Anxiety can be debilitating. If you’ve ever felt frozen, unable to make a decision, afraid of making a mistake, the same thoughts over and over in your head, then you know what I’m talking about. Those days and nights can drag on forever, with sleep often nowhere to be found. Anxiety can limit us from living our potential and being our true self. What’s interesting is that as crippling as anxiety can be, it can also be a motivator, a teacher and an indispensable weather vane. So how do we move from one end of the spectrum to the other?
Before we start working on how to make peace with anxiety, we have to first understand the three stages of our mental health and wellbeing.
Stage 1: SURVIVE | stuck & struggling
Survive Stage has us struggling to make it through the day. Routines are difficult to manage, as are relationships. We worry most of the day, often about things that are far beyond our control. When this stage becomes overwhelming, it may be useful for you to see a counselor to help you get “unstuck”
This stage looks like: “I struggle with anxiety and I either don’t have the tools to manage it or I do have them but they don’t work. I often feel frozen, unable to make any decisions in fear of making the wrong one.”
Stage 2: MAINTAIN | managing anxiety
In Maintain Stage, we have attained some balance and routine. We have learned how to keep anxiety at a manageable level, where we can continue to go about our day while at times we worry.
“I know how to manage my anxiety when it comes up. I get that fearful feeling, but I have enough tools to calm them down when they arise.”
Stage 3: THRIVE | anxiety as a tool for wellbeing
In Thrive Stage, anxiety becomes a valuable tool to help us make self-affirming decisions. At this point, challenges we face are difficult but we are able to see them as a necessary evil to growth.
“I am going to use this anxiety to my advantage. What can I learn here and how will this help me move more toward being myself?”
Over the next few weeks, we will explore in more detail how to move out of survival mode, how to find solid, healthy routines in maintenance mode so that we may then move confidently into the thriving stage!
See you next time!