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Saturday, 29 November 2014 05:43

Important Thing to Know about Anxiety

I have been scrolling through my tumblr when I saw this post on a favorite blog:

-How do I banish the anxiety loops in my head, that I know are ridiculous, but my stubborn mind won't quit scared my fragile heart with?-

I found lazyyogi.tumblr.com answer to be poignant:

-You cannot banish that which is not real. 

Anxiety is always about something unreal. It can be a thought about an unreal future or an unreal experience of the past. 

This is why the anxiety feels so unassailable. You cannot fight something that has already happened or that may happen. So your mind goes on torturing you and there is nothing you can do about it. 

Or so it seems. 

Anxiety is about something other than now. Sitting here at your computer, perhaps alone on a quiet evening, there is no real trouble. Nothing in this moment is lacking, and yet our desire and fear brings in so much turmoil. 

Why does the anxiety need to loop? Because it depends on your thoughts for its survival. So long as anxiety has you thinking and perceiving in line with its vibration, it endures. 

Our language becomes an obstacle when it comes to dealing with such things. We talk of “getting rid of” certain thoughts or emotions but can the ocean get rid of a wave? The waves come and the waves go. It is only a problem when you take the ocean as merely its surface. Then when the seas are tumultuous, you say it is a stormy day. And when the seas are calm, you say it is a placid day. 

But in reality, you are the unbounded deep. You are an ever still and profoundly unfathomable dimension beyond the mere surface waves. To awaken to this truth does not mean introducing a new thought or belief. It means re-examining your current experience. 

The first and most direct way to accomplish this is by means of witnessing. Through the act of witnessing, you are not repressing anything. You are not trying to get rid of an experience. Nor are you asserting any belief or perspective. 

A feeling of anxiety can catalyze a thought. A loop of thought can perpetuate anxiety. And so it continues in a self-propagating system of coupled thoughts and feelings mutually creating each other. 

Try this:

Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. First pay attention to your breathing. You don’t need to alter the flow of breath, just attend to the rhythmic or even tide-like flow. In and out, like waves on a beach. 

Now attend to the sense of anxiety you feel. Is it like a flutter in your chest? A tension at your back? A fear in your gut?

Don’t think about why you feel the anxiety or what it means. Just notice how you experience the anxiety on a bodily level. 

Then don’t do anything about it. Just breath, allow the flow, and be present with the bodily feelings. If your thoughts seem to grab your attention away to focus on their loops, come back to your breath. Then go from your breath to witnessing the feeling of anxiety again. 

It isn’t always easy. I can understand that; I’ve been having trouble with anxiety myself recently. But by dropping fixation on the mind and fully inhabiting your body, you can disrupt the cycle that perpetuates anxiety. 

When you abide with the anxious feelings while not trying to push them away nor indulge them, then you withdraw the power that sustains them. Anxiety cannot survive without you. You can survive without anxiety. 

Pushing anxiety away or fixating on the objects of your anxiety are both forms of feeding that frame of mind. Stillness and attention, on the other hand, open up an entirely different dimension of relation to your current experiences. 

In doing so, the anxiety diminishes and is released. You’ll see this for yourself through practice and application. A moment will come in which you can let it go. Then you do. 

Along with this form of mindfulness practice, I would also recommend daily meditation and the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. 

Namaste :) Much love. 

-

 

I  hope this helped you guys as much as it helped me.

Published in Diary
Thursday, 17 October 2013 16:14

Another day in the exam period

It's been a rather strange day today. I'm in a period of a week where I'm writing a exam paper on phenomenology and since there are no courses scheduled because of exams, I've been at home all day.

The day starts with me waking up to the alarm my girlfriend has set (she has a REAL job). As a tactic to break the pattern of anxiety, that arises and builds momentum throughout the day the more I procrastinate, I JOLT out of bed and THOW myself in front of the computer and immediately start writing. Something, anything that comes to mind (it was related to the subject tho, if you were wondering). I didn't warite a whole lot, but the thought was that it should mark the beginning of my day and what the day will entail; to get a good start and hit the ground running, so to speak. I've been experimenting with this technique* for two days in a row now - it's radically different than anything I've ever done. I've never been a morning type of guy, so it's really... Brutal. I'm pushing a lot of boundaries/habits, for example, I find it rather anxiety provoking to sit there in all my morning ugliness, with half-closed eyes, morning hair, bad breath and so on. I'm very self-conscious about it. Also just being tired confused because my mind isn't yet functioning, causing me to make plenty of mistakes before my hands even touch the keyboard; I know it's totally natural and the only weird thing would be if my body did NOT act that way. But I despise being weak and vulnerable, which is what I feel. Being the guy who always screws up and people around him expressing polite, socially apropriate tolerance but subtly revealing their true inner feelings of rejection, resentment and pity towards him. I feel so judged and violated when I think this is happening, and it completely ruins everything I'm doing at that moment.

I guess the recent eye opener is that I'm doing this to myself most of the time automatically! This happens quite a lot on a daily basis. For example when I sit down to study, feelings of inadequacy get triggered by the challenging material we're going through while the little guy inside me is struggling, doing the best he can trying to do the right thing... I turn away from him in disappointment of my own performance, rejecting him, judging him, and not even in a remotely polite way! It could also be little things, like when the dishes have reached mountainous sizes and I find myself trying to balance that one plate I just used in the mess of things while being in a hurry to get back to whatever I was doing before. I turn my back and *CRASH* - the instant reaction is intense irritation bacause of my painfully obvious sloppyness of not having done the dishes in the first place and instead chose the easy, opportunistic solution. Then I send the little guy inside me away in a violent shower of resentment, rejection and disappointment. "Let the god damn plate fit itself in wherever it bloody well chooses!" Then I give my mind something to chew on, like a computer game or aimless internet surfing.

Rinse and repeat for around 20 years. No wonder I'm a little... Unbalanced.

There's nowhere for the little guy to go. Wherever he looks, whatever he sets out to do, the only thing certain is the feeling of failure and rejection.

Now, try placing this little guy on a stage where he's forced to perform with something at stake, like, ow say, in an EXAM SITUATION, and you will see someone in the gravest of danger and dispair, fighting for his life! Being dragged towards the inevitable, ultimate defeat, he will kick and scream in the only way he knows how to: through the vast complex structure that is the body.

Today, however, I tried tapping in to the unquestionable and unconditional love I'm capable of as a human being, by meditating. I spoke to myself in a manner that was incredible caring and compassionate. In a manner that was accepting and inviting. In a manner I can best describe as this: "Come. Sit. There's room for anything and everything you have to give or take. Should it be painful, I have no intention whatsoever of turning away, I will share with you your pain without reservation. I will carry it for you if you wish [tears are litteraly streaming down my face as I write this]. I will share with you your joy in whatever form it takes. I come with love.
It felt VERY good saying these things and being in the situation. But also bad. I felt a pinch in the stomach. I stayed true to my word and invited in the pain, held it lightly with a caring hand - I would not turn away even for a second. A doubt revealed itself that this experience of love and kindness was somehow not real, that this was just a fleeting "good thing" happening - an oasis of pure joy in the desert of pain, soon to be swallowed. "I can hold this doubt. I will carry it for you if you wish. I will stand here like a tree in the middle of a raging storm, swaying to the limit of my capacity, but I will not turn away" - was my answer. The knot in my stomach subsided, and recalling the thought again gave me an uplifting feeling in my stomach and chest. Other doubts arose, like "will I be able to enter this state again

Published in Diary

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