Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety. These are the echoes and whispers I hear wherever I go. Humans are talking about it as if it was the phenomena of our era. Fame is written all over it and people share a common state: being anxious about anxiety.
Let us talk about the thing that shall not be named. Every single behaviour and action could be linked to it in infants, toddlers, children, teenagers and adults. If we take a good look around us and listen to the planet breathing, we would also notice that all living creatures express anxiety in endless ways.
I have been a Psychomotor therapist for over 11 years and I worked with countless individuals and families. Anxiety is on my work desk but also on my kitchen table. Being a therapist does not mean that I could be immune to it. I have fought anxiety with my bare hands till I lost sleep and joy of living. An ongoing battle of thirty years made me sign a truce with it and today I advocate for it within me, with my patients and with the world.
Humans go through several mental and physical states but the four pillars to emotional processing are happiness, fear, sadness and anger. Anxiety occurs when the individual is stuck between the “let it be and the let it go”. It is the fruit of fear of any sort, it is the face of constant worry and dwelling on repetitive thoughts.
I had a therapy session with a seventeen-year-old person who just managed to end a suicidal depression episode. His main recent struggle is being anxious about anxiety. He is waiting for the day he will be able to fight it away and take it out of his system.
I asked him to make a drawing representing each basic human emotion. It is in the picture you see above. First interesting fact was that all emotions were holding hands. He wasn’t aware, but his brain was revealing the truth. Emotions in our brain are related and they are part of what we are.
My next question to him was: “what do you think would happen if all four emotions were put in one room? Which one would win the situation?”
I asked this question to several teenagers lately and the direct answer always is “it has to be happiness because when you’re re happy you’re happy. If you are stuck with sadness you will become depressed and if you are stuck with fear you will become anxious and if you’re stuck with anger you will have both depression and anxiety to deal with”.
That is true. Happiness must win but happiness must also cohabitate with other emotions. None of it is entitled to just stand up and leave.
We need to acknowledge that all emotions are here to stay in a constant debate at the end of which only one is victorious. We will only be in a healthy mental state if happiness is winning frequently and emotions are balanced in their interactions.
Everyone is anxious.
The difference between individuals is rated by levels and frequency. We can teach our brain to manage anxiety by learning to control our thoughts. The less dwelling we have and the more positive thoughts we fabricate, the less anxiety we will face.
So here is my conclusion, make peace with anxiety. Let it be, let it sit in the corner and talk to it saying: not today anxiety, not today.
It is only when you let it be that you will let it go.