If you have an anxiety disorder, the chances are good that anxiety will be a part of your life from now on – hopefully in a much smaller, more manageable way at some point, but it will be a part of your life none the less.
Anxiety comes from who you are. It is a product of your personality and all the things that make you uniquely you. It comes from some of the best parts of you actually, and unless your anxiety is caused by a medical condition, chances are good it’s going to be a character in the book of your life from now on.
Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to start seeing it as a good guy instead of a bad guy? Can you imagine how freeing that must be?
I can. Because I look at my anxiety as one of the greatest things that ever happened to me….one of my favorite parts about myself. And my life is great now. My anxiety is under control. I try new things. I am not panicking around the clock. My world is not falling apart around me.
Now compare this to back when I despised my anxiety. That was one of the worst times of my life. I was miserably unhappy….full of worry and mental exhaustion. I hated waking up every day and I spent most of my time at home, too scared to go anywhere.
Did my anxiety start getting better and THEN I decided I loved it?
No. I decided to start loving it and THEN it started getting better.
It wasn’t easy. Anxiety doesn’t come off as the most “lovable” thing in the world. But sometimes in life you have to choose what your head knows is best for you and then work out the details later.
I refused to allow anxiety to be my enemy any longer.
I quit focusing on the bad things about it..Lord knows I had paid those feelings MORE than their due over the years and that had gotten me nowhere. I chose to only look at it from a positive perspective. I educated myself about what it was and why it made me feel the way I did. I got to know my anxiety and what made it tick. I paid attention…learned when it would come around and when it wouldn’t. And eventually I started genuinely seeing it as the friend and helper and very necessary part of my life that it was. My relationship with anxiety changed and so did my life.
Is anxiety your friend?
If not, ask yourself what your current relationship with anxiety is, and what you are gaining from it. How is it helping you? If things aren’t so great between the two of you, are you willing to consider looking at things from a new angle? One thing I know for sure is that there are absolutely no bad side effects to loving your anxiety, so it certainly can’t hurt to keep an open mind and give it a try. And if you can’t love it…..maybe you could just try not hating it. It’s a start.
To help kick things off, repeat this affirmation to yourself often:
“Anxiety is my friend.”
Write it on sticky notes, place them around your house, and every time you see them, repeat the words to yourself. Say the words to yourself as soon as you wake up in the morning and before you all asleep at night. Journal about the good relationship you hope to build with your anxiety and all the positive things you can take from it. Spend time with the idea of loving your anxiety. This is how you grease the tracks of your train of thought. One day, if you are consistent and persistent, you will wake up and realize you have switched to a healthier track and it will be such a smooth transition, you won’t even realize it happened.