Working with Anxiety

I have come to understand feelings as messengers from my years of working on myself and with my clients. I often see them as little children, desperately wanting and needing something from me—the bigger the feeling, the stronger the message. When we haven’t been taught HOW to hear our feelings, the natural thing to do is stuff them down. This works for a while and might even allow us to survive in horrible situations. 

We can get creative about HOW we stuff them down. It might be overeating, overworking, or causing fights, so we are constantly distracted and distressed. There usually comes a time when the coping mechanism we have been using to stuff our feelings down starts to hold us back in other areas of life.

Emotions are like people. They are part of us that is yearning to be connected with, heard and understood. Can you imagine having a good friend who was upset and telling them to go away? Or telling them to eat a whole tub of ice cream, and that will make you feel better? NO! Of course not, yet this is what we do to ourselves over and over again with our emotions.

Why do we do this? Usually, this is what we have learned from our parents. They have not role modelled HOW to experience emotions in a healthy way, so we have learned to copy their coping styles. OR we developed our coping styles in response to their dysfunctional behaviour. Either way, we end up with few skills in relation to our emotional being. 

What do I do now? This is the point of opportunity and power. This is the point where you say ‘no more’. I am ready to try something different. 

Remember that any change in habit takes time and practice and the best way to learn anything new is with someone who has already embodied the practices. This is why I recommend seeing a psychotherapist to learn new skills. Once you have these skills, you have them for life!

I am reticent to give practices here because anxiety is so pervasive, and no two people are alike. What will work wonders for one will be difficult and increase anxiety for another. This is why it is best to see a therapist to get started.

Love Jen