It isn’t hard to be feeling anxious amidst ongoing distancing and global uncertainty, to say nothing of a coming summer season with plans unknown and likely disappointments. But there can be a positive spin on the kind of anxiety that may be starting to feel unwelcome: Anxiety serves us well. (Yes, you read that right.)
Anxiety alerts us to hone in on what’s most important. Anxiety has the potential to be deeply motivating. It bolsters awareness to our deepest values, and can unlock protective coping - if we can let it.
And this can be as simple as changing our mindset, and looking for its usefulness. A positive perspective has been well documented to put us in the emotional driver’s seat, especially when it comes to our experience. Yet, too often, anxiety feels like something that’s happening to us, rather than something we control. But it is never outside of our control, truly. We can take back control.
We gain back control over our emotions when we take a positive perspective on them. In fact our thoughts about our emotions actually define how we experience them
. Recognizing anxiety is actually trying to help you can be a powerful turning point in reversing your fear and resistance of it. Likewise, simply recognizing you are feeling anxiety - and labeling it as such - has been shown to bolster a sense of control and reduce distress
. Maintaining control of your anxiety narrative, especially during these uncertain times, can help you maintain the emotional control you need to stay balanced.
Click on the image below, or here
, to listen to a recent podcast (interview starts at 16.00) about the benefits of anxiety and how we can make it work for us. Included too is a bit more about taking control
of anxiety, along with a recent post on the science of humor
, and why we all need to laugh as much as possible these days.
How are you taking control over all the anxiety in your life these days? Reply to this email! I’d love to hear what works for you, as well as what’s still challenging.