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We all want peace, especially when we are plagued by anxiety. When that happens, it is tempting to think peace is the absence of anxiety. That peace would be how we felt if we weren’t afraid to leave our house, or pay our bills, or get on the airplane, etc. (By the way, I’m just randomly picking examples of what could cause anxiety. If this is not your problem, the following approach will still apply.)

One way of dealing with anxiety is to accept that it is there, and then work around it. Stop trying to remove it or to fight against it. It is there. Accept it. And then, get creative about how to deal with it. Accepting something doesn’t mean you like it, or approve of it, or that you are somehow settling.  It means you acknowledge it is there, at least for now.

Part of what adds to anxiety is not being aware of what you can do and what you can’t do. You may not be able to stop yourself from feeling anxious about getting on an airplane, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a way for you to fly, if you find you need or want to. There are ways to work around the fear and to work around the anxiety. Don’t spend your energy on something you can’t do (banishing the anxiety) and save it for what you can do (accepting it and working around it).

You may think it is strange to make peace with something you can’t stand, but give it a try. What’s even stranger is making friends with anxiety!