That unsettling feeling in your tummy. Thoughts whizzing through your head a mile a minute. Sweaty palms. The nagging feeling like you’ve gottadosomethingandfastbutyoujustdon’tknowwhat. You know the feeling? Anxiety. Sometimes we combat it with a few deep breaths followed by a sigh of relief. Sometimes it’s so bad we feel like the only outcome can be checking into the closest mental health facility.
Of course, we do our best to get rid of anxiety and stay as far away from it as possible. But most of the time when we try to bury it, we just end up causing ourselves even more anxiety. You resist. It persists.
What if – instead of running away from it – you acknowledge it and sit with it for a while? What if we use our anxiety as a chance to really work with the thoughts in our heads and try to get past it? Every time we’re anxious it’s for a reason. Anxiety is like that nagging partner who is saying “There’s something you’ve gotta do and you really should be doing it now.” It’s your subconscious signaling it’s time for some personal growth.
Beyond the butterflies in your stomach and that “I’m going to barf” feeling is wisdom and power. Yes, that’s right. Anxiety can sometimes be a good thing.
How to wrestle with anxiety and win
Notice it. Acknowledge it. Embrace it. When you feel it, sit with it for a moment so you can….
Figure out the root of what is causing you to feel like crying/pulling your hairs out one by one/throw up. What exactly is triggering this unsettling feeling? I used to be what you’d call a champion worry-wart. Seriously, if worrying was an Olympic sport I’d have been a gold medalist. If I can transform from that into someone who almost never worries, you can too. What is causing your anxiety? Sift through the layers of thoughts running through your brain and pin-point the reason you’re feeling this way. I find the reasons are usually this: fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of…well, fear of just about anything.
Own it. Once you have figured out just what is causing the anxiety, it’s time to own the fear and then tackle it with bravery and optimism. Sounds simple, right? Oh, no, it’s a challenge. But it’s so worth it.
Face it. Face your fear head-on and knock it down with courage. You might call it positive thinking, countering each negative thought with a positive one. There’s power in positive thinking. Just don’t ask a self-proclaimed “realist”. (Ever met a pessimist who calls herself a pessimist? I haven’t.).
Anxiety itself doesn’t come with a solution. The solution is found only after doing some soul work. Digging down deep and figuring out where your fears are coming from and what’s blocking you from moving forward in a productive, healthy way.
Remember, self-care is your responsibility. No one else is going to do it for you.
In facing anxiety there is great strength. You’ll surprise yourself with the results. Use that anxious energy and turn it into the fuel that helps you make changes in your life for the better. When you do, you’ll shine. The skies will part for you on those metaphorically rainy days and life will just get easier.