Can Anxiety Work In Our Favor?
We often talk about anxiety as if it were something that was designed to punish us. Anxiety gets in the way of our confidence, our ability to complete our tasks, to chase our dreams, to be intimate with others, and to take risks. There are certainly a number of negatives to anxiety, but there can be many positives as well.
Anxiety is a natural part of our existence. Anxiety is part of what has kept our human species alive for thousands of years. Without anxiety, we wouldn’t have suspicions, be alert, or be ale to tune into our intuition when danger is present. Our anxiety is derived from our fight or flight responses, which is our survivalist response to stress. For our ancient ancestors, the release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol was necessary to run from serious predators and threats to our survival. We need to make a snap decision on fighting or fleeing the scene of a threat in order to protect ourselves and other members of our species. Today, in the modern age, we aren’t running from animals or other predators the way that we used to. The threats to our safety and survival are considerably less significant than they were. Yet, we are stuck with our survival instincts and as a result, we can develop anxiety when our fears and suspicions start building up on one another.
However, the energy of our anxiety is still present. We can take advantage of the physical cues of our anxiety and make it work in our favor. Overcoming the mental obstacle of anxiety is not an easy task to accomplish. Overcoming the physical obstacles of anxiety is not an easy task to accomplish. If we can achieve a distance between our anxiety as an experience, rather than our experience as a fact, we can use the energy of anxiety to our advantage. There is a distinct difference between “I am anxious” and “I am experiencing anxiety.” Feelings are fleeting energetic experiences, not facts or determiners of our reality.
None of this is to say that we should be able to overturn our anxiety or any of our other mood experiences and that is the way we should handle our emotions. We are capable of living in relationship with our emotional experiences instead of living under the influence of them.
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