I’d been working on this well worded, wise post to send out to you. It was about mindset and success.
And then I started feeling anxious.
I was just sitting here, minding my own business, writing out an email, and the anxiety showed up.
I find that this is sometimes how it happens, seemingly out of nowhere for no reason.
Of course at first I just wanted it to stop. Why are these butterflies having tantrums in my stomach? Why is my chest feeling tight and constricted? What’s wrong? Why is this happening?
It seems to be human to want to resist these emotions. I’ve never heard of a book on how to be more anxious (maybe I should write it), but I’ve seen a million on how to be more happy and a million on how to not feel anxious.
When feelings like anxiety appear we think that something has gone wrong. We think that something needs to be fixed and we usually try to fix it.
The real secret to being less anxious is to be okay with being anxious.
When we aren’t able to feel a feeling, we avoid it. This looks like not doing things that we really want to be doing. Maybe we avoid going to a social event because we feel anxious about what someone else will think. We don’t speak up at work because of it or we avoid having a very needed conversation because we are anxious about conflict.
Avoiding feelings makes them worse. When we are too scared to feel the anxiety, we never really learn what’s causing it. We are so busy trying to get rid of it that we never face the fear we are running away from. We never realize that actually nothing needs to be fixed.
Resisting feelings makes them last longer. Resisting the anxiety makes me anxious about being anxious, which just makes things worse.
So what’s the answer?
I let the anxiety be there. I didn’t make it mean that something was wrong. I didn’t make it mean that something needed to be fixed. I just felt it.
Sometimes the simplest answer is the one that works best.
What are you not doing in your life because you are afraid of a feeling?
Feeling anxious isn't as bad as feeling anxious about feeling anxious.