my book.

So if you are a nut like me and you find yourself in a fit of crazy, just breath. I hope it helps you like it helped me. Just don’t tell anyone you learned it from a dog trainer. I mean really, what does that say about us?

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