Not all anxiety is negative. Anxiety is talking to us, revealing something to us, and it’s our job to figure out what it is before it’s too late.
Whether you call it energy, intuition, spirit, shakti, it’s believed that deep within every human being there’s connection. An interconnectedness that binds us all together. I am of the belief that anxiety is a part of that collective interconnectedness. The point of this writing is neither to prove or refute the idea of human connectedness, but rather to try and make some sense of our own anxiety and where it comes from.
It’s important not to take out on the person in front of you something that has nothing to do with them. Because we are intuitive at nature we are oftentimes prone to feel “collective anxiety.” My definition of collective anxiety is an unexplained or unsubstantiated emotion or feeling.
It’s important not to take out on the person in front of you something that has nothing to do with them.
Have you ever just started crying and didn’t know why? Have you ever heard a song on the radio or part of the conversation from the table behind you at a restaurant and suddenly became overwhelmed with emotion? If you’re “dialed in” to what’s going on in the world, even the slightest bit, you can feel what the World at large is feeling. Whether we totally understand where this emotion is coming from, most of us can attest to being overcome with emotion and not knowing why. I’ve counseled many people, and have had the same experience myself many times, who have said, “I just have a heavy heart, and I don’t know why.”
Now visualize taking that “heavy heart” into a job interview or into a meeting with your boss who you already feel doesn’t even know you exist. It’s key to make certain the anxiety you’re feeling over a particular situation or person actually has something to do with them, because if it doesn’t you’re going to give off a “vibe” during that conversation that could cost you everything. Being misunderstood is simply communication out of sync. You’re thinking he’s thinking, and he’s thinking you’re meaning, and you’re both wrong.
What is your anxiety telling you?
Your anxiety COULD BE telling you that you have a deeper connection to humanity at large and that you hurt for the hurting you’ve never met. Your anxiety COULD BE revealing a deep-seated feeling of powerlessness or insecurity because you’re overwhelmed with everything going on in the world and feel helpless in being able to bring about any positive change to the situation.
Anxiety may not be an indication that you are stressed to the max and need a vacation, the anxiety you’re feeling COULD BE telling you that you are channeling Universal pain. Worry, stress, hurt, and uncertainty of Humanity, that no matter how hard you try to not feel it, you still do! Don’t take what you’re not certain of out on the ones you love. Avoid taking energy, that you’re not certain of its source, along with you to your staff meeting. Don’t allow unknown energy to stir negativity in you about yourself or others you work with. What you’re feeling at the moment might not have anything to do with anyone else but you.
What can you do about anxiety?
Take Time Away.
Spend time alone before you spend time with others. Release any emotions you’re feeling before confronting or engaging with someone else. If you feel like crying, cry. If you’re angry, express your anger. Tell the Universe why you are feeling angry. I know it sounds a bit crazy but it’s the best way I’ve found to “vent” without hurting anyone.
You don’t have to worry about offending the rocks. The Mountain Bike Trails never yell back. It’s only Humans who react, and most of us react incorrectly. Most people use anxiety – misunderstood energy – to address a situation that has nothing to do with the situation at hand. A lot of times we do this just to feed our own ego. We tear down others in attempts to build ourselves up.
Make no mistake about it!
Whether you want to admit it or not you are a touchy-feely creature. We are all touchy-feely creatures. Even the most intellectual are driven by passion and emotion. I’ve always said, “I’m not an angry person just don’t make me mad.” That’s the way it is with anxiety. We have to learn to listen more closely to anxiety. What is it telling us? Is this truly about what I’m making it about, or is there more to this than meets the eye? Before you find yourself having to go back and apologize, again, be sure you should be saying what you want to say to that person before you say it. The best way to do that is to get to know yourself better. The best way to get to know yourself better is to spend time with yourself. Make sure you spend more time alone than you do with people, it will help you always put your best foot forward.
When is the last time you spent time with you?
When is the last time you took a walk by yourself? I’m not talking about a walk where you let your boss, co-workers, spouse, and the coronavirus tag along with you in your head, I’m talking about taking a walk with just you? When is the last time you’ve spent quality time with yourself?
In order for us to live our authentic selves, we MUST know ourselves intimately.
- When is the last time you’ve felt love and knew why?
- When is the last time you’ve experienced hate and knew exactly where it was coming from?
- When is the last time you knew that you knew everything was going to be ok, and you were certain of the exact source of that thought?
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy but I am saying it’s going to be necessary. In order for us to live our authentic selves, we must know ourselves intimately. The only way to know yourself is to spend time with yourself.
What to do with yourself during self-isolation?
In this mandated state of self-isolation, let’s not isolate just our bodies and keep our head and hearts full of fear, worry, doubt, wonder, our boss, co-workers, or the state of the economy, let’s truly self isolate. Let’s get alone, get quiet, be present, and listen. Then when the urge comes upon us, let’s pour out from the core of our being everything that’s burdening us! Our hurts, fears, worries, and stressors. Pour out all of your feelings like pouring water out of a pitcher. Just let them flow.
Spill your guts
Spilling your guts is healthy. In coaching, we call it cathartic venting. But to who do you spill your guts to? I suggest no one! No one can understand what’s happening deep within you anyways, except you.
Spill your guts to the Universe. To God. To the birds. To the frogs (plenty of frogs around these days due to peak mating season). Get everything off of your chest before getting in front of others. That way when you have something to say to someone you will know that it has nothing to do with everything else that’s going on in your life at the present moment. You can know that your heart is pure toward the one in front of you and that they won’t get the brunt of your frustration or an emotional outburst that has nothing to do with them at all.
Anxiety is telling us something
Not all anxiety is negative. Anxiety is talking to us, revealing something to us, and it’s our job to figure out what it’s too late. And before we release it at someone who it has nothing to do with.
The next time you’re feeling anxious, get by yourself before getting in front of someone else. Go out in the hallway, or in the other room and get clear about why you are here. Before sharing a piece of your mind with the person in front of you, make sure it’s the piece that belongs to them. I am of the belief that we are all connected and that, at times, anxiety is a part of that collective interconnectedness. I believe that in some small way that you and I sense the hurt of someone we don’t know. It’s ok to carry someone else’s burden. It keeps life in proper perspective.
The next time you’re feeling anxious
So, the next time you’re feeling anxious, the next time your heart is heavy and you don’t know why don’t be so quick to fight it off. All anxiety isn’t negative. Don’t resist it, be one with it. Don’t be so quick to beat yourself up either thinking that somehow you should be stronger. It may just be that the Universe is speaking to you. It may be that you are collectively connected to the world around you and that you are feeling the world’s pain and sadness during these difficult times.
When anxiety comes knocking it may just be trying to tell you something. Don’t resist it, rest in it. Rest in the emotion of what you’re feeling. Get alone for a few minutes. Get quiet and then ask anxiety, “What are you trying to tell me.”