Well, perhaps not everything…but it’s a start. To begin, anxiety is not a disease, it’s an emotion or feeling, and feelings are data. In other words, anxiety is there to tell us something. It’s gotten a bad rap over the years and has come to mean something rather negative. When clients and patients come to me they typically describe the purpose of their visit as, “I suffer from anxiety.” Slight pause…I’m going to generalize with this post, trust me, I know there are many different levels of anxiety, I’ve seen them all. I am speaking to the masses, so roll with me here.
The majority of people I see really aren’t suffering from anxiety, rather they are trying their best to ignore the fact that something uncomfortable is going on in their life, and they greatly want to ignore that something. Guess what? Anxiety is that feeling or emotion trying to wake you up, tapping you on the shoulder to get your attention so it can explain, “If you actually take care of the problem, situation, thought, circumstance, whatever, that is causing me to show up, my job will be done and I can go back to where I reside in the subtleties of your sweet brain.” Usually, said issue is rather uncomfortable to deal with and we humans do not like uncomfortable…especially those who have never been taught resilience. Pay attention, what is the ROOT of what’s going on or more simply, what is the ROOT of your problems or problem? Perhaps, my friends, that’s what you should be paying attention to. Do you have a paper due? Get it completed. A relationship to repair? Repair or decide to be done with it. A project on the back burner? Complete it. A difficult decision to make? Decide and follow through.
And guess what? When you stack several of these issues on top of each other, which you know humans do, that really causes anxiety to kick into high gear (be nice, it’s only doing its job folks), and bam! Now you’re having an anxiety attack…fun!
Friends, be good to yourselves. Treat yourself with kindness. Pay attention. The situation you are stalling on, ignoring, trying to forget, don’t know how to take care of …that’s the fire. Anxiety is the smoke. The smoke is telling you that something is burning below it and if you don’t put the flames out, the fire is only going to get worse and therefore, so is the smoke.
And there you go, you have now completed Anxiety 101…you’re welcome!