Many people just aren't ready to do the work it takes to change. Are you one of them?
I am going to say something mind blowing to you in this post that will go against everything you currently believe about anxiety, but that will change it for good.
The nastiest part of anxiety is often that as much as we think we want to change, we are more committed to commiserating than growing.
Let's take an honest look at your behavior...
1. When people offer you solutions, do you try them or do you want to talk about symptoms?
2. Do you tend to think that something will fix, solve or change your anxiety? Do you think the next thing you learn will fix it? Are you always hoping person to person to try to find answers outside of yourself?
3. When someone asks you a question about your POTENTIAL do you respond with your perceived LIMITS? Do you explain WHY you can't change rather than contemplate how you can?
If this is you FREAK OUT NOW! Okay haha just kidding. No, don’t freak out. It’s okay. It’s just that your mind has practiced that route so many times it believes it’s the safest way home. And that’s not your fault. You never would have comciouslt created it if you could have helped it. And there are tools to get you off this track and onto a new one.
It is VERY common for you crave change but actually just want to stay the same. The limited mind actually thinks what you’re doing NOW is safer than any change you could imagine.
Our brains get habituated in certain ways.
Your mind thinks that by fixating on the "problem" - your anxiety - that it is solving the "problem."
It is NOT.
It thinks if it can just get rid of the anxiety that you will be restored to peace. This will not work. You cannot get rid of anxiety. It's not a problem to be fixed solved or eliminated.
Did I just blow your mind?
Yes, this goes against the medical model of prescribing meds to eliminate anxiety. Anxiety treatment is often best when we combine meds with treatment. Using meds to take the edge off can be helpful. But its not a long term solution if you don't change the underlying patterns.
The anxiety itself actually isn't a problem to be fixed.
Right now you are probably thinking
"WAIT WHAT!? You must be Fuck!ng kidding me! I can’t get rid of this thing?!”
Understanding this particular paradox has changed everything. This is where feel lasting relief comes
Making friends with anxiety is the only way through the fire. It's okay to feel afraid!
The next time you feel anxious here is a little script for starting your new relationship. How would you start off any friendship? I have this conversation in my head or while seated in my meditation space.
1. Introduce yourself - "Oh hi anxiety, I haven't seen you for like ten seconds."
This joke belongs to Amy Hartman :D
2. Ask it if it wants or needs anything from you.
"What the hell do you want --- erm ... I mean --- what do you need right now?"
3. Ask it if it has anything for you. Keep asking until you get something actionable.
"Do you have anything for me?" Using the tool of your imagination, allow your anxiety to place the gift somewhere in your body, nourishing you. Or it could be words and information.
If your wise mind doesn't agree with what your anxiety is saying, like "We're not safe here." Speak to it like it's a little kid. Say, "I hear you that you feel unsafe. I think we are safe here. What could we do that would make you a little more comfortable?"
You might get a response like "wrap me up in a blanket" or "call a friend."
You are effectively learning how to nourish yourself.
You are learning how to RESPOND to rather than react to your anxiety.
I know it feels like the world is crashing down when you are anxious. It feels like you can't escape and you are going to die. I know. I have been there. Try on this practice, and trust me that it works.
When you start to give a part of yourself that you have been starving, trying to beat to death or get to go away, a little space in your life to offer you wisdom, everything changes and you will ge the relief you seek.
I will continue to share how to work with this part of you in future blog posts so come back soon!
Let me know in the comments how it's going!
Compassion + Integrity = Powerful Leadership - What's your vision for the world?