1. CALM- Look at your anxiety and seek ways to genuinely calm it.
Reacting to anxiety through avoidance/resistance (often taking the form of unhealthy habits, addictions and behaviors) or expressing it in harmful and negative ways, prevents us from effectively managing it, and too often this can have a negative impact on your health and your relationships. Instead of trying to rid yourself of your anxiety, choose to sit with it and seek ways to genuinely calm it (breathing techniques, meditation, yoga, music, walking, reading, etc).
2. RELINQUISH- Let go of the need to restrict your feelings and FEEL them.
One of the primary ways we attempt to protect ourselves from unwanted feelings is through emotional suppression. Although pushing away an unwanted feeling provides some temporary relief, buried feelings will continually bubble up to the surface and spill out in problematic ways until we stop restricting them and allow them. Relinquish the urge to suppress your feelings and just let them be. Feeling a feeling is the doorway to healing and growth.
3. EXPLORE- Be curious as to what is driving the anxiety, worry and fear.
Where does it come from? What is the source? (personal, family/cultural, existential) What do you see as the root beliefs, fears or worry underneath the anxiety? Do a reality check. Is it true? What are the underlying assumptions that give rise to the anxiety?
4. ACCEPT– Accept yourself and the realities of life that you cannot change.
As you gain awareness of what fears and beliefs lie underneath the anxiety, you will find that there are aspects of yourself and life that you are denying. This reluctance to accept reality and the things in life that cannot be changed is a major contributing factor of anxiety. What aspects about yourself and others have you denied? What realities about life are you reluctant to accept?
5. TRUST- Embrace uncertainty and trust the process of life.
The absence of trust in all of its forms (trust in self, trust in others, trust in life) allows anxiety, worry and fear to steer your ship. A lack of trust often presents itself through an intolerance of uncertainty and the tendency to try to control things and people. Establishing a healthy relationship with trust is integral to lessening anxiety and eliminating unnecessary worry and fear. In what ways are you holding back trust?
6. EXPRESS- Give creative form to your Anxiety, worry and fear.
How can the anxiety, worry and fear be transformed and expressed in a creative and purposeful way? Painting, Drawing, Writing/Journaling, Dancing, Playing Music, Building, Creative Thinking/Problem Solving, etc. What feelings, thoughts and gifts are waiting to be expressed?
“Always be yourself. Express yourself, Have faith in yourself”