Simply put, anxiety is the energy we feel to solve a problem. It’s an alarm system to tell us that something may be wrong and that we need to go into action.
The problem is that we can begin to build negative belief systems and thoughts about how we feel and behave. A healthy guilt can be okay when we are thinking or behaving in a manner that is inappropriate for creating and maintaining healthy relationships. Shame on the other hand tells you that it’s not your behavior that is horrible, YOU are horrible. Shame is a termite that can perpetuate the deterioration of a healthy soul. When you are at dissonance from within anxiety can be exacerbated.
How are we viewing our anxiety? What do we believe about anxiety? Do we have a choice to reframe our feelings of anxiety and the negative thoughts that follow it? Anxiety can begin to become this boogeyman hiding in the shadows waiting to overtake our minds and bodies. It can enslave us. The more it takes hold of our thoughts and behaviors, the more control we try to take back. We often lose the battle for control over our anxiety and that reinforces the belief that ALL anxiety is bad and controlling over our lives.
We must take anxiety and the thoughts and behaviors associated with it to trial. We must become the defense, the prosecution, the jury, and the judge to challenge negative beliefs and thoughts that create our consequences. The first step is to bring the belief that all anxiety is bad to the conscious world where we can at least ponder it in the light so that we can expose it for what it really is.
Your deep-set beliefs about anxiety can greatly affect your unconscious and automatic thoughts. Your unconscious and automatic thought life drives how you feel and behave. If you learned that all anxiety is terrifying, then all anxiety is terrifying; unless you begin to challenge your thoughts and come to an understanding that there is a possibility that not all anxiety is debilitating and that it may be helpful at times. We want to avoid the self-destructive behavior that anxiety can cause because of our perceptions. We cannot change events; we can reframe our perceptions. It takes work. If you aren’t willing to work, you aren’t willing to change. You will stay stuck in a place where your negative beliefs and automatic thoughts about anxiety will forever run your life.
Challenging your beliefs and thoughts is easier said than done and no one expects you to do it alone. Vulnerability is the key. Begin the process by just becoming aware of how you view anxiety and share that with someone you trust.
“Unless we are able to get to the deep places within ourselves, we are destined to live lives influenced by the residue of the past.” – M. Baker
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