Unpack your anxiety.

From a nagging feeling of discontent to a paralyzing panic attack — while unpleasant to experience — these sensations and symptoms of anxiety are messengers that arise in body and mind to impart valuable information.

Understanding worry and anxiety aren’t always straightforward. Fortunately, you can learn how to receive their communication.

First things first, you need to know that anxiety is not an emotion.
The word “anxiety” has become a sort of catch-all term used to describe a whole range of uncomfortable emotions.

But, in truth, anxiety in and of itself is not an emotion. Rather, it’s an indication that there are emotions within us that we haven’t allowed ourselves to feel or express.
Anxiety functions as a protective mechanism that temporarily shields us from becoming overwhelmed with deeper emotions, such as anger and sadness.

But to find relief, we must look below its protective layer to discover the source of what’s really going on.

There are 3 ways to understand what your anxiety and worry are telling you, so you can find greater clarity and ease.

1. Pay attention.

Anxious and worrisome thoughts are kind of like a fire alarm. They arise to signal that some important aspect of you or your life needs attention. Sometimes, the trigger is sudden or severe and demands immediate action.

Most often, anxiety reflects an internal imbalance that’s been building slowly over time. So slowly, in fact, that we may not recognize our discomfort until it’s become pretty intense.
When they are not felt, expressed, and released, free-floating emotions like fear, anger, and frustration can trigger acute anxiety. It’s simply not enough to deal with it on the surface — we have to unravel it to get to the source.

Paying attention to what’s going on internally and externally is the first critical step.

Give yourself permission to unplug from your daily responsibilities and take some quiet introspective time for yourself. You can do this by closing your eyes, taking some slow, deep breaths, and becoming attuned to what’s happening in your inner world.

Use any sensations moving through your body as clues. Explore areas of tension or constriction, and allow yourself to simply become curious about them.

  • What disappointments — even minor ones — have you dealt with lately?
  • What projects or communications didn’t go as well as you would have liked?
  • Is there a situation in your life that needs to be addressed or shifted?

Make a note of anything you become aware of, and try to identify the underlying emotion associated with each one. With this step alone, you’ll begin to feel some relief.

2. Move the energy.
Emotions are simply energy, and energy is always in motion. To be alive is to exist in a continual state of ebb and flow.

In order to take in the new, we have to release the old. When this process is interrupted by stifling our emotions rather than feel them, we lose our balance.

You can’t affirm your way out of an anxious state, because anything we resist and struggle against gathers more momentum. With emotions, the fastest way out is through.

Once you’ve uncovered the deeper emotions that are triggering anxiety, take a moment to be present with these feelings.

Grant them permission to exist. Accept however you are feeling in the moment, knowing that emotions are nothing more than waves of energy.

All energy is in a constant state of flux, and you can help this process to unfold naturally and easily.

Shift your attention from your mind to your heart — and feel your connection to your soul — to your life force energy. This life force energy creates and sustains all things, and connects you to the universe itself.

Allow your personal energy field to become entrained and aligned with the pure, divine source that sustains you. Feel it washing away any discord.

Use your breath to gently move and release any energy that’s been stuck and to open up to a greater state of receptivity.

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3. Focus on what you want — not on what you don’t want.

The final message that anxiety brings us is one of self-empowerment. Through the power of our attention and focus, each of us has the ability to deliberately ask for what we want to receive.
We have the choice at every moment to complain about problems or to envision their solutions. We can focus on what’s missing from our lives, or on the areas where we have an abundance. Energy flows in the direction that our attention goes. Once you understand this, you can use it to your highest benefit.

Decide on the quality of vibration that you would like to bring into your physical and mental body. Then, deliberately open yourself to receive this.

Imagine the energies of joy, expansion, ease, connection, and well-being pouring from your divine source into you. Feel this frequency entering and uplifting every aspect of your being.
Do something nice for yourself that anchors this new frequency into your life in a concrete way — take a hot bath, go for a walk in nature, watch a funny movie, or beautify an area of your home.

Remember, you are the one who sets the energetic tone for your life, and you can choose whatever energy you desire.

If we don’t deliberately choose the energy we want to bring in, we’re at the mercy of whatever the frequencies being broadcast around us. Each of us is responsible for creating the vibrational tone of our own lives.

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