Anxiety is something that can be present for a lot of people. For some, anxiety isn’t new; for others, all the uncertainty that we have been living in for that last 6 or so months has caused these feelings to increase or even present for the first time.
It is a very common response to want to rush through feelings of anxiety -it is uncomfortable and can even be a little scary. However, trying to rush the process or force it to go away will only intensify the feelings and/or duration. While it feels totally counterintuitive, allowing space for the anxiety to work its way through your body can serve a number of purposes. It can shorten how long the feeling is there, it gives you the opportunity to learn ways that are most effective for you in managing your anxiety (think breathing exercises, grounding, or effective internal dialogue that helps in this process), and it also gives you an opportunity to walk through the feeling from beginning to end, reinforcing the idea that you CAN do it, even if it isn’t comfortable or fun.
Another false idea that we can find ourselves drawn into is the notion that we have the ability to make anxiety go away. Really, we don’t want anxiety to “go away”, we want to manage it. Anxiety is a natural response that is built into us as part of our internal warning system. We may find ourselves in a situation in which our alertness and awareness is required to function at a higher level - this is where our alert system kicks in. I think of having small kids near water. My “anxiety” is up because I know that I need to be able to react quickly if something was to happen and one of the kids needed help.
We may also feel anxiety surrounding certain relationships or life situations – your anxiety warning system may be telling you that the time has come for changes in this area and this is your body’s way of helping you recognize that.
So here is what I hope you take away from this week’s blog post:
- Anxiety is a feeling many people experience and how you feel this will be unique to you
-We need to allow space to process the thoughts and feelings the come with it and not rush it
- Anxiety is an alert system for our body – the goal is to manage it, not remove it completely