Anxious about Anxiety
The two quickest ways I know to get anxious about your anxiety is to tell yourself not to feel it or to decide you are it. If you do both at the same time, you get bonus suffering.
I am guessing more anxiety is not what you need so let's start with the basics.
First the biggest gift you can give yourself is to call up your witness self and just notice the anxiety in the same way you might notice a breeze on your face. Call up the you that can be a curious observer to your own experience. You can do this by asking yourself questions:
Where do I feel the anxiety in my body?
Does it move, stay still, feel heavy, have a color, depth, or shape?
Does it affect my heart rate, temperature, digestion, etc?
As you ask these questions, you dis-identify with the anxiety and thus relieve yourself from the second way to suffering mentioned above.
Next free yourself from the first form of suffering mentioned above – resistance. Call up the compassionate you. With your witness up and running, it's easier to look back at your humanness and feel compassion for all the myriad things we humans go through. My compassionate self often says things like this when I am anxious:
It's okay to be anxious.
It's hard being a human.
This anxiety is uncomfortable and I am okay.
I don't have to try to get away from this. I am safe.
It's okay to feel this anxiety.
With your witness self and compassionate self both up and running, you can check out what thoughts might be escalating the anxiety. (Warning: without the first two steps above and just working with thoughts you can create more suffering by trying to talk yourself out of your feelings). So with lots of gentleness you can ask yourself:
Is there anything important coming up for me that I might be anxious about?
If so, what am I telling myself about that?
If I am having jackal* thoughts can I give those jackals empathy?
If you are someone who feels anxious, more often than not, you could do these three practices once a day. Take time sit quietly and journal or just sit in stillness noticing your experience and dialoguing with your various selves.
This moment, take a breath and close your eyes and begin this practice just by witnessing all the sensations and emotions in your experience right now. Notice what sensation or emotion you are curious about and stay with it a moment longer asking the witness questions listed above, then those of the compassionate self.
*jackals refer to any language or thoughts that disconnect us from life.
**giraffe refers to shifting into an interest in connecting to the feelings and needs in yourself and others.