Can Anxiety Actually Be A Gift?

Anxiety is often seen as a debilitating condition. What if it is not? What if anxiety can be harnessed as a possibility for a full life rather than a condition that needs to be managed?


Most people have experienced anxiety at one point in their lives. It’s a feeling of discomfort, an uneasiness, a feeling of worry which in extreme cases can lead to panic attacks.  Anxiety always comes with a physical component like, increased heart rate; shortness of breath, tightness in the chest area, sweating and sometimes nausea.

What most people have learned to do, is to interpret their body’s symptoms. Once they experience discomfort, they conclude that there must be something wrong. Does this ever give you the possibility to find out what is truly going on with you and your body? Every time you determine that there must be something wrong, you can see nothing other than negative judgment. Once you start asking questions and are curious, you have the possibility to get free. The common belief is that if one understands what is going on, then the situation can be controlled. But, does control ever work?

Controlling body symptoms by trying to make sense of them seldom works. When you try to get rid of anxiety, you usually become even more anxious.  What would be possible if you are no longer controlling the anxiety but using it as a positive force in your life?


What gift can anxiety be?  


Pain and discomfort only get created when you resist what is going on. What you resist persists.

What if what you recognize as fear and anxiety is something totally different than what you have interpreted it to be?

* At first the impulse is always to fight the anxiety and to try to get rid of it. Everything you defend against, you create more of.

* Start by allowing your body to act out. Go somewhere, where you have the space to let your body be in whatever state it is at that time. Allowance is a big key to change! When you allow, you do not agree and align; and you do not resist and react to what is going on. You give the body space to be.

* Do not go into any negative judgement.  Do not interpret what your body is doing. Take a deep breath and be with your body. Imagine you are taking care of a child that is crying. What calmness would you be for that child? Could you be that for yourself?

* Ask! ”Body what are you telling me?  What information are you giving me?” Your body is picking up so much information all the time. Ask! “Is what is going on mine, or am I picking up how other people around me are feeling?” Say! “Everything that is not mine, I return to sender!”

* Your body is alive! Thank god! What seems like fear and anxiety actually is the aliveness of your body. Your body is giving you information of what is going on around you non-stop. When you say it is fear, you create nothing other than fear.  Your point of view creates your reality.

* Rather than resisting the information your body is giving you, you can use it! When you are speaking in public and you feel anxiety in your body, it is your awareness that is kicking in. What you call fear, is what you are aware of in that very situation. How many people sit in the audience thinking, “Oh my god, I am so happy I do not have to be the one speaking on stage now, I would die of fear!” And you are the one picking that information up and making it yours. 

* Use the anxiety! Anxiety is aliveness. How often have you been asked to be careful as a child and been comforted with words like, “Don’t be afraid!” when you actually were excited.  You learned to match the physiology of joy and excitement with the interpretation of anxiety. When you allow the aliveness, your whole life can expand. Would you be willing to use this energy to contribute to you rather than controlling it? If you no longer interpret it, but use this very energy as the aliveness that it is, how much more energy would you have available in your life, your body, your finances, your relationships? If you no longer control, how joyful and relaxed could you be?

What joy and excitement is there for you to discover beyond what you have called anxiety? These are the gifts your body will begin to identify.

About Susanna Mittermaier

Susanna Mittermaier is a clinical psychologist and a Right Voice/ Access Consciousness Facilitator.  A bestselling author and worldwide speaker, she is also the founder of Pragmatic Psychology.


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