When I was little I asked my mom, “What does it feel like to not be anxious?”
By nine years old I was diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). By thirteen I surrendered to the reality that I would never fully get rid of the anxious and insecure part of me.
I related to these emotions like body parts; As long as I was alive, anxiety would be attached, visible, and affecting the way I moved through the world.
When I started studying the brain, emotions and Emotional Freedom Techniques (also known as Tapping), I realized emotions like anxiety are less like body parts, and more like family members: We don’t like all of them, but if we learn to relate to them more positively, they stop impacting us so negatively.
This week’s mindfulness challenge is to treat your anxious feelings like family.
The next time you feel anxiousness, insecurity, jealousy or shame, acknowledge the feeling as if it were your awkward uncle that invites himself to your house regardless of an invitation. “Oh hello there. What’s up. What brings you here today? How can I help you? When do you plan on leaving?”
These cheeky questions will lighten your mood and remind you that emotions are a part of your life, not part of your identity.
You might be in the habit of flaunting emotions that bring you praise and hiding emotions that bring you shame in the same way you treat the parts of your body you don’t like.
Your feelings are not body parts! They are family. You can’t choose your family. You can’t always like them, but you can treat them with compassion.
When you respond to your worst feelings with compassion, an unexpected thing happens: They stop sticking around so long.
What does it feel like to not feel anxious? It feels like observing a feeling instead of being controlled by a feeling. It feels like the uncle who shows up to find you going about your day, boundaries and personal schedule intact versus the uncle that ruins your day.
Okay, enough with the metaphor. Have fun treating your anxious feelings with compassion.
If you want to practice this skill and take it deeper, subscribe and receive two free chapters of my Amazon #1 New Release, which guides you through of the seven most unwanted emotions and into compassion!
May we heal fully, live freely and love boldly,