How to Relieve Anxiety: Feeling Safe in Our Unconditional Self-Acceptance

Unconditional Self-Acceptance
One of my favorite phrases from my PEP for Peaceful Well-Being process is this:

Feeling safe in my unconditional self-acceptance

I thought I’d just write about what this idea means to me and my thoughts about why it helps so much when we’re feeling anxiety or other negative emotions.

One of the key reasons we feel worry and anxiety

In my mind, much of the anxiety and worry we experience comes from our fear that we’ll do something “wrong” which will lead to feeling the pain of judging and rejecting ourselves.  This can happen from so many experiences: if things don’t go the way we want them to, if we make a mistake, if we forget something “important,” if we’re late, if we disappoint others, if we hurt someone’s feelings or just want something different from what they want, if we don’t live up to our own or others’ expectations of us, it could be ANYTHING.  Each of us has our own unique triggers that lead us into that emotional pain of self-rejection.

We are our own worst judges.  And our egos can be relentless.  If we’re not perfect and living up to our expectations for who we think we “should” be, down comes the hard fist of our own judgment and self-rejection.  And this is what causes us all that emotional pain and suffering.  So much of our anxiety and worry is about wanting to avoid that emotional pain at all costs.

Based on our past experience and knowing our own habits of thinking and feeling, we know that we will probably feel bad when things like this happen.  It’s important to realize though, that it’s not the situation that’s causing our suffering; it’s our thoughts about that situation that trigger the anxiety, worry, and emotional pain in us.  When we understand this, we see that we have the power to change the way we think about ourselves and our lives and help ourselves feel better as we do.

What’s the mistaken belief?

Essentially, the error in thinking is this: in order to feel good about ourselves, we believe we have to be “perfect,” that is, live up to a list of expectations we have for ourselves and our actions.  What this means varies for each of us, but generally it’s something like this: We believe we have to please others, we have to be “good” people, we have to be competent in every situation and never make mistakes… thoughts like that.

So, what is the solution? 

I truly believe that the key to relieving 95% of our emotional pain and suffering is to love and accept ourselves unconditionally… that means loving and accepting ourselves no matter what we do, no matter what happens, no matter what other people think of us.

How do we get there? The spiritual practice

I think it’s helpful to think of dealing with our anxiety and negative emotions as an ongoing spiritual practice.  We can notice when we’re feeling anxiety or just feeling off emotionally and then remind ourselves that we can choose to love ourselves as we are in that moment.  As we do, we realize we are safe in our unconditional self-acceptance.  And we can do PEP with this phrase as we do this to help us shift from self-judgment to self-acceptance more quickly and gently.

It is simple, really, when you think of it this way.  And it is so worth doing.  This practice holds the key to feeling the unconditional well-being, peace, and joy that is truly our birthright.

Beneath those old habits of negative, judgmental thinking that cause us so much suffering, there is a center of peace and well-being.  This is who we really are.  You can feel this deeper essence of who you are when you choose to not believe your self-judgmental thoughts and the painful feelings that go with them.

This PEP phrase will help so much

Again, this PEP phrase can really help you get there:

Feeling safe in my unconditional self-acceptance

This phrase affirms your choice to accept yourself unconditionally, no matter what.  When we choose to refocus our thoughts on this new, more loving and accepting perspective,  we can feel a wonderful sense of relief, comfort, and safety.  You can simply use this phrase by itself for your PEP practice when you’re feeling worried or anxious.  You can also use it as part of the complete Feeling Peaceful Well-Being PEP process.  (I’ll share that full PEP list with you next time and if you like, you can find the recording of it here.)

Releasing the underlying issues effortlessly

Remember, activating the PEP points as you focus on this phrase will help to release any resistance or conflicting beliefs and emotional reactions.  This means that it’s OK if you’re not feeling 100% aligned with the phrase as you use it… in fact, that can be a good thing because it means that the underlying mistaken beliefs about yourself are being activated and released as you touch the PEP points.

The beautiful vision: pure self-acceptance

Imagine loving and accepting yourself unconditionally no matter what happens, no matter what you do, no matter what anyone thinks.  Can you feel that sweet feeling of ease and quiet happiness that begins to arise in yourself as you consider this idea?  Whenever you find yourself worrying or feeling anxiety about anything, take a moment to use this PEP phrase as you do a round or two of PEP and see what happens.  It’s all about peeling away the layers of painful, judgmental, mistaken beliefs that are such a part of the ego.  The more we do this moment by moment, the more free we become and the easier it is to feel that wonderful feeling of unconditional well-being and joy in our lives.

No matter what happens, you can give yourself this unconditional self-acceptance, the gentle comfort that relieves you of your anxiety.  The next time you feel that creeping feeling of anxiety building in you, stop and remind yourself of this phrase:

Feeling safe in my unconditional self-acceptance

And see what happens.  Again, it’s an ongoing practice… worry can sneak up on you anytime, right?  So, no matter what happens, no matter what your boss thinks of you, no matter what mood someone else is in, no matter whether you get the report done on time, no matter whether the house is clean for company, no matter whatever it is…

You can always feel the unconditional peace and well-being that comes from complete self-acceptance.

Thanks for reading this… I hope it’s been helpful to you.  I’d love to hear your thoughts; please feel free to leave me a comment below.

Many blessings to you and I’ll see you in my next post.


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