Girl, Wash Your Dirty Laundry (How To Get Rid Of Anxiety In 6 Steps)
Ladies, it’s time to have a real talk and touch on a very sensitive topic: how to get rid of anxiety. As a mentor, I get to work with many entrepreneurs who constantly tell me “I’m overwhelmed,” “I’m anxious about my cash flow”, “I can’t focus on my business with so many things going on”. Very often, their levels of anxiety and depression blur their vision, and that’s when a marketing and sales strategist comes in handy!
The struggle to keep yourself motivated, focused, and happy is real–especially when you’re a new entrepreneur.
I’m glad you’re reading this article today because it’s filled with resources for people just like you. Keeping things real is one of my biggest goals with you.
I’m sure you have read the book Girl, Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis. So I wanted to add my own secret sauce to get rid of anxiety by “washing your dirty laundry” (negative thoughts).
Disclaimer —- I’m not a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. If you are experiencing sudden changes in your mood, please consult a doctor.
Have You Ever Felt Like Your Passion And Hustle Are In Jeopardy Because Of Your Own Thoughts?
I get it. This thing called entrepreneurship is like riding a rollercoaster, each and every day.
Sometimes, you’re up and sometimes you’re down. And when you’re feeling down, anxious, or unhappy, it’s as if nothing can bring you back up again.
I don’t want you to think that I’m a woman full of positive thoughts because my life is so simple.
Girl, I’ve been through a lot. Raised in poverty, surrounded by alcoholism, suicide, family members in jail, and drug abuse. I went to an accelerated high school program so I could start college at age 15. You might say, “Wow!”
I say, “Why not?!”
I became an accountant (100% free because I received a scholarship from being Magna Cum Laude). Then I went to law school (not free, but graduated Magna Cum Laude). I thought that being a good person and having good grades was all you needed to make it in life. And just when I thought I was done with my struggle, my next season of struggles started. Divorce, major financial losses, car repo, house foreclosure, business losses … more than I can even write in this short article.
Therapy and coaching weren’t as accessible as they are today. As a young girl dealing with adult problems, I had to endure and mature pretty quickly in life. And because of everything I have experienced and overcome, I’m writing a book about my systems to punch adversity in the face!
So trust me here, when I tell you I know how it feels when life doesn’t give you too many breaks, I mean it. The Jessica you see today is a product of many hours of healing sessions and a lot of inner work. I’m happily married for 12 years now and have 4 children — ages 19, 10, 8, and 5.
When You’re Living An Unhappy Life
According to MindBodyGreen, here are a few symptoms of unhappiness:
- Feeling like a victim of your circumstances
- Feeling helpless, hopeless, or pessimistic
- Comparing yourself to other people and never feeling good enough
- Feeling depressed, anxious, or chronically worried
If you can relate to any of this, then it’s time to be honest with yourself and how you’re really feeling. According to American psychologist Albert Ellis, it’s never about the actual thing or event that makes us upset, it’s how we interpret and perceive it.
As entrepreneurs, our business empowers our lives. I’m sure you have big dreams for your business, so you can have a better life as well.
It’s very important to keep our mental health in check. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 US adults–43.8 million, or 18.5 percent–experience mental illness in a given year. Entrepreneurs are at an ever higher risk than the average American to experience depression, anxiety and ADHD–only the top three of an extensive list.
If all of this is a bit heavy to digest, here’s another way of looking at it. I invite you to think of your anxiety or depression as negative thoughts. Your negative thoughts are just like your dirty laundry.
When you have dirty laundry, what do you do with them? Do you wear them or do you throw it in the wash so you have a fresh set of clothes? I’m going to assume that you picked the latter option. Your negative thoughts are the dirty laundry that needs to go through the wash cycle.
Change your thoughts and watch yourself shift from unhappy to happy. If you find yourself going down the rabbit hole of negative thoughts, you have to stop yourself immediately. The sooner you stop your pattern of negative thinking, the quicker you can begin to work towards a positive state of mind.
Sounds easy, right? It’s not. And you will agree with me on this. Sometimes you can’t help it.
It’s very hard to break the habit of listening to our negative inner dialogue. We are conditioned to do the same thing over and over again. But why would we allow ourselves to continue to feel unhappy? Because we never truly attack the negative thoughts from another level of consciousness.
Here’s my recipe to get rid of those negative thoughts in six simple steps.
Let’s Wash That Dirty Laundry
These days, people do juice cleanses, and liquid detoxes to cleanse the body. Why don’t we do the same thing for our minds and our emotional baggage?
