Accepting Your Anxiety Helps You Deal with It
Over the years, I have learned so much about my anxiety, not only through formal education but also simply through taking the time to analyze what I am going through. Some might say that this is just a part of dealing with anxiety -- the overthinking and the constant overanalyzing of what you feel, think, and do. But I think it has also been helpful because it has helped me recognize my triggers and anxiety symptoms. It has also helped me figure out things I can do that are helpful for me. One of those things is leaning into my anxiety and accepting the anxiety instead of running away from it.
How Accepting Your Anxiety Helps
So what does this mean? Something I've learned about anxiety is that our natural tendency is usually to fight it. We try to do things to get away from it and stop feeling uncomfortable. For myself, this has often been avoidance -- trying to avoid anything, anyone, and any situation that causes me to feel anxious. The problem with this is that the more I try to run away from triggers, the more triggers there seem to be. I've found that it gets to the point that more things that are around you than not start to contribute to your anxiety. And I have learned that this gets to the point when you start realizing this is no way to live.
I have found that there are steps you can take to accept your anxiety that, counterintuitively, can help you to feel better. The first step is acknowledging and accepting that anxiety is something you struggle with. This is where self-reflection is helpful. But accepting anxiety also means accepting your symptoms. Uncomfortable feelings, uncomfortable symptoms -- these are all things that need to be acknowledged.
I've learned that mindfulness is a key strategy for this. Mindfulness involves focusing on the present and on the here-and-now. It also means focusing on the present without judgment. So, focusing on my anxiety -- and what it feels like when I am having a panic attack or any other anxiety-related physical symptom -- has to also include accepting it for what it is, without looking at it as positive or negative. By doing this, I can analyze what I am feeling in a logical manner and try to figure out what will actually be helpful.
I've also noticed that when I am mindful of accepting my anxiety, it actually helps to calm me more than make my symptoms feel worse. It helps me to watch for anxiety triggers -- not because I want to avoid these things at all costs, but because being aware of them helps me to use specific strategies to deal with them. And accepting my anxiety helps me look at it more objectively, acknowledge that it exists, that I am human, and that I should not be afraid of it.
If there are things that you do to help you accept your anxiety, please share them in the comments below.
Bermio-Gonzalez, R. (2022, May 26). Accepting Your Anxiety Helps You Deal with It, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, August 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2022/5/accepting-your-anxiety-helps-you-deal-with-it