Someone once said, “Anxiety is excitement without the breath.” What this means to me is that if I can breathe through the anxiety, I can recognize that it is a friend trying to warn me when it thinks I am in danger.
Unfortunately, it is sometimes the very traumatized friend—lingering anxiety in me, launched by something awful someone said or did—that is emerging at times when there is no immediate threat.
I learned if I could see free-floating anxiety as my traumatized friend who is always with me, I can learn to breathe through the terror I experience so viscerally and transform trepidation into curiosity. We can offer our traumatized friends within both consolation and encouragement using this affirmation:
Thank you, anxiety, for helping me stay alert to the multiple emotional, physical, and spiritual threats in the world. You can relax, as I am breathing through the worry.
~ Excerpted from: “On Being Lailah’s Daughter” by Kamilah Majied in Black and Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us about Race, Resilience, Transformation, and Freedom.