Throughout our lives we all develop automatic ways of reacting to anxiety. We develop these default reactions in an attempt to mitigate anxiety in our lives. Murray Bowen spent much of his life studying emotional systems and found that all of our reactions to anxiety can be grouped into 4 patterns: conflict, distancing, over and underfunctioning, and triangling.
The problem is, our default ways of reacting to anxiety do not diminish anxiety at all. In fact, these impulsive reactions to anxiety can actually get in the way of us living into our preferred future. Anxiety is present in every relationship and our default reactions to it often leave a wake of pain and frustration.
The ways we manage our anxiety not only affects relationships, but can also result in missed opportunity. How you show up in the midst of anxiety can have a serious impact on many facets of your life.
How can I become less anxious person?
For most of us, our impulsive reactions are ingrained so deeply in us we cannot see where and how often they show up. That is why the first step to becoming a less anxious person is learning to recognize your reactivity to anxiety. Then we need to learn how to get to the thinking part of our brain in the midst of high anxiety.
So how do we get access to our thinking processes when anxiety is high? Living into a set of disciplined practices is the key to living a less reactive, less anxious life. This includes becoming very clear about what you are responsible and not responsible for, having access to your guiding principles, and learning spiritual disciplines to help you slow down and become a calmer presence.
I would not be able to do justice to these practices in a single blog post, but if you are interested in learning how to become a less anxious person I recommend attending our upcoming ongoing transformation education seminar, “Practices to Becoming a Less Anxious Person,” facilitated by Ken Shuman.