The first step is to release and cleanse your mind of resentment, anger, and clutter that is keeping you from your happiness. Holding on to grudges and events from your past, make it that much harder to live in the moment.
So how does mental cleansing work? First, take stock of all the things that are cluttering your mind. Ask yourself, “What is bothering me right now?” Identifying your “what” is crucial in changing the story that you’re telling yourself.
When you know what’s upsetting you, or making you frustrated or sad, you can then bring it out from the darkness into the light. Awareness is key here.
This is your opportunity to let it all out. Don’t hold your emotions back. Don’t filter yourself. In order to move forward from whatever baggage you’re holding on to, you have to get clear on what you haven’t let go of. You can practice this by writing it out in your journal, by yourself, or with a trusted friend.
Some key thoughts to ponder:
- ✔️Be sincere with what happened
- ✔️Write down “the what”
- ✔️Read and reflect
- ✔️Has this happened before? Is there a pattern?
- ✔️Are you reacting by default?
Second Step: Name That Emotion
Putting a name to your emotions bridges the gap between your thoughts and feelings. Being honest with yourself about how you feel, rather than saying, “I’m fine, no big deal,” will allow you to gain self-awareness and a better understanding of the root cause.
While naming your emotions isn’t the end goal, it does open up the door to calm your emotions down. If you want to reduce anxiety, for example, instead of saying I’m anxious, I’m afraid, you can say I’m concerned about ___.
Another word that is overused is overwhelmed. It means defeat completely. Do you really feel like that? Let’s find another word to describe that emotion. Be specific. You can say I’m overbooked or overworked and need a break. Or as simple as I’m feeling tired. Notice how just by renaming the emotions you feel different?
Giving a name to your emotion also allows you to identify your triggers. According to Psychology Today, when you can identify what is triggering your emotional reactions, you give yourself the chance to feel differently (if you choose to do so).
We are washing our dirty laundry. We better be transparent here or else we won’t get what we want. It’s like washing your laundry with softener instead with detergent. You will think your clothes are ok but they are never fully washed and clean.
Some key thoughts to ponder:
- ✔️Am I offended? If yes, why?
- ✔️What were my expectations?
- ✔️Is my ego in the middle of my emotions?
- ✔️Is there a way I can take a look at this situation by putting myself in the other’s shoes?
Third Step: Environment
Take a look around you. Is your environment clean, or filled with clutter? Do you have people in your life that uplift you, or bring you down with their drama and toxicity? Are you getting enough sleep for you to wake up energized? Do you feel like you’re being productive, or dragging throughout the day? We spend most of our day working so it would make sense that we enjoy and find meaning in what we do.
The state of our mental and physical state has a direct effect on our emotional state.
There are many things we can’t control. When it comes to a few things in our mental and physical state, we 100% have control over it.
Consider these small subtle shifts:
- ✔️Finding a new group of friends or connecting with good old ones
- ✔️Joining a gym
- ✔️Decluttering your drawers
- ✔️Cleaning your car out
- ✔️Getting to bed early
- ✔️Staying hydrated throughout the day
- ✔️Trying something new and fun
I’ve been told that the 4th step is where the real transformation happens! So get ready!
Fourth Step: Focus On The Solution, Not In The Problem
It can feel difficult to move forward and focus on a viable solution when you’re feeling unhappy. In particular, when you are going through the pain.
Think about the results that you want. Anxiety means a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. You want to create the outcome you want with your thoughts. Yes, you have the power to do so!
In my opinion, many people confuse the Law of Attraction and start writing affirmations, while missing a very important element: The Law of Vibration. When I understood this Universal Law, everything made total sense!
Bob Proctor states that attraction is a law, but it is a secondary law. The primary law is the Law of Vibration. It is the basic law which states that everything in the Universe is moving. In Bob’s own words, “The law of vibration is one of the basic laws of the universe. It decrees that everything moves, nothing rests, and we literally live in an ocean of motion.” This is because everything is made of energy. Your body is made of cells, and cells are composed of molecules and atoms. What created atoms and molecules are the energies vibrating at different frequencies.
You activate your brain cells, and you set up a vibration in your body. When you move your eyes to read this sentence, you activate your brain cells to do it. This also means to say that the vibration you are in, will dictate what you attract into your life.
If you are constantly worried and troubled, you will attract a lot of negative energy. And what you fear will come to you. This is why people often say, “You will become what you think about most of the time.”
