“It has been said that our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of it’s sorrow, but only empties today of it’s strength.” – Charles Spurgeon
For those of us who have experienced anxiety, you will know, it is not a feeling you wish to keep.
Family and friends often tell you “Don’t worry so much” or “Things will work out” and as helpful as these words seem, they don’t help you feel less anxious. What I have found is that it’s much more useful to own your anxiety – to observe its patterns, to look at what might be setting it off, and then to find ways to work with it.
Anxiety can be a powerful teacher. It can show you where you’re hiding your stress or holding unprocessed emotions. It might even remind you that there’s something you need to take care of. Most important, anxiety often signals the need for growth or for some inner shift.
“Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems” – Epitetus
Anxiety is our body’s way to warn us that something isn’t balanced in our life, and if we ignore the early signs, it can lead to very scary anxiety attacks or feelings of isolation and fear. When the anxiety becomes acute, the intense activity in your brain can make it difficult to think creatively, much less change the situation you are in.
Most anxiety comes from childhood conditioning where you may have felt powerless to cope and often begins at a time when you may not have felt safe to acknowledge your anxiousness.
“Anxiety’s like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far.” – Jodi Picoult
It’s only when you are willing to bring consciousness to your anxiety, to pay attention to the bodily sensations it brings, the thoughts that go along with it, and the situations that trigger it, that you can begin to learn from it. We have the power to take control and understand anxiety and to embrace fear.
Become aware of how you feel when the anxiousness comes over you. What part of you tightens when you feel nervous? Note what kind of mental dialogue you are having with yourself during this attack.
When you face your anxiety head first and not with fear, you will find that your anxiety is usually based on lies that you have told yourself over-time. No-one I know has died of an anxiety attack and even though some attacks end up in the hospital, it is always because they thought they were going to die.
Yoga, breathing exercises and meditation are all wonderful techniques in helping us release built up emotion and fear. When you use feelings of anxiety as a signal to let go, you begin to discover ways to free this energy from our mind and from old emotional patterning.
“Why do anxiety, stress, or negativity arise? Because you turned away from the present moment. And why did you do that? You thought something else was more important. One small error, one misperception, creates a world of suffering”. – Eckhart Tolle
So learn to be present and aware. Fear not of the future, but rather that you are not living fully in this moment.