I know you think your anxiety means that there is something wrong with you.
Because that is what you have been told.
That is what everyone is saying.
But have you ever asked yourself why you have anxiety?
No, not because there is something wrong with you or because you are broken.
Truly, why do you have anxiety? Why does anxiety exist?
Let me share something with you.
You were always going to have anxiety.
When I saw “you” I am referring to the 1 in 5 American adults that experience anxiety each year.
See, if we look at the statistics, anxiety is normal.
Yes people contact me every day and tell me there is something wrong with them or that they need to be fixed.
Our dialogue and education around anxiety is not only wrong, it is irresponsible.
Anxiety exists because of our evolution.
Anxiety i.e. the ability to sense potential danger, literally was a skill that kept our predecessors alive.
Think about it… What happens in your body when you have anxiety? Hormones are released (cortisol, adrenaline) and these allow you to move quicker, feel less pain and have heightened senses.
It sounds pretty cool when you put it like that.
Your body is working to keep you alive. It is releasing hormones that will give you powers.
Anxiety gives you superpowers.
Anxiety played a role in the survival of humanity and our evolution.
High anxiety = higher likelihood of survival.
Our predecessors survived and passed on their anxiety through the generations.
The human brain and anxiety has been around far longer than hashtags.
That is the problem.
Our anxiety is no longer necessary. We do not face hungry predators, poisonous plants and uncertain shelter anymore.
Times have changed and our brains haven’t caught up. This is because what they were programmed to do for tens of thousands of years only hasn’t been useful for a blip of time.
This is where there is work to do.
This is why it is all about managing your mind.
It is just a matter of reprogramming.
Your brain is a crazy powerful tool and its’ purpose is to keep you alive and out of danger.
Except danger in our modern world can be a review with your boss, going on a date or being judged for how you look.
So danger no longer equals death.
But, your brain doesn’t understand that.
This is why you are experiencing anxiety.
You brain just wants to keep you alive.
So instead of making it mean there is something wrong with you, start appreciating it as part of your evolution and history!
Too often, the judgement and self criticism we have about ourselves with anxiety is causing so much pain.
The first work to do before working on your anxiety is doing the work on what you are making your anxiety mean.
Try it. Try re-framing what you are making your anxiety mean. I dare you.
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