Today I’d like to highlight Anxiety Superhero Erin Craig. Check out this BBC video of Erin taking on Scuba Diving certification! I love how she talks about not letting her panic disorder get in the way of trying something challenging and way out of her comfort zone. But also be sure to read the post which describes her experiences with travel and anxiety and how she found herself in Thailand in a scuba suit in the first place. Go Erin!
Image from Posieonthelamb.com
I know, did we read that right on page 60? Isn’t that what we struggle and fight not to feel, worrying that we’ll be washed away in all that misplaced intensity?
Let’s look at that again: “Intense anxiety is not in itself a problem. Many people experience intense anxiety, even panic attacks, in their daily lives and continue to do what’s important to them.” ” Intensely felt emotions need not be a barrier . . . they can be welcomed in as a vital part of you.” (p. 60)
We know from research that when people accept or even invite their anxiety, it often dissipates. But this takes that notion one step further. Is it possible to welcome anxiety as a vital part of ourselves? Is there value to our anxiety that we’re overlooking? Anxiety, energy and excitement are so closely related. Some even say that anxiety might be linked with their energy source and, used with intention, can be useful.
The other morning I woke up feeling tense and anxious. I started thinking “what if I used my adrenaline to my advantage – you know, jump into my high energy tasks and/or exercise when my engine is already revved up?” I remembered watching PBS’s “This Emotional Life” a few months back. During episode two, there was a writer who said that his anxiety started getting better when he realized it was something he could learn to use; his anxiety was like his own personal caffeine pump. Accepting what is and making anxiety work for you – now there’s a concept!
Something I’m enjoying about this read is the way the authors are turning old, stubborn beliefs onto their heads. If intense anxiety is not a problem or a barrier to doing what’s important to you, imagine the possibilities!
Who grew up in the 70’s and doesn’t remember watching “The Donny & Marie” show? Love him or not, you have to admire the man for making his struggle with panic & social anxiety public in an effort to educate and normalize the disorder. Here’s an interview with the anxiety super hero in 2000, but the information is still relevant today.