Anxiety is your body’s signal that there’s something that needs your attention. It can be an emotion that needs to be processed, a painful wound that needs to be healed, or as spiritual information to guide you. Looked at in this light, anxiety is there to assist you, not harm you. It doesn’t have to be debilitating. In fact, it can even be beneficial, if you embrace it as part of your spiritual guidance system.
You can embrace anxiety as a spiritual guide by having a sacred chat with it and seeing what it’s trying to tell you. When you feel anxious, your energies become scattered and it’s hard to focus. So, it’s important to first notice when you feel unsettled, agitated, restless, or irritable. These physical or emotional cues are subtle signs of anxiety alerting you to underlying emotional pain that needs to be released or spiritual guidance.
It’s challenging to view your anxiety as a spiritual guide especially from the vantage point of where you are now. Yet, trust the process and give yourself time to do the following exercise. For the moment, put the “anxiety is a bad thing” mindset to the side as you bring your anxiety close to you like a special friend. This exercise will help you see that your anxiety has served you well and will serve you even better if you accept it as a spiritual guide.
One of the strategies I’ve used with my clients for many years is a therapeutic process called: A Sacred Chat with Your Anxiety. This exercise will help you get to the heart of your anxiety and the guidance it’s giving you. Here is the four step process to having a sacred chat with your anxiety:
Create a sacred space to sit with your anxiety: Grab your favorite journal and pen, curl up, and prepare to have a chat with your anxiety. It’s essential to create a safe, quiet, and nurturing space where you won’t be uninterrupted. Surround yourself with your favorite scents, sounds, and sensations. Set aside time to be alone at the beginning and end of each day or when you first notice your anxious symptoms.
Invite your anxiety to come into your awareness: Close your eyes, put your hand on your heart, and envision your anxiety as your best friend, or a young child. Invite your friend or child, “aka” anxiety, to come into your awareness. Open and allow your heart to soften and your mind to see the wisdom your anxiety holds. It’s here to give you the message or spiritual information you need about any unhealed parts of yourself.
Take a moment and do a quick body scan: Begin at the top of your head and move slowly down to your feet. Notice where your body is holding anxiety. Bring awareness to this place and begin to notice the deeper feelings that are right below the surface. Stay here and surrender to your feelings and what they are telling you. As your feelings come up, you may feel restless and want to run away or distract from them. That’s ok. Try to remain here in this safe healing space as long as you can, embracing your feelings.
Have the sacred chat by asking your anxiety the following questions:
- Why did you come up today, with this person or in this situation?
- What are you here to show me?
- What do you need from me to feel safe?
- What unhealed part of me is being revealed?
- What is my anxiety showing me about myself or my life?
Allow yourself to be still and allow the answers to float to the surface in whatever form they come through. You can journal the answers to these questions or just listen quietly and then jot down what you received.