When we’re feeling anxious, it can be tempting to try to feel better by controlling things. Holding in our emotions, shutting down, distracting ourselves.

It’s what we’ve been taught.

In fact, I reckon that if our culture had a mantra, it would probably be: “take control”.

This cultural approach to the vulnerability of being a human has resulted in domination and control of ourselves. And on a grander scale, to domination and control of others, our environment and our resources.

Because if we can control everything, then maybe we never have to feel fear?

We have collectively bought into the idea of “pulling ourselves together” and “keeping a tight rein on things” as a way to feel safe and loved.

But I just don’t see how any of this is working. Excessive control just results in misery for us all. And more anxiety.

So I want to propose a new approach: comfort.

If control is maybe the masculine approach, then we need a counter-balance of mothering.

Rather than trying to control our emotions and hold them in, maybe we can just comfort and soothe ourselves instead.

Maybe all we have ever needed was comfort and reassurance. Maybe holding ourselves steady through the hard things and knowing we are loved, even if things fall apart, is really all it takes to feel at home in our bodies and on this planet.

And maybe learning to comfort ourselves will result in what we wanted all along: a peace within that brings calm to the world around us.