Educate yourself on the nature of anxiety and how it’s actually our protector
This has to be one of the most important things we can do when it comes to befriending our anxiety. Educating ourselves on the fact that anxiety, in it’s truest sense, is a protection mechanism. It really has no other purpose. Once we see this, it becomes that little bit easier to befriend our anxiety because it doesn’t make sense to not befriend it once we know it’s ultimate purpose.
This doesn’t mean it’s going to change the way anxiety feels to us. It’s still going to feel uncomfortable in our experience, but just knowing that it’s not against us and is trying to keep us safe can ease the fear of it being a monster. It only becomes a monster when we are ignorant to the fact that it’s just an alarm system.
It’s trying to keep us safe when there’s no danger. Whenever there is a true danger, then it’s doing it’s job of protecting us. So, all that’s happening is we are experiencing the fear response in the absence of any threat, so don’t see it as a problem, it’s not.
Stop making it your enemy
No matter how uncomfortable, painful and scary anxiety feels, it is not our enemy. It becomes our enemy when we choose to perceive it as one, it’s as simple as that. Perceptions are so powerful.
Anxiety is not our enemy because it is designed to keep us protected from danger, so how could something that is designed to help us deal with threatening situations be an enemy? It took me years before I came across this information and when I understood it, so much began to change.
Insight changes everything. When I understood that anxiety is nothing more than an overprotective guard dog, I no longer saw it as an enemy. It became effortless to drop my old perception of anxiety simply because of educating myself on the fear response and why it activates.
Stop arguing with anxiety
One of the most common ways we can mistakenly make anxiety into our enemy is when we argue with the thoughts it creates. Again, I was completely blind and ignorant to the fact that arguing with my thoughts was only giving the anxiety more energy.
Even though I felt more anxious and worked up every time I argued with my inner state, I still carried on doing it because I thought that I needed to win.
The truth is, we can never win an argument with our anxiety no matter how many times we try. Why? Because every time we argue, we give it more power. Once I understood that arguing with my anxious thoughts by trying to correct them was adding more fuel to the fire, it made no more sense to continue to argue with them.
Now, whenever any “undesirable” thought comes into my mind, I don’t argue with it, I don’t retaliate. I just let it say whatever it wants without snapping at it like a dog. Because of my undesire to argue, the thought/s loses it’s power and interest so it passes on without any trouble.
Arguing with my anxious thoughts was something I did pretty much every single day, so it took a while before the habit died out. This might be the case for you if you’ve spent a lot of time arguing with your thoughts. But this insight I’ve just shared with you might be enough for you to just drop this behaviour.
Stop judging it
Judging our anxiety in whatever way it manifests can be another way in which we feel like anxiety is our enemy. The solution? Stop judging your anxiety. This means that when it arises, don’t condemn it. Don’t call it bad or evil. Simply feel the anxiety without judging it.
Condemnation of our anxiety will just give it more power. By judging anxiety, we will just feel the rebound effects of the judgement we are putting out. What goes around comes back around.
Remind yourself that no matter how uncomfortable you feel, anxiety is not out to get you because it’s an inbuilt safety mechanism.
When you stop judging anxiety, it will just be what it’s supposed to be. An alarm system. A wave of energy washing over us. It’s not harmful. What’s “harmful” is our condemnation of the anxiety, rather than the anxiety itself.
When I say harmful, I don’t mean that literally.
Saying yes to anxiety
Not allowing anxiety to be is what creates resistance. You and I both know how uncomfortable this resistance feels. So, because of how painful it feels to fight against our anxiety, we innocently mistake our anxiety as the enemy. We think that the anxiety is making us feel the way we do, but it’s actually our resistance to it that does.
Even in the midst of anxiety, we are our own worst enemies. And, because we are resisting our anxiety, telling ourselves that we shouldn’t be thinking these thoughts or feeling this way, we are innocently telling our brain that we have a problem.
The brain, which is a survival machine, just sends this warning signal to the part of the brain that rings the alarm bells.
This is why it is so easy to just assume that our anxiety is out to get us. Anxiety is never the monster, we create the monster through our fearful interpretations and our unwillingness to accept and allow ourselves to feel the anxiety. Instead of trying to run away from it and/or fight it, embrace it.
Open your door to it, let it in. Let the anxiety run into your arms like a lifelong friend. Although this will feel strange, especially to start with, it’s what will free up the dense and negative energy and allow it to be released.
If this post was helpful, please feel free to share with others. If you feel like I missed something in this article, then let me know and I’ll add it in to improve your reading experience 🙂
Until next time