Someone told me recently that I strongly identify with labels. Instead of saying, “I’m worried,” for example, I might say, “I have anxiety.” Instead of saying, “I’m down,” I might say, “I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.”

In hearing this, I realized that not only did I begin to associate “I am” with illness, but that a lot of people in my life did the same thing. We were jumping from symptoms to diagnosis. We were categorizing experiences in neat, little file folders like good and bad, as if life could be placed that way.

Just because you received a diagnosis or are labeled as “troubled,” or “broken,” you don’t need to accept and embrace that title. You have an illness. But you are not your illness. Defining yourself by a disorder or illness will end up limiting your life.

You may be struggling with symptoms of anxiety and worry. You may be dealing with a difficult relationship with others or yourself. The key is to let in what is and then let it go. How do you do that? Read on to discover how to be more open to whatever you’re experiencing without putting a label on it.

{Flickr photo by wintersoul1}

{Flickr photo by wintersoul1}

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