We all have anxiety. It’s important to know what it involves when we can.
Sometimes anxiety is rooted in sadness or fear. Perhaps it involves jealousy or insecurity. When we identify the root, we can cope better. We get less tangled up with the mess right in front of us and can see the basics. Our situations change, and if we reflect only on the immediate details, we don’t remember the ways we’ve coped with core challenges in the past. We’re caught off guard with the changing details instead of seeing the commonalities and patterns. When we deal with the basics of sadness, fear, jealousy, insecurity, and so on, we build strength and skill over time. We know what’s worked and hasn’t worked in the past.
I recently had a rough day. I was tender. Tears fell easily. Nothing specific had happened. I was confused. I was unsettled. But I took a breath and thought less about my feelings and more about what might be prompting them, not a situation but a core prompt. Once I knew what that was, I felt ready to deal with it and move on.
Identifying the root of our anxiety doesn’t mean it will go away. We will still encounter situations in life that press those buttons in us, but we’ll better know the buttons and we can develop coping strategies that help us move forward. We might need to hunker down for a bit. We’ll need to breathe and reflect. But then we can take the next best step forward.
Whatever is pushing your buttons today, take a breath and ask, “Why? What’s at the root of this? What can I do about it? What’s the next best step?”
Then do it with humility, courage, and truth.