As you move through your day, you may find anxiety, panic, or just stressful thoughts popping up out of nowhere. Don't let it derail you. Anxiety can be a brilliant teacher if you allow it to be.
Most of us who experience anxiety and panic on a regular basis want to get rid of it—cure ourselves of it—or, at least, find a way to ignore it. We imagine a life without anxiety—a "normal" life. In our minds, it's utopia. If only we could find the perfect drug or supplement, the best technique or therapist, then we would be "fixed." Then we would be content. I spent around 15 years of my life practically killing myself to accomplish this goal.
What we don’t realize is that by thinking this way, we often set ourselves up for frustration or failure. I'd like to offer a different approach. I recommend you embrace your anxiety. Decide to thrive with your anxiety or panic, not in spite of it.
Stick with me here. I realize this seems ridiculous. Um, who would choose to partner with their anxiety? And how do you even do that? But I've come to see this as one of the most profound acts of self-care and self-love that we can perform.
Recently, while meditating, I was struck with the idea that anxiety and panic, at some level, may be a part of my experience for the rest of my life, and I may have been looking at this "disorder" from the wrong perspective all these years. I realized my panic attacks and general anxiety have been, at times, my only guide. How many times have I felt anxiety or panic arise for what felt like no reason, only to later realize the situation I was in was not healthy for me? I needed to begin treating anxiety as a message from my higher self.
Our bodies are continually sending us signals about what we need. We just have to learn to listen. If we tune into our bodies, we will realize they can provide intuition regarding our surroundings, our situations, and our needs. The simple act of recognizing that your anxiety is here to help you will shift your relationship to it and empower you in any situation.