Breaking The Cycle of Anxiety with Curiosity
In the previous post I talked a little about the ‘close friend’ exercise, as a way of responding to our own anxiety in a more useful and compassionate way.
One of the great things about this exercise is that we can take a step back from our anxiety, allowing us to view our situation from a more impartial and considerate viewpoint.
Instead of being wrapped up in the content of our anxiety, we can become curious about it.
So, sticking with the ‘close friend’ exercise for now, most of us can agree that our initial response would be one of acceptance, compassion, and concern for the well-being of our friend.
From this caring place, we might encourage our friend to open up to us about what they are feeling and experiencing.
In other words, we would become curious about their anxiety.
From this position, we can remain open to their experience without becoming frustrated, dismissive or judgemental of it. We also won’t get swept away or wrapped up by it…
…we can just observe and be interested in what they are going through.
This path of compassionate curiosity is one that we can take with our own anxiety.
The wonderful thing about curiosity is that it has no agenda. It’s not looking to change our experience or push anything away.
Being a mind-set of interest and inquiry, curiosity is the antidote to self-judgement, anger and frustration.
Of course certain thoughts and feelings will continue to arise when we become anxious. But, by meeting them with curiosity, we can take the angry and judgemental sting out of the tail and accept them for what they are…
…just momentary experiences that are destined to pass away.
I will be updating this blog every week with self-help for anxiety practices, so that you can begin breaking this cycle. Or you can head over here where I talk about some ways that you can continue this journey now.
Also, I’d be very happy to hear of any thoughts or questions you may have, so feel free to leave your comments below!