Work Through the Feelings Behind Your Anxiety
It wouldn’t be unusual for you to hear a person say that they’re feeling anxious. However, anxiety is actually not a feeling! I describe anxiety as a lid on unwanted or undesirable emotions. We have to feel our feelings and we have to feel that we’re able to handle them competently. Figuring out what we’re feeling and then doing something with those feelings is an essential step toward reducing anxiety. All emotions need action. When we’re sad, we need comfort and perhaps we need to cry? When we’re fearful, we need reassurance and a sense of safety.
Ultimately, when we have a greater sense of control over our feelings, there is no need for the “lid” of anxiety. We neurologically settle our brains and settle out entire systems when we let ourselves feel and believe we can do something with those feelings. Learning breathing techniques, brain-settling strategies, and positive self-talk are all helpful strategies. However, if we ignore the core of where their anxiety may be coming from, we’re often just putting a Band-Aid over authentic emotions and merely managing the symptoms.
Anxiety often comes from a place of fear: fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, or fear of letting someone down. By exploring the fear underneath the symptoms of anxiety – through a connected therapeutic relationship – this will help you feel understood, heard, and seen. Which will ultimately, settle an agitated system, allow a greater sense of competence and control over your emotional self and thereby reduce anxiety.
We can’t just shut out the negative or unwanted emotions (wouldn’t that be nice!). If we try to, it will simply manifest in unhealthy ways. So remember to explore the feelings under the “lid” that presents as anxiety. Doing so will help you create a healthy brain pattern and build your confidence at the same time.