Healing Anxiety in a Relationship

Every family has some degree of anxiety, to varying degrees.

This isn’t wrong, bad, or something to be rid of. It just is.

In a Harvard study, they found that when mice was exposed to a toxic strawberry, they obviously expressed anxiety around it to ward off the threat. The interesting part, was when their grandkids 8 generations down the road were shown a strawberry, they had a similar response even without the poison on the strawberry; anxiety rippled through the generations.

Now there is no need to project blame on your great great grandparents for your inner throws of anxiety. You may though, have a smaller bandwidth of capacity to withstand stress and threat, depending on your upbringing and what your parent’s brought to the table in their ability to handle certain emotional situations.

I want to point out, at this time, that there is no real ‘healing’ of anxiety. Just like there is no healing of a cell phone with its outdated, slow operations. With anxiety, like a phone, you are required to focus on upgrading your capacity to handle life’s ‘information’ for a larger bandwidth of possibility. Because it’s really your brain and nervous system that processes life, the focus needs to be placed on upgrading your brain and nervous system, and not on “healing” anxiety.

So how do we upgrade?

There are many ways to upgrade, but what we must keep in mind, is that our bandwidth to handle life and emotional relationship stress comes primarily from family of origin. Your parents, mom, dad, and siblings. You were trained from very early on, on what to get frazzled and frustrated about, and what to accept as support and ease.

To truly upgrade, there are two central ways.

The first is to begin to train the mind to evaluate the environment differently. The second, is to actually directly change the environment to meet your needs and values.

Before we begin explaining those two, let’s cover one more piece of essential information.

We are a habit. And a habit is something that functions predictably the same way over and over to achieve an outcome. A morning or nightly routine is usually a good place to see this. If we know the routine, where the toothbrush is, the toothpaste, the facecloth, all goes smooth. Have someone rearrange where your toothbrush is, or move the toothpaste, look out. The habit is interrupted and levels of anxiety begin. The anxiety that is experienced in day to day life with relationships, and your emotional capacity to deal with changes in your environment, are dealt with as an actual habit such as teeth brushing. The habit of ourselves tries to keep our environment the same, so that it knows what to deal with, and gets good at dealing with that level of functioning no matter how painful it may be. It doesn’t mean this habit serves your ultimate needs, it just means that when changes and stress arises and builds, your habitual way of seeing it, and managing it, is predictable, and usually tries to take the changes and control them back to what is routinely and efficiently managed (Get the toothbrush back to its normal spot as fast as you can).

To change the habit of the mind, means to change the habit of how we see and interpret what is going on; and this takes effort and work.

1. Train the Mind – Look at your environment and make a list of things that are currently happening that are uncomfortable, and that you wish was rearranged a different way. As you make that list, try to write the top 5-10 things that are ‘out of place’. The next step to training the mind, is to begin to ask the question, “how is the fact that these things seem out of place, actually serving my life and adding value to it?” Better said, “what am I learning about myself with the fact that these seem out of place to me?” When you can begin to train your eye to see the value in what is going on, you begin to actually change the habit of how you see your environment and that sets you up to be more emotionally adaptable in relationships.

2. Rearrange your Environment – You probably already know what you would love to see in your immediate environment that would add more inspiration, love, energy to your space. Why don’t you take some time to upgrade the space to meet your needs right now? When is a better time? Bring a heightened awareness to your space, ask, “what would I love to see in this space right now?” and then take action to aligning the space to suit your evolving needs. Use your anxiousness to create an even greater space to be in, and you will feel the energy of the upgrade.

So, to have an incredible upgrade requires you to bring attention to, and make two lists.

The first list is about what you currently dislike in your life, and to train your mind to see the value in that, which will halt the anxiety process and have you see life ‘on they way, not in the way’. The second is to make a list of the current things in your environment in which you would love to upgrade, and go ahead and knock those off one by one and upgrade your environment to suit your changing needs.

With these two implemented, you will upgrade your brain and the environment at the same time, upping your standards, and setting a new capacity to deal with what life throws at you.