Anxiety is a Teacher

Don’t Shoot the Messenger!! 

Extreme and constant emotional states (i.e. mania, anger, fear, sorrow, grief, and worry) lead to serious mental health disorders (i.e. anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc). Anxiety, for example, is a normal reaction to stress and certain life situations. Getting rid of it or ignoring it is akin to shooting the messenger because you do not like the message. That approach fails to generate change. Anxiety helps one to cope and alerts us of an unresolved opportunity to grow. However, it CAN become excessive, like any good/bad thing. The constant dread of possible future moments can literally paralyze a person in and terror. This is when anxiety devolves into a crippling disorder.

 

Harmonizing with Anxiety

Re-framing anxiety as an invitation to engage in our own healing process is an important overall motto we are keeping in mind this week. What sorts of practices and life patterns can we help teach clients? What useful and VERY SPECIFIC practices and habits can we learn that will help interpret what anxiety means in our specific and personal realities? Again, we want to offer tools and encourage change, not just talk about feelings. Action steps are vital. So we are coming up with some great ways to harmonize with anxiety and seeing what it has to teach us all!

 

Becoming Masters of Signs and Symptoms

Anxiety manifests itself in several forms in Western medicine: Generalized Anxiety Disorders, Panic Disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, PTSD, Social Anxiety Disorders, and phobias. We are exploring all of these conditions this week. The general idea is that this feeling can be a useful warning system that we can use to get ahead of an episode before it fully manifests. Clients need to become masters of mental health signs and symptoms so that they can train themselves into a better NOW. Knowing the terrain (how anxious feelings are triggered and how do they present in my specific life) is vital. Building a plan with specific tools and techniques is next. Putting that plan into live-action when the bullets fly is after that.  We will find out what works and what doesn’t. Each of our clients is unique.

Maybe think about how you personally deal with the emotional stress that manifests as anxiety. Maybe explore the approaches other cultures use to treat it. Perhaps explore common triggers and complex triggers that affect us and propel us into a frenzied state.  Again, anxiety is not an affliction to remove. Rather, it is an invitation to transform.