Anxiety is one of the most uncomfortable emotions we can experience. It makes us feel mentally and physically restless. It sits in our chest or the bottom of our gut and never lets us forget it’s there. Anxiety keeps us awake at night and makes it difficult for us to enjoy our day.
As uncomfortable as anxiety is, though, it gives us a lot of information about what is going on in our lives. Anxiety is trying to catch our attention. It’s trying to alert us about something that we aren’t facing or dealing with.
Anxiety is uncomfortable because not addressing something that needs to be dealt with as a priority is very often uncomfortable as well. Otherwise, we would have dealt with it then and there. We don’t procrastinate for fun. It’s something that’s difficult, it pushes us out of our comfort zone, evokes unpleasant emotions, or is complicated and messy.
Maybe there’s a relationship that needs repair? Maybe some miscommunication has gone on for too long? Perhaps there’s an important problem that we’re avoiding? Maybe we need to start that challenging project? Maybe you need to get that assignment done ASAP?
Anxiety won’t go away until we address the issue that shouldn’t be avoided any longer. The longer we wait, the more intense anxiety will get.
You may be surprised at how dealing with the issue that you have been avoiding takes much less emotional and mental energy compared to how much energy avoidance requires.
Very often, when we address the issue at the core of anxiety, other emotions associated with the issue such as anger, hopelessness, or lack of urgency, will go as well. We may even feel quite energized and positive once we have taken action.
You’ve carried anxiety for long enough, It’s time to let it go. What do you need to do?
Matleena Vanhanen is a licensed Counselling Psychologist with over 20 years of experience working in Europe and the Middle East. She has a practice of couples and individual therapy at the MapleTree Center in Dubai.