BETTER THAN HAPPY – Episode 214
Let’s close this three-day discussion with this last point: Anxiety is a secondary emotion.
“What I mean by that is that anxiety actually begins as something more subtle and then it escalates to anxiety as we resist that primary emotion. And if you’re in the habit of resisting a primary emotion, then you may go to anxiety very, very quickly… It started as embarrassment. You didn’t want to be embarrassed. You resisted it, you pushed it away, and in turn, you escalated it actually into anxiety. It started as fear. You were afraid of something and by resisting the fear, it turned into anxiety. It started as worry or it started as hurt. It started as probably something else that’s easier to connect to the thought creating it, but because you didn’t know how to allow those emotions, you resisted them. And when we resist emotions, we double down on them and then we get anxiety.”
Does knowing this help me when I am feeling anxious? Sure. It increases my curiosity, right? What is the primary emotion? Am I worried about being worried? Am I mad that I am hurt? Am I scared of my anger? Am I anxious about my overwhelm?
“So the solution is to discover and to allow the primary emotion, to know that this is the entire human experience and that we can practice feeling emotions and that we can get good at them…
Anxiety is not the demon we make it out to be. Anxiety is just an emotion.”
Let’s look back at my example of taking something to help me sleep at nights. I feared my negative emotions, right? And that caused a lot of anxiety. I came to a point where I accepted my anger and questioned my anger and thought through my negative emotions. And that took the anxiety out of the anger, all together. I can handle a negative emotion, a negative primary emotion. But anxiety on top of the primary emotion – that is more difficult. But I can think through my primary emotion. I can do that.