What does tree trimming have to do with anxiety?

monday blogs positive thinking self-care Oct 09, 2016

I have head a lot of people talking about needing to deal with anxiety recently. Anxiety is something that many of us deal with from time to time, and some of us deal with it in a chronic way. A client this week was talking to me about anxiety reduction when I realized that reducing anxiety can be a lot like trimming a tree or pruning a bush. Stick with me… I’ll explain.

Fall is a time many of us find ourselves in the yard pruning, trimming, and cutting back, right? Have you ever been reluctant to trim back a tree or bush for fear it wouldn’t grow back? Maybe you feel worried that if you separate your lilies and irises it will look sparse next spring. 

But those fears (with a couple of particular exceptions in the plant world) are unfounded. Ok, let’s think about plants. As plants grow, they eventually need pruning, trimming or re-potting to support their new growth.This is true all plant life. That’s why we thin out the lilies and irises to give to our neighbors. If we don’t thin them out, the plants will eventually choke itself out. It will die back naturally to create space for themselves if we don’t create space.

It can be scary to prune something. We worry that if we cut to much off or thin too much, we will either hurt the plant or create visual holes in our landscape.

The opposite is true. When we prune plants or thin them out, we allow them to flourish even more. By cutting back and thinning, we allow the plants the become more fully nourished by the sun, the nutrients in the soil and the water. The same is true for us.

Reducing anxiety by pruning our lives

Sometimes we are so scared to cut out excess things in our lives that we end up being oversaturated, overcommitted, overstimulated, and overextended. All of these feelings increase anxiety because we are spending energy on things that don’t bring us joy.

When we prune our lives (cut back on the things not bringing us joy that we can delegate or dump), we allow ourselves flourish and enjoy our life even more! When we feel like we can manage all of the things on our to-do lists, we feel a release in anxiety.

I remember listening to a CD by motivational speaker and author Pat Pearson. I don’t remember which CD it was, but I do recommend her work. Pat Pearson advises that we look at everything in our life and categorize it into ABCD format.

A = Must be done by you.

B = Best done by you but could be delegated to someone you trust.

C = Delegate it – It is does not need to be done by you but it does need to be done.

D = Dump it – it’s not important enough to stay on the list.

I would ad one more *critical* category. Look at the things still on your ABC list that you are going to find a way to do and ask your self… “Does this bring me joy”? If the answer is no – find a way to get it off your list! It might take some time if its a big responsibility. It will be so worth it!!

Braninstorming things to take off your list

By doing things that only bring you joy can impact your ability to go with the flow in your life. For example…  mopping floors is just about the most joyless task I can think of. Truly. I would rather scoop dog poop. No joke. So I don’t mop floors! Ever.

I either hire someone to do it or spot clean it by spraying come cleaner on the floor and then moving a rag around the area that needs to be cleaned. Now, don’t be scared. My floor gets mopped often. But I’m not the one doing it! And I’m SOOO happy about that! I’m happy every time I see my freshly mopped floor.

I’d like to invite you leave a comment below with one thing you can prune off your list. What is ONE thing you can get rid of?

Looking for more ways to reduce anxiety? I’d love to help. With my training as a Reiki Master, ThetaHealing® Practitioner (for more information on ThetaHealing® see link below), and my experience as a spiritual life coach, there are lots of tools I have that can help. Let me know what you are looking for and let’s talk to see if there if are a fit.

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Love and light to you, my friend!!


For more information on ThetaHealing® please visit http://www.thetahealing.com.