How inquiry can help you deal with anxiety

I was honoured to be invited to talk at the Anxiety SuperConference last month.

Conscious Life founder and CEO Alex Howard and I had a wide-ranging conversation about the unique tools and perspectives that inquiry offers when dealing with anxiety.

It’s hard to sum up an hour’s conversation in a short blog post like this, but if there’s one takeaway that I’d emphasise, it’s about your posture and your willingness to explore this difficult state.

When anxiety surfaces, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of seeing it as the enemy, as something to fix, rather than as a gateway for personal growth and transformation.

The truth is that your anxiety, like any other difficult emotion or reaction, is showing up in your inner world for a reason. Something’s making your anxiety happen.

And rather than treating it as an unwelcome state that you must to get rid of, the key lies in allowing it, in getting curious about it, and finding out more about it.

Inevitably, you’ll discover that your anxiety is telling you something interesting. It’s pointing to something important.

It’s saying, “Have a look over here!”

And by doing that, by following that impulse with friendly interest and openness, by beginning to inquire into it, you’ll start to discover something about yourself.

To really get the benefit of this process and this posture that is so central to the practice of inquiry… to discover the secrets and get to the treasures of your inner world, you have to get beyond simply wanting to to get better, and turn towards those reactions and emotional states that you’d rather avoid.

Here’s a short clip from the very start of our conversation.

If you’d like to find out more about anxiety, check out the full range of talks on the Anxiety SuperConference site.