True or False?
“I spend a lot of my time anticipating negative things.”
“Sometimes I’m so agitated I can’t relax.”
“I often second guess myself.”
“I’m worried about lots of things that I realize I can’t do much about.”
“I need things to be ‘just so’, or I feel out of control.”
“I am afraid of having panic attacks, or losing control.”
“I am either looking ahead into the future, or looking back at the past.”
If you said true to one or more of the statements above you may need help with anxiety. Anxiety problems are ways that we try to escape the discomfort of being in the body when we feel we might be out of control. We worry and focus on the past or future. We try to control things. We avoid things. We go into our heads and leave our experience in the body in the here and now.
Yet the uncomfortable feeling in our body that is anxiety is actually normal and healthy. That feeling is vulnerability. It is the sense of threat that arises out of a fundamental human truth: we aren’t in ultimate control of many of the important things in our lives. Aging, illness, the economy, other peoples’ choices or feelings or opinions, even the flow of our own feelings, are all things that are determined by more than just our will. And the vulnerability that arises from that truth is uncomfortable.
If we are to be calm, grounded, and comfortable in our skin we need to grow our tolerance for the discomfort of that hard truth. We need to be able to stay with what being vulnerable feels like: we need to be able to stay in the body and feel and deal with the sensations of vulnerability.
Becoming aware and taking care of the feelings inside the body when we are anxious is the most powerful anti-anxiety treatment there is. Together we can help you change your habitual patterns of avoidance, and help you find the freedom and power you deserve.