Although it may feel as if anxiety is the problem, it is not the problem. Anxiety is there to alert you to the underlying problem. Rather than just trying to get rid of this “alert”, it’s time to look at the real problem.
We tend to the focus on the feeling of anxiety as that is making us really uncomfortable and we think we need to deal with that. We just want to get rid of it so we can start to feel comfortable again. Nothing wrong with that, right?
However, we probably need to dig a little deeper.
Anxiety really gets our attention and we need to understand what our subconscious is telling us. If you like, anxiety is a message that tells us something needs our attention, and if we continue to ignore it, the anxiety will continue until we find out what the problem really is. This is similar to a red light coming on in your car which lets you know that there is a problem with the engine. The red light in itself is not the problem.
One way is to sit with your anxiety, and ask some questions. Rather than just trying to mask it or suppress it, find the answers that your subconscious is urging you to look for. Be curious and ask questions like, “What is it that you are trying to tell me?” or “When did I first have this feeling?” Breathe in and out and listen. Just be really open to anything that comes up for you – it may be a feeling, thought or image, whatever it is, just allow it. And, maybe nothing will come up for you and that is OK. Don’t try to rush it or pressurise yourself into finding an answer. Allow yourself to sit and breathe. That, in itself, will be beneficial.
Once an answer comes, you will gain some insight into the core problem and this should provide you with some relief as you will have a greater understanding of what is happening.
A second way is to journal. Writing things down can be really powerful. For example, you could write a letter to your anxiety and then your anxiety could reply to your letter. Some amazing insights can come from this process. Don’t over think it, just start writing even if it doesn’t make complete sense.
Another way is to write something down about the way you feel and then write the opposite. For example, “I’m overwhelmed.”. Then write “I’m only focusing on one thing and that is writing this.” Another example could be, “I’m lost.” Then you could write “I’m here.” or “I’m in my sitting room.” Carry on doing this for five minutes and see what comes up for you.
One final way is to notice all the times when you are not feeling anxious. What’s going on for you? Who are you with (or talking with), or what are you doing? Again, this approach is one of curiousity, which will help you with insights into those times when things are going well for you or perhaps when you are doing something that serves you. This may be valuable information that you can take with you into those situations where you feel anxiety.
Just having this extra knowledge and insight into your anxiety will help develop your understanding of it and provide you with relief, as you will be in a much better position to deal with the real problem.
I hope this helps you and your family.