Today I have a question for you to reflect on: Are you using the absence or presence of anxiety to measure your well-being?
It’s tempting to use the absence or presence of anxiety as the metric to determine how “recovered” we are from anxiety. However, anxiety is not something we need to "recover" from. It is a normal emotion, like sadness, anger, frustration, joy, or love. Anxiety simply comes with the territory of being human. In addition, using the term “recovered” implies that the presence of anxiety is abnormal…. If you’ve been following along in my classroom, then you know by now that anxiety is not inherently bad or wrong. Anxiety isn’t a fun emotion; it’s uncomfortable by nature (would you run from a bear if it wasn’t?). But anxiety is not what causes us to miss out on vacations, or birthday parties, or going after that promotion. It's only when we innocently start altering the way we live to avoid or "manage" those anxious feelings that anxiety starts to feel like a legitimate problem holding us back from the life we want to live. I know anxiety looks like THE problem, but it's just a smoke screen.
Your understanding of and progress in moving past anxiety shouldn't be measured by whether or not anxiety is popping in to say hello; anxiety will say hello from time to time. A much better way to measure your self-growth is to ask yourself: "Am I starting to see this anxiety for what it really is, when it does say hello?"