Anxiety as an Ally, not an Enemy

08 April, 2020
Most people consider anxiety their worst enemy, that feeling they should escape from. However, you must learn to consider anxiety an ally and make peace with it, as everything will be much better if you do.

Many people repress and deny their anxiety in order to avoid experiencing it. This is because the discomfort is so embarrassing to them and they don’t even think twice before reacting. Instead, they may put all of their efforts into fighting it. But it lingers. Thus, it neither disappears nor its intensity decreases. For this reason, experts recommend considering anxiety an ally, rather than an enemy.

Most people find it difficult to think of anxiety as an ally because they’re unaware of the benefits it can bring into their lives. Also, because they’re scared of changes.

“Trust yourself. You’ve survived a lot, and you’ll survive whatever is coming.”

-Robert Tew-

Continue reading to find out more about this interesting topic.

A woman with a headache.

Anxiety is well-known but often misunderstood

The concept of “anxiety” has become quite popular in a relatively short time. This is a fleeting society full of stress, routines, obligations, and highly patterned habits that don’t allow you to connect with yourself.

You spend most of your time connected to the outside world. A changing exterior, full of unforeseen events and uncertainty, often beyond your control. This way of “running” around the world makes it difficult to stop and ask yourself what you need.

You stay on autopilot, without questioning anything. Instead, your mind is filled with complaints and negative thoughts. You may even think that this isn’t the life you chose.

However, by not facing this fear of uncertainty, you end up settling in a comfort zone that’s neither comfortable nor healthy because you’re already familiar with it.

Thus, the famous “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know” leads you to conformity and, therefore, to anxiety. This is because you’re neither doing nor living to your standards and are inconsistent with yourself. Thus, what you think, feel, and do is out of whack.

Believe it or not, there’s something you can do about this. You have the power to make changes, even if it’s scary.

As frowned upon as Maleficent

Maleficent in the background.

Anxiety has a bad rap. And it’s normal because it produces unpleasant symptoms such as tachycardia, dry mouth, chest pressure, headaches, stomachaches, and difficulty breathing, among other symptoms.

Like other emotions, the more you fight and consider it an enemy, the more anxiety will linger in your everyday life. For this reason, experts recommend that you try to change your preconceived notions about it, as well as its meaning. Try to understand it and consider it an ally, as part of your team.

Although it may seem impossible at first, you’ll definitely be able to accept anxiety as an ally. To do so, you must slowly change your concept of it.

How to begin to consider anxiety an ally

Consider anxiety a feeling that warns you that something’s emotionally wrong (and that you can stop it and correct it). In other words, consider it an alarm, a set of physical symptoms that warn you and remind you that you’re not doing what you should be doing. That perhaps what you’re doing is to your detriment because you’re not listening to yourself nor paying any real attention to your needs. Instead, you’re hurting yourself.

You must understand anxiety as a warning that you’re ignoring yourself and that you’re giving too much importance to everything else.

When you stop fighting anxiety and listen to its message, it’ll stop being painful. It’s no longer the fairy that’s there to curse you but the one that stands next to you as a reminder that you’ve got to take better care of yourself.

Here’s an example. If you’re working too many hours and don’t allow yourself to spend quality time with your family, friends, or even your own company then, perhaps, you can’t stop yourself. This is because you’re very self-demanding and feel guilty about not being “productive”.

Your body is going to send you unpleasant physical signals to try to stop you when you need to put the brakes on. In this case, the message of anxiety is that you need to listen to your needs and take care of yourself. That you need to rest and have “me-time” to recharge your batteries.

The final notes on anxiety as an ally

But it’s scary to stop, right? You avoid doing so because you know that if you connect with yourself you’ll be able to see that, perhaps, there’s something you don’t like in your life and you must change it. Those decisions are often difficult to make since they involve changes and uncertainty. Thus, you may think it’s better not to see it because, if you don’t see it, it doesn’t exist.

Maleficent and Aurora embracing as they think of anxiety as an ally.

What if anxiety doesn’t warn you? Well, you would continue to do things to avoid analyzing yourself and the physical and emotional consequences would be more important than anxiety. You wouldn’t stop and would hurt yourself even more.

Listen to your anxiety to be realistic and stop deceiving yourself. Thus, think of it as an ally. Allow yourself to welcome it and appreciate the benefits it can provide. Only then you’ll be free.