We are taught to run from our anxious feelings, so that we can remain feeling safe and comfortable. But there’s a flip side.
We all feel anxious, but those feelings might be trying to tell you something. Anxiety, like all of our feelings, has a place and a function in our lives.
If we were to listen to it, what would it say? Most of us see it as purely a negative experience, but what many of us don’t know is that our anxiety is trying to save us from pain.
If we think back to being a child, that pain could have been related to a physical experience – a parent telling you not to ride our bike too fast in the park in case you fall off and graze your knee, for example.
But now, the pain we sometimes feel is more emotional – and one of embarrassment and shame.
Sometimes, we jump the gun a little and we imagine ourselves in situations that ‘might’ happen – and out anxious thoughts start to spiral based on a perceived result of our actions. Sometimes, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves if the cause of our anxiety is bases on a truth or a perceived truth– that we’ve created in our heads before it has the chance to happen. Often, we make up these situations to stop any risk of that emotional pain being ensued.
Outdated emotional response
Is that anxious feeling now outdated? Does it serve a positive function in our lives, or is it holding us back from asking for what we want, and truly living the way we want to?
Does feeling anxious stop you by:
- Not allowing you from acting the way you would like to?
- Stopping you from reaching your full potential in case you fail?
- Holding you back from from trying something that’s out of your comfort zone?
In actuality, what could happen? You won’t get kicked out of a restaurant for not knowing the difference between your Pinot Noirs and Merlots, yet some of us won’t ask for the wine list, just in case.
Anxiety has a place, after all it’s part of our fight and flight response – and can sometimes protect us, but maybe it doesn’t deserve such a big place in your life now.