15 years ago I wrote a dissertation for my CBT masters course investigating the efficacy of the integrative psychotherapies in the treatment of anxiety.
It’s a long time ago and many changes have happened in the world since. Yet, what I see unchanged is how anxiety affects people.
So, I’ve been asking myself what is actually happening?
And the answer I received at the end of my reflection was that the more I work with people suffering from anxiety the more convinced I am that anxiety is not an illness for 1 in 4 people, it’s actually a state we all experience sometimes to different degrees.
What we all experience to a smaller or a larger extent is the innate fear any living species will feel naturally as a way of navigating through life.
Fear is what help us survive and thrive because it helps us concentrate, stay alert, pay attention to the outer world and therefore it protects us from illness, accidents and injuries.
However, this is only one facet of fear. High levels of fear can make our life experience negative and debilitating.
So if you suffer of the so called “anxiety” I’d like you to explore what is it underneath your feelings. Have you allowed your inner fears to take residence in your mind? Unless you will kick them out, they are there to stay. Like squatters.
So rather than thinking you have an illness called “anxiety”, I would like to challenge you to imagine that a sort of fear is making you feel unsettling, but that you have full control over it if you wish to.
It is important to get support because living in fear will make your inner life toxic and will deprive you from the beauty, love and kindness surrounding you every second of your life.
If you are really decided to change your life and strip yourself from the unhealthy ways you functioned until now, the good news is that you can absolutely do it and only by making that decision you have sorted half of the problem already.
What is left is to make a plan and get appropriate guidance within yourself, to find out how you learned to function that way, what benefits has that served you, and how can you learn to live in a more functional way to create that amazing life you love living.
Do not give up. You only get this shot at life. Stop reading medical news, following self-entitled gurus and indulging in antidepressants. Take back the control over your life. You can do this. I’ve seen many people doing it. You can do it, too.