Although we often think of anxiety as being a neurotic symptom, the truth is that anxiety is a natural part of life for everyone. Because it is often associated with a mental illness we may frequently be hesitant to share our experiences of anxiety with others. Are some people more naturally anxious or calm than others? Of course, we all have a different physiology, however we all have anxiety. Some of us even convert it in to physical pain and don't even notice much of the anxiety we actually experience. That is a whole other topic. We often go through life pretending to be something that we are not. Just because a person says they are calm or appears to be calm that doesn't always reflect the truth or their experience. When we are anxious we may feel as if there is something intrinsically wrong with us. Do we want to share this vulnerability with others and risk being identified as neurotic or mentally ill? As we keep things to ourselves, it is more difficult to objectively look at what is happening within us, and this often makes life more difficult. We are frequently faced with this dilemma, and it difficult to decide what to do. I will say this many times, "it is not the anxiety that is often so problematic, but the judgment we make of ourselves for having the unpleasant feeling, as well the relationship we have with the experience of anxiety. As we feel anxious we have two choices, we can turn our back to the anxiety and run away from it, (my personal favorite) which only causes more anxiety, or we can move or turn toward it, be more accepting of the experience, and maybe even learn more about what is going on within us. Anxiety, and panic in particular can be frightening experiences. Walking, stretching, all forms of exercise and movement can be helpful to lessen the intensity so that we can begin do deal with it better. What if we began to change our approach to this difficult experience that occurs within all of us. What if we more frequently say," this is a natural experience". Because there is always a reason why were experiencing anxiety, we might even say to ourselves "this anxiety belongs here", Because there is "always" a reason for the anxiety, the statement makes perfect sense. It is either a natural experience for the circumstances of our life, (job interview, conflict in a relationship, some change in our life, performing on stage), or some other issue which makes us uncertain about the future, or how others will respond to us. If the anxiety is masking other emotions than it belongs there as well, because it is giving us a signal that we are trying not feel something that is unpleasant or painful. It is there telling us that we need to look within ourselves..
The Challenge of Dealing with Anxiety (Part 2)
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