This post comes to us from therapist and best-selling author, Jodi Aman! Read more about her work below.


Living in fear is a painful, lonely way to exist. People say our suffering is a choice. They are smart people, but this doesn’t feel right to the little girl inside of me. What’s wrong with me, then? Do you think I want to stay like this? Maybe I don’t get it, or maybe they don’t get it. Either way there is a disconnection. A separation. I’m different. Did I mention alone?


I was resentful when I heard this taught to a group. The teacher thinks she is offering anxiety relief. But I knew where this takes the minds of suffering folks. I have been inside their heads. I have been inside mine. Anger, unworthiness and even more isolation. We go to shame because we can’t get better and everybody else can. Or we go to blame because we ARE trying. Don’t you see how hard I am trying? Our efforts get rendered invisible, just as unworthy as we are.  This shame-blame-game can be very distracting. The conflict inside us takes loads of our attention driving us to the brink of insanity. We can get trapped in these thoughts.  We are literally defending our own limitations. Then, they grow stronger and we feel smaller. I have lived this game for a long, painful time and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.


But I know the way out. When someone tells us we have a choice, we can go one of two paths: relief or judgment. When you are going through a painful time you eat, breathe and sleep negative self-judgment so naturally this is the route you will take. Before you can accept the choice, ideally before you even hear there is a choice, you will need to practice self-compassion. We need to acknowledge our suffering, understand our heart, and notice our efforts. This validation allows the letting go to be possible. Initially, this may be counter intuitive: Loving something that makes you suffer? Allowing it when you don’t want to feel it anymore? Understanding what has confused you for years? Yes. Yes. And yes.


When something precious to us (our hearts) are invalidated, we hold onto the pain tightly. With both hands. This is because our heart is precious. If we let go of the pain, we think, it is like saying our hearts don’t matter. “You have a choice,” feels invalidating. Our defensiveness means we are desperate for someone to understand. But defending the pain keeps you suffering. Being kind to your heart is the path to freedom. Give yourself that understanding and validation for whatever you are feeling. Do it right now and feel what that feels like.


Stop telling yourself that you shouldn’t feel this way. Stop telling yourself that you are weak for feeling this way. Stop all negative self-judgments! And think: I get it. Worry means I care. Hurt means I deserve to be treated better. Pain means something is precious to me. I get why I am sad.


And ask: What do I care about? What do I deserve? What is precious to me? My children. Love. Connection. And love that right up. Things will shift. You will begin to breathe. You will feel empowered and can now take action since you are no longer stuck in any shame-blame-game. It is time for anxiety relief. The choice is only now available because you feel worthy of it.


What action will you take?
Do something nice for yourself.
Connect with a good person.
Adopt an animal that needs a home.
Learn something new.
Begin a creative project.
Read something beautiful.
Reach out to someone else who needs love.
Move your body.
Do something fun.
Open to love.


What will you do to stop your anxiety?


Jodi Aman wrote the bestseller, You 1, Anxiety 0 to help people WIN their life back from fear and panic. From the garden she started when she was 8 years old to the baby ducks she found a home when she was 10, Jodi has always been passionate about nurturing life and helping people overcome pain. Find her at Get inspired on Instagram @JodiAmanLove. Or feel loved on Facebook: