How To Cope With Anxiety
Get to know your anxiety.
Instead of turning away, turn towards your anxiety and get to know it. How and when does it show up in your life? What does it feel like in your body? How often is it around? What does it make you want to do? Getting to know your anxiety is an essential step in freeing yourself from its grip.
What Most People Do
Most people turn away from fear, without even realizing it. Resisting fear is a natural part of being human. It’s also a source of tremendous suffering. We might even create an entire life that is designed to avoid the things we are afraid of.
This was certainly the case for me. The first 40 years of my life were spent avoiding extremely painful emotions from childhood that I was too terrified to face. I turned away from my fear of these emotions over and over again. But the energy of those emotions was always there, threatening to surface, and partially expressing itself in unwanted ways. It was when I finally faced my fear, and allowed the painful emotions to be expressed, that I became free.
Are there any areas in your own life where you are resisting fear? Do the feelings bother you enough to start learning how to cope with anxiety?
What Is Possible
Today I live very differently. Most of the time I feel at peace. When fear shows up, I notice it instantly because it’s interrupting my peace. I’m 100% committed to coming back to peace over and over again. For this reason, I’m willing to look at any upset that arises, and that includes fear.
A few weeks ago, my dog got sick. When it happened, I was overwhelmed with anxiety. The energy of anxiety overtook my entire body, with a particular density around my solar plexus that was quite painful. As soon as I noticed what was happening, I decided to turn towards my anxiety. I could feel myself wanting to run, but I made the choice to stay. I watched the energy of anxiety move through my body, and over a period of time, some of that energy was released.
That’s what’s wonderful about the practice of getting to know your anxiety. You begin to realize that it is just energy, and it is just looking for a way out. The more we resist it, the more we keep it trapped inside. This causes suffering.
If we are willing to sit with that energy, and soften, it can move, and leave the body. Every time we allow the anxiety to leave the body, its grip over our lives and our experiences loosens just a little bit more. An experience of peace starts to replace the experience of fear.
The next time fear shows up in your life, I invite you to stop and get to know it. Notice your tendency to turn away from fear, and make a choice to stay. Celebrate your choice to stay, even if it’s only for 30 seconds. This one single act holds the potential to genuinely change your life.
About the Author
Diana Calvo is a psychotherapist and coach who helps people get unstuck and transform their day-to-day experience of work and life. After 20 years successfully climbing the corporate ladder, Diana experienced her own journey of healing and awakening. She discovered her true calling to guide others on their journey out of suffering and into a life of purpose and joy. Diana left the corporate world to start her own coaching business. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her dog Joey and a beautiful view of the mountains. She works with clients across the globe.