Fear is helpful in a moment of threat, when it helps us immediately fight, flee, freeze, or faint and play dead. Anxiety, on the other hand, is not helpful. Anxiety is a condition of being fearful of an imagined future or threat. It has become a blanket term—a catchall container for worry, fear, dread, anticipation, and raw nerves. Many of us are anxious, overwhelmed by life’s constant demands and input. But far too many of us are not aware that we have the inner resources to meet anxiety compassionately and skillfully.
Jennifer Freed, PhD, and Deborah Eden TullBefriending Anxiety
Sometimes we don’t even know it’s happening: We go from one thought to the next, innocently mulling over an issue. Maybe you’re debating whether a text you received from a friend was off-tone, or maybe you’re making calculated decisions about your next career move. Your mind can’t really help itself. It’s completely natural. It’s your mind’s job to think thoughts. But then you find yourself churning over the same issue again and again, and it’s ruining your focus, souring your mood, and interrupting your sleep—which means you might be ruminating yourself into a lather.
Nina Purewal and Kate PetriwHow to Befriend Your Ruminating Mind
There are times we all feel like our body must be a liar—when we get a big pimple right before an important date or when we bloat before a black-tie event or a high school reunion. Or maybe when we melt inside looking at a picture of the person we’re no longer with and really wish we weren’t feeling that way. In those moments, we long to believe our body is a traitor.
The truth is your body cannot lie. It is always going to be truthful—it knows no other way. Its sole purpose is to take care of you and work hard on your behalf. Our body is constantly giving us signals to let us know what’s off or amiss. That pimple? It could be your body signaling that your hormones are off or that your new face cream isn’t a good fit for your skin, or it could be an emotional message for you to be kind to and accepting of yourself.