Anxiety visits us with different messages. Sometimes, the message is none at all as anxiety is just passing through and trying to get us to go with it on a journey to nowhere. These are the times where it is helpful to acknowledge its presence but not give it too much importance. Other times, anxiety has an important message for us about how close we are living to our values. In these times, when anxiety is present, it is trying to tell us that we are living in a way that is not true to what we value, and in order to change direction, we need to hear what anxiety has to say.
For example, have you ever found yourself suddenly starting to experience anxiety as you head into a job that you thought you loved? If you listen to your anxiety, it might help you understand that, at one time, you did love your job but as something you value changed in the work culture, you are no longer finding the job rewarding. Or, have you found yourself becoming anxious in a relationship because something that you value in a relationship is missing. As you recognize that anxiety is telling you something about living disconnected from your values, you might experience a sense of your options opening because living in anxiety without hearing the valuable messages it can provide feels constraining. As you look at where anxiety shows up in your relationships, in your personal life, or in your work, step back from it and evaluate it from this perspective; is it telling you anything useful about living your life connected to your values, or is it just passing through and giving it more attention than needed is not necessary.