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Three Things that Keep you from Healing – Anxiety

overcoming anxiety cathy tijerina

Can anxiety keep you from healing?

Hello Friend! Welcome back.

Overcoming hurt, disappointment and rejection is not easy.  It is even more difficult when we do not recognize what is holding us back from healing.  In my last blog, I talked about how fear can keep you from healing.  Today, I am going to share how anxiety can keep you from experiencing healing.

We all feel anxious sometimes.  Whether it is in preparing to meet your child’s teacher, facing the world after a newspaper article about your husband’s case, or starting something new, anxiety can show up uninvited.  Now, remember that I am NOT a counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist.  I AM a person who has overcome a lot of fear and anxiety, though.

Fear vs. Anxiety

What is the difference between fear and anxiety?” you might be wondering.  Well, according to Psychology Today, they are linked, but definitely not the same.  Both can cause stress in our lives. Fear can cause anxiety, and anxiety can trigger fear. When there is a clear and imminent danger, our emotional response is fear.  The danger may or may not be a “real” threat, but we perceive it as a real threat. Like a car that swerves into our lane while we are driving. We will experience fear because we know we could be killed in a head-on crash.

Anxiety, on the other hand, is that unsettled feeling that something is wrong.  It is the idea that there might be danger near us, or that the situation we are in could potentially be dangerous.  An example of this is when you are shopping late at night and begin to think about the possibility of being robbed in the parking garage. You will begin to feel anxious and nervous.

Anxiety can kill your potential

overcoming anxiety from incarceration

Now that I have established the difference between fear and anxiety, I want to share with you how anxiety might be holding you back.  Anxiety can easily shackle you and keep you stuck.  It can cause you to give up your dreams and your destiny.  When you let anxiety stop you from trying new things, stepping out to change your life, or learning new skills, you are letting it kill your potential.

Most of us make some distinction between fear and anxiety. Sometimes it’s merely a matter of linguistics. We say we have a fear of something (flying, aging) and anxiety about something (flying, aging). Sometimes we distinguish the two by our bodily experience.

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You CAN Overcome Anxiety

Living in anxiety can become a lifestyle.  It is easy to tumble down that slippery slope into helplessness if we let anxiety go unchecked.  But here is the great news:  you CAN overcome anxiety.  It is a journey of learning to become aware of your feelings, re-center yourself, and then choosing what to do.  The more self-aware you become, the more control you will have over your decisions. Ultimately, you will shape your life into what you always hoped it could be.

This takes practice and determination.  One of the very best programs available to help you increase your self-awareness and your ability to choose your actions is Core Communication.  It may seem strange that I am recommending a communication program for an internal battle because we think of communication as an external activity.  However, when we learn to increase our skills in communicating, we learn self-awareness and how to regulate our own actions.  Super powerful!!

"My desire for something different became stronger than the anxiety that came with taking a risk, trying something new."

If you want to create a new and better life for your children, you will have to rule over anxiety. I battled anxiety (worry) for so many years after Ron went to prison. I literally worried about everything—no matter how remote the possibility!  After some time, I finally realized that anxiety over what MIGHT happen was stopping my progress.  In other words, my desire for something different became stronger than the anxiety that came with taking a risk, trying something new.

I began to make a list of what could happen if I tried something.  I made 2 columns—one for the Good, and one for the Bad. Looking at my list, I discovered that most of the things in the Bad column were either highly unlikely, or not fatal.  On the other hand, most of the Good things on my lists were things I really wanted.

What do I do next?

My first action was to give myself permission to want something better.  I forced myself to stop worrying about whether it was OK that I wanted something better and owned my desire for a better life. Once I won that battle, I began to change my life to reflect what I really wanted.  When anxiety would rise up, I would pause, breathe, identify what might be the cause of it and talk myself into continuing.

“WHY am I feeling this way?”

I cannot tell you how many times I had to balance myself before meetings or phone calls.  I am so very glad that I learned how to recognize anxiety and overcome it.  Even now, I will stop what I am doing if I begin to feel anxious.  I ask myself the most important question to me, “WHY am I feeling this way?”

You have the power to change your life.  This includes the authority to quiet anxiety when it rises up.  Don’t let it keep you from healing from, and overcoming, this experience of prison in your family.  You are strong enough and brave enough to create a new legacy!

I am rooting for you-