Today a client of mine said to me, “I am so sick of it, and the impact it is having on my life!”. The “it” being anxiety obviously! This comment raised some very important issue that we discuss in our session, she found this discussion quite useful so I thought I would share it with you in coming blogs.
Firstly, I encourage her not to blame “it” (anxiety), as this keeps her in a powerless and helpless place, and especially because when anxiety comes up it is just doing it’s job, letting you know you feel under threat. Most people think anxiety is the problem and they must get rid of it at all cost, the hardest thing to learn is anxiety is just doing it’s job, the real problem is how you are responding to the anxiety. Some responses help and others make it more intense and last longer.
This is so critical because when we are sick of anxiety and related to it in unhelpful ways, we get stuck in a negative loop and are unable to move forward and grow. Over the years I have noticed many typical ways that we respond to “it” (anxiety) that makes things worse and stops us from growing and evolving in response to difficult life events. For example these include:
- Fear of it
- Judging it
These are the common ways that most people relate to their anxiety, which not only causes the anxiety to become more of a problem, but causes many more associated problems as well. The alternative is, firstly not to engage in any of the avoid, control, suppress, fear and judge responses listed above and secondly to be with “it” (anxiety) in healthy ways that promote growth and development, these include:
I will look at these more positive responses in subsequent blogs.