I used to experience anxiety every time I hopped on a plane.
On the outside nobody could tell.
In fact, on two separate occasions I started boarding a plane and then turned around due to extreme anxiety.
But on the inside it was awful.
And on the flights that I actually boarded, I would experience that same panic every time I felt the slightest bit of turbulence.
And then, as if the actual anxiety wasn’t bad enough, I started having anxiety about having anxiety.
I decided I was going to figure this out one way or another because I wasn’t willing to stop flying.
Many of my clients experience anxiety in their lives and it keeps them from doing the things they want to do.
But there is a way out and it may not be what you think.
When we feel a terrible, horrible, awful emotion, like panic and anxiety, we resist it and try to push it away. But unfortunately that only makes the emotion stronger.
It may seem counterintuitive, but allowing the terrible, horrible, awful emotion to be there, without resisting it, is actually what allows it to pass.
I started practicing this every time I boarded a plane.
I would feel the worry, anxiety and panic start to overtake me but rather than trying to fight it or push it away I would allow it.
I would say to myself, “Oh, hello anxiety, I was expecting you, you always show up when I get on a plane. It’s ok, come along, I can handle it.”
And then I would breathe.
And notice the anxiety. I would notice where I felt it in my body, and what it felt like.
It wasn’t pleasant, but it was do-able.
And it allowed me to fly and do the things that I wanted to do.
I’m not saying it’s easy or that I was able to learn how to manage it overnight. It took practice.
But now I can hop on a plane without a second thought.
And the turbulence? Sometimes I don’t even notice it.
The last time I flew, the pilot announced that he was so sorry for the bumpy ride, and that he tried to find smooth air but just wasn’t able to.
And I remember thinking, “Oh was it bumpy? Oh ya, I guess it was bumpy.”
And then I realized how far I’d come.
By simply learning to allow emotion without resisting it, I was able to create a completely different experience for myself on the plane.
This is possible for you too in whatever areas of life you experience anxiety.
Practice allowing it without resisting it.
You will create a whole new experience for yourself.
Have a beautiful weekend!