Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, yet when it becomes so intense and frequent that it’s debilitating and interferes with your work and personal life, it becomes a problem that needs addressing. The reported experiences of this kind of anxiety have increased, particularly during the last few years. Influences include the pandemic, global warming, an increase in violence—the list goes on and on. These events trigger an instinctive fear response in most of us. The abundance of social media offering constant reminders of what a dangerous world we live in is also a trigger for fear and anxiety.
Fear can be helpful and necessary in situations when a distinct predator that could harm you or even take your life is present. Fear can prompt you to be alert and quickly assess what’s going on to determine whether it’s an actual threat to be met with fighting or fleeing. But when fear lingers without a clearly perceived threat, it can become an anxiety disorder that holds you in its grip for extended periods of time and interferes with your felt sense or safety and calm. When anxiety rules your life, it can cloud your perception, creating discomfort in situations where you ordinarily would feel relatively comfortable.
There are a few ways to deal with your anxiety and return to a more relaxed, calmer state. An integrative approach is ideal, incorporating social support, exercise, creative expression, and regular recreational activities. There are also some supplements that can help, such as probiotics, vitamin B-12, omega-3 fats, and ashwagandha, to name a few. Taking care of a pet can also provide a resource for greater calmness.
In addition to these possibilities, another important resource exists: your relationship with spirit guides—in particular, animal spirit guides.
Working With Animal Spirit Guides to Manage Anxiety
An animal spirit guide is an animal that comes to you in an unusual way or makes repeated visits in a short period of time. It can present itself in the form of a physical animal or a symbol of the animal. When this happens, Spirit is sending you a message.
The characteristics of the animal can suggest what the message is. For instance, since owls fly at night in the darkness, if an owl spirit guide comes to you, the message may be that you must become aware of and address the shadow in yourself or someone you know. As another example, a rabbit which appears to you in a dream may be encouraging you to remain vigilant and ready to take action as necessary.
Another type of spirit animal that remains with you for an extended period of time is called a totem or power animal. They are with you to provide protection and guidance, and you can sustain this relationship through gratitude and prayer. You can discover your totem or power animal through shamanic journeying, meditation, visualization, or the frequent appearance—either physically or symbolically—of a particular animal.
The Power of Spirit Animal Guidance for Anxiety
There are some advantages of incorporating spirit animals into your life to help you deal with your fears and anxiety:
Through connection, meditation, and symbolism, spirit animals can offer messages that alleviate your concerns.
Specific spirit animals can be called upon to alleviate your fear and anxiety during major life changes. For instance, you can call on Bear Spirit if you need extra protection or to help you set boundaries.
With consistent attention to your totem or power animal, they can provide guidance and protection throughout your life. It’s just a matter of asking for it and trusting they will do so.
Spirit animals can provide power and wisdom when you feel lost, confused, scared, or insecure. They can help you gain insight into your own strengths, challenges, and potential.
They can also offer comfort, companionship, and love when you feel lonely, isolated, or depressed. Feeling the presence of your spirit animal, you can experience an affirming sense of belonging and support.
Spirit animals can inspire creativity, imagination, and fun when you feel bored, stressed, or overwhelmed. By exploring the qualities and characteristics of your spirit animal, you can discover these in yourself, as they can reflect aspects that have remained hidden or unacknowledged.
They can also encourage greater respect, appreciation, and harmony with nature and other living beings. As you learn more about the role and significance of your spirit animal in different cultures and traditions, you can develop a deeper connection with the environment.
These are some ways that studying and understanding spirit animals can help you feel calmer and more relaxed, helping to dissipate your fears and anxieties. You can also read more about spirit animals and learn from the spirit animals themselves. With an open mind, you’ll find that they will teach you.
Experiment with these ideas by putting them into action. Keep a journal of your experiences, and integrate animal spirit guides into the ways you more confidently deal with your fears and anxiety!