Let’s talk about to how to deal with anxiety using the simple yet powerful ABCDE system.
A is for Aware
By aware we mean becoming aware of the anxiety itself as well as the paradigm or the beliefs with which you understand the anxiety. Being aware that you have anxiety is too basic to explain.
Being aware of your paradigm is another matter with anxiety. We want to recognize how we view it. Our belief is that if we, and if we view anxiety as temporary, harmless and something that is natural, we’re better off befriend.
B is for Befriend
Step two is to befriend the anxiety. When we view anxiety as natural and harmless, then we are free to welcome it. We no longer believe the anxiety will cause us any harm, either physically, mentally, or socially.
We welcome it. It’s okay to be anxious. It will pass in a few moments if we allow it to pass.
However, if we see the anxiety as an enemy that wants to harm us, then we will try to fight the anxiety. In fighting the anxiety. Our negative feelings will only grow. Our fears will expand, and soon we will be anticipating more anxiety to the point where it runs our lives.
So befriend the anxiety.
C is for Curious
Rather than tense up in a defensive posture against the anxiety, we can be curious about it.
- What does anxiety want?
- What’s it about?
- What can we learn from it?
- What are some creative ways we can resolve it?
One of the points of curiosity is to exercise patience. Give yourself time and space to allow the right idea, the right resolution, the right new direction to come through.
Since we’re no longer afraid of the anxiety, we are free to be curious about it.
D is for Decide
Make a decision, making a good decision brings with it certainty. Certainty brings with confidence, which of course is the opposite of anxiety.
It could be that your decision, in this case, is to simply continue moving forward and drop the matter of anxiety entirely. Or it could be that in the curiosity phase, you encountered new information about which you’ll want to make a decision.
Either way, deciding to either continue as planned on your original course or go in a new direction. Now’s the time to decide.
E is for Engage
Engage the world. Act upon your decision. Get moving. Because with that movement comes momentum and with momentum comes more certainty and confidence.
Keep your eyes open, and since you’re no longer afraid of the anxiety, you’re free to welcome any future anxieties or self-doubt or outright fear because you know you no longer think that’s a bad thing.
Eventually, your anxiety will take a more natural place in your life, alerting you to areas of your life and circumstances that genuinely need your attention.