1. Learned how to actually feel their feelings.
2. Stayed mindful about numbing behaviors.
3. Learned how to lean into the discomfort of hard emotions.
How exactly do you lean into discomfort and anxiety? Many explain that reducing anxiety means paying attention to how much they can do, and how much was too much, and learning to say, ENOUGH, even to themselves.
When it comes to anxiety, we all struggle. There are different types of anxiety and certainly different intensities. Some anxiety is hardwired and best addressed with a combination of medication and therapy, and some of it is environmental--we are overextended and overstressed.
When looking at two groups which were interviewed on ways of handling anxiety, Group A will find way to manage and soothe, with means of numbing or avoiding the anxiety. While Group B found a way to change the thinking, behaviors, thus changing the emotion of anxiety. Group B addresses anxiety at the root, by aligning their lives with their values and setting boundaries, that is enough!
We have to believe that we are enough in order to say, "Enough!". For women, setting boundaries is difficult because the shame gremlins are quick to weigh in: "Careful saying no. You will really disappoint these people. Don't let them down Be a good girl. Make everyone happy!"
For men, the gremlins whisper, "Man up. A real guy could take this on and then some. Is the little mamma's boy just too tired?"
We know that when we stand up to our beliefs and honor ourselves it means engaging with our vulnerability, which cannot happen when shame has the upper hand, and the same is true for dealing with anxiety-fueled disconnection. The two most powerful forms of connection are love and belonging. They are both irreducible needs of men, women, and children.
One thing that most separates the men and women who felt a deep sense of love and belonging from the people who seemed to be struggling for it, is a belief in their worthiness. It is as simple and complicated as this: If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging.
To more fully understand disconnection and numbing, we may understand the definitions of connection and belonging.
Connection: Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement.
Belonging: Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.
These definitions are crucial to understanding how we become disconnected in our lives and how to change. Living a connected life ultimately is about setting boundaries, spending less time and energy hustling and winning over people who do not matter, seeing the value of working in cultivating connection with family and close friends.
When asked the question, "What is the quickest way to make these feelings go away?"
Re-ask the question, "What are these feelings and where did they come from?"
Brene Brown - Daring Greatly