Controlling Anxiety or Accepting It?

by Kristen McClure
(Charlotte NC)

Yesterday I was writing a page for my other website on anxiety. I came across a passage in a book I was reading that highlighted the point that controlling, reducing, or ridding ourselves of anxiety is often the desire when we go to therapy.

In fact, this is last thing that therapy should be focusing on!

When I first began doing therapy,I would offer to help clients with " getting rid of their anxiety". I would even put it in my treatment plan goals! What I should have been doing was emphasizing an increased ability to tolerate anxiety. If you have anxiety, but it doesn't bother you much, than its not really a problem is it?

I'm actually somewhat panicked because I'm sure that in the pages of this website I've said something about controlling and ridding yourself of anxiety. I need to go back and change all that.

It's funny to think about how in trying to help ourselves with anxiety we naturally seem to do the opposite of what we need to do. Very strong, successful people who suffer from anxiety are going to attack it aggressively! "I am sick of this and I am determined to get rid of it, they will say"

Really, its true that all of our suffering when it comes to our struggle with anxiety is due to the struggle. The struggle keeps us from the more important things we should be doing like enjoying our life, experiencing our life, solving problems effectively and coping with stress.

If I have a thought that I can't handle my anxiety and so I must go to great lengths to avoid whatever is causing it, than it can be pretty disruptive. But if I have a thought that I can't handle my anxiety and I don't believe that thought, don't think the thought is important, and I don't act on it, well then I am unaffected. W

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