Does this sound familiar to you – It’s Monday morning. You wake up to the sound of your alarm. In the half second it takes you to hit the off button ( or lets face it – the snooze button) the familiar feeling of anxiety creeps in. Today you have to go to work.
I suffered from Monday morning anxiety throughout my corporate career. Without fail I would ring in the start of the new working week with gut twisting fear. This was more of just a bad case of the Mondays. The nausea, stomach pain and shaking would get so bad that sometimes I ended up curled into the fetal position on the floor – all while wearing my designer suit.
Every Monday this would happen. No matter what cognitive behavioural therapy tool, affirmation and meditation I tried – I could not get a handle on the anxiety. By the time my eyes had opened I was already too far gone. It got so bad that on Sunday’s I would spend the whole day dreading how the next morning would go.
With the help of my wonderful life coach I was able to create a reprogramming affirmation that I would perform on Sunday nights and as soon as I woke up on Mondays to keep the symptoms at ease. It worked well (once I learned to become unattached to whether it worked – a blog post for another day) – but if I didn’t do it, the anxiety would come crashing back in. I needed permanent lasting change.
To cure my Monday Morning Anxiety I had to figure out what exactly was causing the symptoms in the first place. The root cause of all forms of anxiety is fear – so I needed to find what was it that was making me fearful.
I wasn’t being bullied at work. I did not have an unsafe working environment (although the air conditioning was a bit dodgy). I wasn’t put in any life threatening situations, and my job did not involve dealing with demanding clients or bosses. There was work induced stress of course around deadlines and reporting, but it was more of a low level stress. It wasn’t something I was afraid of.
The fear was deeper than that.
Our subconscious minds are connected to the primal part of our brains , which look after the bodily functions needed to keep us alive. The subconscious mind works very hard to keep us both alive and safe. It will give us signals to alert us to situations that may be dangerous for us. Those signals are the classic symptoms of fear or anxiety manifested in the body. Shaking. Nausea. Sweating. Stomach pain. Shortness of breath. Heart palpitations. When our body creates these feelings it is a signal to us that there is something dangerous out there, so we can take action to keep ourselves safe.
What was so deathly dangerous about my accounting job that it caused my subconscious mind to go into fear signalling overdrive every Monday morning?
The choice I made to become an accountant was one made out of fear. Fear around financial security, job opportunities, letting family down, what people would think, repercussions of losing my accounting scholarship and that I wasn’t good enough to do it. With every new week I was reliving the fear that had put me on this path, and the longer I lived in the reality of this fear based decision, the fear compounded. Not only was I reliving the fear based career decision over and over, but then a fear arose around being stuck on this path forever. I was fearful of staying an accountant forever and never getting to live the life of my dreams. At that stage I couldn’t consciously identify what my true calling was but I knew it was definitely not what I was doing.
The danger was that every Monday of my life I was an accountant, was another week of my life that I was not living my truth. We only get a finite number of days on this earth, and at that time it looked like I was going to spend a significant chunk of them doing something that did not light me up, soothe my creative soul or satisfy my purpose in life.
If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you
All this time my subconscious mind was telling me “Girl, you in danger. You in danger of never shining your light, living your life the way you want to and doing what you love.” And eventually I listened. As soon as I quit this career path that was so misaligned with my truth, the fear was gone. Now waking up on Monday is just like any other day – filled with gratitude, joy and puppy cuddles.
If you suffer from Monday Morning Anxiety I would love to hear from you in the comments below, or feel free to send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love and blissful Mondays,