Embracing Anxiety for a Peaceful Mindset

Embracing Anxiety for a Peaceful Mindset
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Many individuals struggle to release their pain and suffering. They seem to have a preference for familiar suffering due to their fear of the unknown. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Refusing to acknowledge my anxiety disorder (yes, I admit it, I have a condition) leads to moments of fright.

It leads to sleep disturbances, a rapid heartbeat, and sensations of tingling and trembling in the body.

Driving down the road in a thunderstorm, I find myself overcome with anxiety, fearing a heart attack. However, I push through, continuing to drive and talking to my beloved on the phone, hoping that by simply moving forward, everything will be alright.

Instead of embracing anxiety as a familiar presence, I find myself resisting and resenting its frequent visits. She consistently resorts to extreme measures to grab my attention.

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I put it down to anything else whenever I start to feel the physical manifestations of anxiety or panic attacks.

I feel a rapid heartbeat, and I’m concerned about my cardiovascular health. I feel disoriented, and I suspect there may be an underlying neurological issue. If it’s not me who takes care of it, it’s my children. My son has a bruise that looks concerning; I’m worried about his health. Life is filled with joy, but there is always a lingering fear of something tragic happening to someone dear to me.

It’s become clear to me that this is a recurring pattern.

Anxiety seems to be a recurring presence throughout my life, despite my hope that it will eventually fade away.

On the contrary, I anticipate a perpetual state of contentment, devoid of stress, with a genuine concern for others (albeit not for myself), displaying kindness, thoughtfulness, intelligence, achievement, physical fitness, slimness, and a youthful appearance—the expectations for what I “ought” to be are seemingly endless. I must remove the word “should” from my vocabulary.

I reassure myself that anxiety cannot be the source of these physical symptoms, as it would imply that I am anything less than content.

Ah, I’ve found it. People view emotions other than happiness as negative, and they expect me to always be happy. Consequently, if I am not happy, it implies that I am flawed and unsuccessful. Do you understand the concept right now?

Indeed, I recognize the irrationality, lack of compassion, and absence of forgiveness in writing, which is why I’m expressing myself through this writing. Another reason is that I’ve come to realize that I can’t truly be myself without embracing this aspect of my identity.

Those familiar with me often say that I am quite transparent. It was only very recently that I would have said that of myself.

This is a side of me that I’ve kept concealed for a long time. I conceal my anxiety like an outcast within my family, ensuring that even those closest to me remain unaware of its presence.

I used to feel embarrassed about my anxiety, but I’ve come to understand that my family member, who was always seen as different, just needed my acceptance.

To spend time with her and offer a comforting embrace while letting her know, “I acknowledge your presence. I can tell you’ve been here before. Experiencing emotions other than pure happiness is a natural aspect of life, and it is normal to feel anxious, concerned, upset, or even sad at times. I need assistance in identifying the underlying emotion causing my anxiety and determining the steps I can take to improve my well-being.

Not long ago, my kids embarked on a trip with their dad to another state for a week. It was a completely new experience for me to be so far away from them for such a long period of time.

Each morning, I would abruptly awaken, my heart racing, questioning the source of my unease. I finally realized that the root cause of these overwhelming feelings of panic was my constant worry about my children’s well-being and separation from them.

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Upon realizing this, I made a conscious choice to shift my attention towards the enjoyable activities they were engaging in each day and the lasting memories this trip would create. Rather than dwelling on the potential uncertainties, I embraced the positive aspects of their journey.

I view this newfound realization as a step forward in my ongoing quest for self-acceptance.

I will make an effort to perceive anxiety as a valuable experience, and each time it departs, I gain a deeper understanding. I feel empowered to better manage my anxiety and have come to understand that I have control over my thoughts rather than the other way around.

I find that I am more empathetic towards others when they are not completely content. I can delve further into the root causes of my anxiety instead of ignoring its existence.

By doing that, I can develop a well-thought-out plan to address any valid concerns or debunk any unfounded ones. It’s much simpler than persisting as a mere target of my own thoughts.

The next time concern arises, I plan to embrace it with open arms, ensuring she doesn’t need to take such drastic measures to receive acknowledgement. Oh, it’s you again. How delightful to see your familiar face! Feel free to come inside and take a seat for a while. We have tasks that need our attention.

Sit down with your anxious relative if she pays you an unwanted visit more frequently than you’d like. Consider the reason for her presence. What thoughts are causing you anxiety?

Separate your sensible thoughts from your worried or self-defeating ones by writing them down on separate pieces of paper. On the other hand, please provide any concrete evidence to support the claim.

A possible example could be “I sometimes feel vulnerable due to my anxiety.” It’s quite simple to challenge that notion—I can provide a list of 100 examples showcasing my strength while struggling to find even a single one that supports my belief.

Writing down your thoughts often diminishes their impact and provides clarity. If you have a genuine thought, consider identifying actionable steps to address it. Regain your power and take charge once more. Give it a try the next time anxiety pays a visit, and observe if it reduces her duration.

“Your MASTERY OF LIFE begins the moment you break through your prisons of self-created limitations and enter the inner worlds where creation begins.”

Dr. Jonathan Parker

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