Sounds weird, huh? We get so accustom to thinking of our anxiety as who we are, as a debilitating illness or reaction to a (series of) traumatic event(s), it's hard to consider that it can be in any way a GOOD thing. But it can.
Just like your weight, your anxiety doesn't define you. You are not anxiety. It doesn't change the inherent value or abilities of you. It just, sometimes, means you have to work harder than "normal" people (assuming there is any such person out there, and that's a big assumption).
I have learned that my anxiety is a chemical reaction in my brain programmed by repeated negative feedback, both external and, after a while, internal. As a PHYSICAL reaction it doesn't have to become an emotional reaction. And even if it becomes an emotional reaction it doesn't have become an ACTION (or inaction of paralysis)! My fear receptors are telling me there's something dangerous around. This doesn't disengage my brain. I can review the things around me rationally. I'm at work. I'm just typing. No one is trying to hurt me. No one is mad at me. No one is even paying attention to me. Ok - fear is misplaced and can be discarded. The fear is a scared four-year-old and I am a smart 38 year old who can calm the fear and tell it we're safe now. (No, it doesn't always bugger off, but I can soothe it most days after a lot of practice.)
Now, you've probably heard a lot of things like this - but then I quit smoking! What makes it so hard for a lot of women to quit smoking? Anxiety and depression! So at those times that my body was demanding nicotine I already had in place the tools to rationally examine WHAT my body was reacting to, IF there was any rational basis to it, and be the grown-up and say, "NO!" to smoking. I wouldn't have known how to do that if I hadn't learned to manage my anxiety!
Now to just apply that to my eating and activity level. Think I can pull that one off, too? I do!
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