In recent years I have fought against anxiety as if it were the enemy, only to realize that it was trying to tell me something very important. Maybe I wasn’t ready to hear it, maybe it had to get worse in order for me to pay attention. Recently I’ve learnt that deep down it was trying to tell me that there are parts of my past that haven’t yet healed. Although I’ve come a long way, my anxiety reminds me that I still have a long way to go. That even though I like myself and have forgiven my bullies, the fear of being bullied still remains when I am in the company of new or unfamiliar people.
If you think about the times when you were most anxious, what did it surround? Whilst the literal cause of anxiety might relate to something quite specific, the root cause is often something much more generalized. For example, do you get anxious about keeping everyone happy? Is there something unresolved in one of your close relationships and / or do you have a need for all of your relationships to be conflict free? When you were a child did you witness a lot of conflict?
For everyone the cause of our anxiety will be different but I would encourage you to delve deeper into the root cause of your anxiety as when you do you may discover your anxiety is trying to show you that you have a deeper issue that needs your attention.
Try these three key questions to unravel the message your anxiety might be trying to convey:
- What does my anxiety relate to specifically?
- What does my anxiety relate to generally?
- Did I experience what my anxiety relates to generally in the past?
Then ask yourself this key question:
- How can I work towards healing the root cause of my anxiety?
Once you deal with the root cause directly you will begin the process of healing, though this is only part of the picture. In order to fully deal with it the anxiety itself needs to be tackled. For me, one to one therapy, lifestyle changes and CBT are great ways of learning to reduce and manage anxiety.
Compassion and one to one therapy is also invaluable in my dealing with the root cause. Admittedly it is still a process I work on and I am learning every day. If you would like to know more about how I’m working upon my anxiety and how simple lifestyle changes and CBT are helping me please read this month’s series posts, published on Monday’s.
Do you suffer from anxiety? Can you see any links between the general theme of your anxiety and your past experiences? Do you think being compassionate towards yourself in relation to your past would help you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.