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Thinking About Anxiety as an Opportunity to Benefit Your Life

January 6, 2019 George Abitante

Learning how to view anxiety as an opportunity instead of an obstacle is a skill that will help you move peacefully through life. Discover more at HealthyPlace.

Is anxiety ever an opportunity rather than an obstacle? If you’re experiencing anxiety frequently, it is tempting to think of it solely as a negative, frightening experience. However, anxiety at its most basic level is a protective response that can help you adapt to threats in your environment. The next time you feel anxious, try developing a positive mindset about your anxiety by using it as an opportunity to improve.

Anxiety as an Opportunity: Considering the Benefits of Anxiety

  • Learn more about yourself. Although it feels negative, your anxiety gives a very clear sense of what aspects of your life you're concerned about. By using anxiety as an opportunity for reflection, you can learn about your priorities and values, and better structure your life around them. 
  • Overcome your fears. Anxiety can produce consistently frightening experiences that people generally want to avoid. However, instead of seeing your anxiety as an obstacle to face every day, you can think of it as an opportunity to practice working through something that scares you. When viewed this way, daily anxiety empowers you to practice resilience
  • Develop confidence. Experiencing anxiety on a daily basis can make you feel like you are vulnerable, but it actually proves the opposite. Each day that you experience anxiety and move past it, you are becoming stronger and more capable -- your anxiety shows your ability to succeed despite adversity. 

By thinking about anxiety as an opportunity rather than an obstacle, you can learn more about yourself and improve your life in the process. What other ways have you used your anxiety to create positive change in your life? Comment below. 

APA Reference
Abitante, G. (2019, January 6). Thinking About Anxiety as an Opportunity to Benefit Your Life, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, April 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2019/1/thinking-about-anxiety-as-an-opportunity-to-benefit-your-life



Author: George Abitante

George received his Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern University and is pursuing his PhD in Clinical Psychology at Vanderbilt University. Find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @AbitanteGeorge.

joni
January, 16 2019 at 11:14 am

Ugh! *TWO :-)

Joni
January, 16 2019 at 11:13 am

I just found this site... I've read to posts and feel a bit better already. I didn't realize that as I was feeling paralyzed by anxiety, I was also beating myself up about it. Light-bulb moment!

George Abitante
January, 16 2019 at 12:24 pm

Hi Joni, thanks so much for your comment! I'm glad you found my article useful - being kind to yourself can be a significant challenge, and I hope what you've read so far will help you be self-compassionate and reduce your anxiety!

Lizanne Corbit
January, 7 2019 at 2:03 pm

I applaud this read! For so many dealing with anxiety, you can easily feel victimized by your anxiety. The start of the year can even induce additional anxiety for those who don't have an anxiety disorder. It's so important to think about how our anxiety can actually be empowering.
Love this point: "Each day that you experience anxiety and move past it, you are becoming stronger and more capable -- your anxiety shows your ability to succeed despite adversity."

January, 7 2019 at 2:47 pm

Hi Lizanne,
Thanks for another insightful comment! You make a great point -- the New Year is a stressful time for everyone, and it's valuable to feel empowered just by facing our challenges!

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