How we see things definitely has an impact on how we feel. It might only make a subtle difference, but sometimes that subtle difference is enough to help us.
When I stopped labelling anxiety as bad and negative and just saw it as energy moving through me, then I normalised anxiety. I believe normalising anxiety is key.
When anxiety is labelled as an illness and we accept this labelling, It makes us more anxious and put’s us into this “sick patient” frame of mind. Our anxiety is perpetuated through our perceptions so viewing ourselves as a sick patient is going to do our over-active imagination the world of good (sarcasm).
How do you normally perceive anxiety?
If you are anything like I was, then you will view anxiety as a terrible burden because that’s what it certainly feels like before we have a new relationship and understanding around it.
I’ve mentioned before that how we respond to anxiety is crucial. Labelling anxiety can be just as important.
Our labels our basically the way we perceive our anxiety. It’s not necessarily the words “bad” or “illness” that creates the problem. It’s the mindset around these words that determine how we perceive ourselves and our anxiety.
The labels you need to get rid of:
I have a mental illness
Anxiety is terrible
It’s so bad
I’m a failure
The labels you can adopt instead
Replace I have a mental illness with Anxiety is energy
Replace ‘Anxiety is terrible’ with ‘Anxiety is my protector
Replace ‘I’m crazy’ with ‘I have a very powerful and creative mind’
Replace ‘I’m weak’ with ‘Anyone who goes through this is incredibly strong.’
Replace ‘I’m a failure’ with I’m on a gigantic learning curve’. ‘Failure is a part of success.’
Stop labelling anxiety
See what happens when you strip away your labelling of anxiety. No longer call it bad. No longer call anxiety negative or terrible. Just feel the feelings without labelling it.
Yes, the feelings will still feel the same. They will feel uncomfortable and tense, but throw away these labels too. Just allow yourself to fully feel the anxiety for what it is.
This is how you normalise anxiety. Labelling it in negative terms only increases worry. It encourages negative thinking when we label anxiety in a negative light.
So, just feel anxiety without labelling it and if you want to label it, just call it energy. Notice how less threatening the anxiety feels when you don’t label it bad. When you don’t even label it anxiety.
Everything in existence is created by energy. Everything in existence is energy, including anxiety.
It’s all about perceiving and responding differently to the energy that is flowing through our body. We can either create a nightmare out of this energy or we can work with the energy to transform it.
I hope this perception of seeing anxiety without the usual labels can help to disempower the anxiety.
Until next time