Tuesday, March 12, 2013

the wisdom of anxiety

Like all emotions, anxiety has two aspects: confusion and wisdom. Working with anxiety, leaning into it instead of away from it, you can learn to discover the wisdom it offers.

There is arousal in anxiety, which can be useful. There is exhilaration in anxiety, which can be virtuous. Rather than trying to eliminate anxiety, a helpful approach is to instead embrace it, so to speak, to ride the wave of it. When you stop trying to suppress it, and start trying to work with it, that's how you learn to rule it.

It's important to acknowledge anxiety if it's there, to be friendly with it, to get to know it. Only then can you understand it and use it to your advantage. If you try to just block it out or wish it away, that never works.