A guest post by Reclaimed Beauty (Heidi Dennis)
Yes, you read that right. I called anxiety a gift. No, I am not crazy. No, I have not been drinking too much egg nog. I think anxiety (much like anger) has gotten a bad rap in comparison to it’s other emotional peers. Allow me to explain…when we are experiencing anxiety, it’s our body’s way of telling us that we have a need- much like our stomach growling is our body’s way of telling us it’s time to chow down. Too many times we ignore anxiety by trying to push it away. Let me ask you something, what would happen if your tried to “push away” the feeling of hunger when your stomach growled? Would it work? Absolutely not! In fact, your stomach would actually start to growl LOUDER. No matter how many times you push it away, until you meet that need, your stomach will continue to sound like a “hangry” bear who is about two seconds away from throating punching someone over a bag of Cheetos.
Anxiety works the same way. When you start to feel anxious, what if it’s your body’s way of telling you that you need something? It may be telling you that you have too much going on. It may be trying to tell you that you need a break. Most often, it’s telling you that you are trying to control something that is out of your control (for more on that, see The Circle Talk in the Resources section of the Tangible Truth website). Too often, we try to grab at more control when we are anxious. Or, we try to push the anxiety back down. My motto for ANY emotion is “up, not down”. This means that we need to let that emotion up and release it instead of shoving it back down. Trust me when I say that any time you try to stuff any emotion down, it will find it’s way back up and it won’t be pretty (for a mental picture- try to imagine me attempting to stuff myself into a pair of leggings that are five sizes too small. Believe me, things will find their way out and it won’t be pretty). As you let it up naturally, it’s a whole lot more manageable and it just might give you insight into something you are needing.
Whatever the need is, I would challenge you to be curious about it. Ask what it’s trying to tell you. Pray over the thing that you are anxious about and make the conscious choice to release it. You don’t have any control over it anyway, no matter how much you would like to think that you do. So, the next time you’re given the “gift” of anxiety, don’t grab the gift receipt and try to return it as soon as possible. Let it up, respond to the underlying need driving it, and then release it. You might be surprised at how differently you feel.
What about you? How have you responded to anxiety in the past? What has worked for you and what hasn’t? You might help someone out with your insights! Comment below.
…And, speaking of anxiety producing topics, next I am going to write a series called “I Think I Married the Wrong Person”. So, buckle up for the ride! (…deep breaths…)