My relationship with anxiety and panic has been transformed from us being enemies to them being my greatest teachers and advisers. Instead of fearing symptoms, I’ve learned to use them as assessment tools. Now, long before anxious symptoms escalate to panic, I have standard questions to ask myself:
“What’s going on in my life?”
“Where is there truth that I am not acknowledging?”
“What’s going on right now?”
Often the answers go something like:
“Of course I’m anxious…
- it’s snowing so the roads are potentially slippery. It reminds me of when I skidded on the snow and got into an accident.
- today is the first day of the semester and I tend to get nervous before I meet the students.
- I used to be too afraid to be by myself at night and I see that tonight I am creating thought patterns that would heighten my anxiety in those days.”