I lay my body down into the steaming hot bath. The hot water seems to burn through my skin but I enjoy the sting and lean my head back on a towel that I have arranged on the edge of the tub to allow my head to rest comfortably as my limbs float heavy in the water. The heat soon begins bordering unpleasant and my bathroom resembling a sauna. I stay still letting my eyes close, focusing on the blood that is pumping through my worn out body - tired from exercise and work, tense from anxiety. I prefer physical distress to emotional, and so, despite my accelerating heart-rate and the pounding ache in my muscles as they yield to the surrounding warmth, feels oddly comforting.
I let the murmur from the podcast show playing in the background lull me into a state where only the sensation of pain and tension leaving my body exists. In yoga, the act of exhalation is symbolic to letting go of one's stress - both physical and mental. Removing what is unwanted creates space for what is needed - precisely as exhaling carbon dioxide allows for oxygen to enter our lungs.
I'm trying to keep this philosophy in mind, hoping that as the tension melts away from my muscles and the sweat covers my face, at least a minor portion of anxiety locked deep in the cavities of my body, in my pelvic muscles, in my neck and shoulders, might float away too.
But so far, it's all I can do to remain in my complete state of passivity and let whatever is happening, happen.
Anxiety is such an intertwined psycho-physical sensation that I don't always know that it is there. Maybe I feel dizzy because I got up too quickly, maybe my hands are shaking because my coffee was too strong, maybe my head feels muzzled because I didn't sleep well. And even when I know that none of these things - although possibly adding to the experience - are at the core of my mental and physical state. Sometimes I cannot even tell the mental and physical sensations apart. Which sounds totally strange but I have no better way to explain it.
It is a strange thing in itself - anxiety. If I ever mention to anyone that I'm feeling anxious, the following question is always why. Of course I don't know why. If I knew the reason for my nervousness (and even when I do, if it wasn't so overpowering) it would not be considered a disorder. My anxiety doesn't tend to have a singular or defined target. It may be triggered by certain things but most of the time it simply appears seemingly out of nowhere, and has taken over my mind and body before I've even suspected it's creeping presence.
Even now, sprawled in my armchair, wrapped in a snuggly dressing gown with some Bach playing (yes, I am actually not having the bath right in this moment) I can feel the currents of anxiety under my skin, the tension that has returned to my shoulders, the slight tremble in my hands. My mind is only focused due to its preoccupation in creating this post. And I can still feel how my heart is pumping slightly too rapidly as if in anticipation of something.