The power of not fighting, but instead, befriending anxiety.
We will ALL have experienced anxiety in our life in one form or another. For some it’s a fleeting visitor that just calls in for a quick catch up now and then, but for others it’s like that house guest that just won’t leave, the one that outstays their welcome.
Hear me out on this one – you might not have heard this before, and it might be a bit of a curve ball for those reading this.
The weird thing with anxiety is that we often invite it in. We call it up and say ‘hey, not seen you in a while, do you fancy a catch up’, then when anxiety takes up our invitation we get p*ssed that it sticks around longer than we want.
Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way saying this is a conscious thing, that we want or even deserve the chronic incapacity anxiety can cause us. Or that knowing we do this will rid us of the un-welcomed guest.
Fight and flight is a survival mechanism that we can’t live without as human beings. That moment you get the rush of adrenaline when you have a near miss in the car, or you grab one of the kids as they are about to fall, or when you hear a loud noise, or the phone rings in the middle of the night.
Fight and flight is ‘Batman’ to anxieties ‘Robin’ in a weird way!
Anxiety can be the unpopular kid in school, the one who just annoys everyone and wants all the attention, dances around like an idiot and annoys the hell out of you.
What if anxiety just needs us to befriend it?
Give it a nod of acknowledgement as our paths cross.
Ignoring that annoying kid can often make it even more annoying, they get louder, they try more ways to connect and get our attention.
So, what’s the answer?
If what you are doing is working – great stick with it and keep going.
If it’s NOT, what have you got to lose?
Our thoughts about trying something new are what can cause us a problem, not the actual act of doing something new. Our thoughts about past experiences that maybe didn’t go that well often stop us from attempting new things.
So if ‘anxiety’ calls today, don’t fight him or her, don’t shut the door on them, they will just knock louder. Sit with them for a while if need be, picture them as that annoying kid at school that just wanted to be part of the group. Once you let them in and ‘see’ them, they usually quieten down.