If we apply this concept to our dirty laundry, taking the time to think about the results you want is like using your favorite laundry detergent. You want a certain fragrance, don’t you? You can take your mind to think about that outcome. The same thing happens in real life!
Some key thoughts to ponder:
- ✔️What do I really want to happen?
- ✔️How will my life change once this problem is solved?
- ✔️If it’s about cash, how much exactly do you need?
- ✔️Is there a conversation you need to have?
- ✔️What are the resources that you need to get what you want?
Fifth Step: Your Best State of Vibration
Ultimately, you want to make sure that after the mental cleansing, naming your emotions (which can feel draining), and focusing on solutions, you replenish yourself with plenty of self-care. Your goal is to get rid of that brain fog by self-inducing joy!
Maybe for you, joy means to take a warm bath. For someone else, it could be to go on a long walk. For me, it’s about playing a song I love and singing and dancing! Self-care allows you to fill up your cup before you can pour into others. Do what sparks your joy! Your happiness starts today by smiling and visualizing you rising all the way to the top.
Once you find yourself in a better vibration, you might want to check in with your vision board! Don’t have one? Make one! Here’s a video when I’m explaining vision boards:
Some key thoughts to ponder:
- ✔️Is there a way you can do a rehearsal of you- being that NEW person?
- ✔️Do you need to remove yourself from places or people?
- ✔️Givers gain! How can you put yourself in a position to give so you shift some of the energy that is keeping you from joy?
Sixth Step: Write A New Life Contract Where You Accept 100% Responsibility
At this point in the cycle, you have identified your emotions, identified what is the solution you want, and have a vision of the life you want to live. The last step is as important as the very first one. It’s about your life contract.
You can’t change what happened to you, but you can change how you respond to it.
If you haven’t, I recommend you reading Don Miguel Ruiz’s The 4 Agreements.
The 4 Agreements is a great formula to live by. Honestly, every time I feel offended, betrayed, or let down in any way, I review these agreements and always find one where I could have practiced a bit more. This helps me to take 100% responsibility for the situation and move forward with a new life lesson.
My Puppy Summer Died From A Heat Stroke
In case you missed this update, my puppy Summer died a few months ago. I was devastated. The process, from the time we took her to the ER to her very last breath, felt like a knife was inserted in my chest, and the doctors kept stabbing me deeper and deeper.
I needed to put my pain through this cycle that I’m sharing with you. I was feeling guilty, depressed, and thinking about what I could have or should have done. I needed to call her doctor and requested a scientific explanation of a heat stroke. This helped me to accept the facts and getting conscious about our loss. I needed to take some time to internalize it, forgive myself, and make an agreement of what happened.
My version of the story before this cycle: My puppy died apparently of a heat stroke, but everything was so fast that I’m not even sure what happened. I think I should have told the vets to go all in and treat her and maybe she would be alive today.
My version of the story today: My puppy Summer died from a heat stroke. I wasn’t aware of how dangerous the heat was until this happened. Sometimes you get to learn lessons in a painful way, but at least I have Leo (our other dog) and for sure this won’t ever happen again! I am enjoying Leo, playing with him out of Texas’ heat!
Picture of Summer (and I’m full of tears writing this)
If you notice in this example above, I needed to come into a new agreement with myself and rewrite my story. Notice how the new version of my story has eliminates the references to resentment. That was the emotion I needed to clear. By switching from a resentment state of mind to a forgiveness and acceptance state of mind, I am able to heal faster.
I did the same exercise with my feelings towards my failed marriage. It helped me rewrite my story in a way that I don’t feel like a failure or a victim of infidelity. I invite you to use this process with every situation that is hurting you so you can experience some healing.
Some key thoughts to ponder:
- ✔️Can you say what lesson you learned from your situation?
- ✔️Can you identify where you may have breached any of the 4 agreements?
- ✔️Moving forward, how will you interpret and share this story?
Our mind is a magnet and attracts more of what we’re thinking about. We all have those days when we wake up and don’t feel our best.
Try to go through these steps as soon as possible. Your business needs YOU! Your calling and life purpose NEED you. Not being present, happy, uplifted, and full of joy is a disservice to your gifts!
I’m not a life coach, but I am a heck of an activator. If you ever need to speak with someone who is in a happy mode, I’m here my friend! My promise: serve you as an inspiration while being real and raw!
The steps above will help shift your mindset and mood. The next time you feel unhappy, remember that when you consciously aim to change your perspective, you will be happier.