A few weeks back I wrote a blog on anxiety describing the mental source of it and how truly unnecessary it is. Here is the link: https://www.fionamaria.ca/mind-health/anxiety-why-are-you-investing/
This week I wanted to offer up some tips on how to move past anxious moments. But first, a recap on the mental nature of anxiety…
“Even if he is fully aware of anxiety he does not perceive its source as his own ego identification and he always tries to handle it by making some sort of insane arrangement with the world.”
A Course in Miracles – T.12.III.6:5
Anxiety occurs because we have chosen to take the ego (fear, negativity, crap) seriously. If we defend ourselves against the fear, we are making it real. If we react to the fear, we are making it real. If we talk about the fear, we are making it real.
The KEY to undoing anxiety is to DISIDENTIFY from it.
As mentioned in my earlier blog on this topic, anxiety is a delay tactic of the ego, that is all. And what is the ego? Mis-thought. It’s a mistake, a misidentification. And mistakes, they are to be corrected, not perpetuated.
As I always stress, our minds are incredibly powerful!! That means our imaginations are also wild and powerful. We can come up with some pretty crazy s&#t, can’t we? And our egos love to scare us with that wild, scary nonsense! But here’s the clincher… with all the weirdness we can conjure up with our ego minds, that doesn’t mean any of it is real.
Here’s a little bit about what is going on physically when we get anxious…
There is a part of our brains, it is called the neo-cortex which is the largest part of the brain, and is also the visual part of our brain! The brain, being an effect of the mind, is a reflection of our minds mass ability to visualize. Which means that anything you choose to visualize is going to trigger a very strong experience. Think of when you are fantasizing, it tends to be a pretty full experience, doesn’t it? There are characters, colours, smells, conversations… that is what we can do with our minds! So, that is why fear is so scary, because when you choose to focus on fear, your incredible mental power is going all in to that fear!
Then there are the effects of fear (anxiety) like upset stomach, rapid heartbeat, sweating, agitation, and many other debilitating symptoms.
You’ve had the fear thought, then you have the bodily effect, and then what happens next? Your ego mind judges the bodily discomfort which leads to more anxiety. So the fear goes around in a big circle. Fear thought, body discomfort, judgment, fear thought, body discomfort, judgment, and on and on and on.
Another KEY to undoing anxiety is to STOP this cycle!!
So, let’s get to it!
Coping Mechanisms 101
Recognize that it is simply anxiety. Your issue is not the actual thing that is scaring you, your issue is anxiety. So, the most vital thing you want to do is STOP ANALYZING the scary thought. The scary thing, whatever it may be, is not actually occurring, if it were then you wouldn’t be anxious, you would be busy dealing with the issue. Anxiety is fear over something that is not occurring. So you don’t want to analyze that which is not occurring because, guess what?! It is totally irrelevant!! And if you don’t take the steps to move past the fear, anxiety is going to become your habit, ugh…. So, stop the reaction. Stop analyzing that which is MEANINGLESS! And if you think it has meaning for you then I will put it this way… if it is causing you to be upset, it is ego, and therefore meaningless. Ego wants you to be upset, Love wants you to be happy, who do you choose?
Next, Conscious Distraction. So as not to invest any further energy into the useless fear thought, distract yourself. In a study on recovering drug addicts it was found that one of the most helpful practices to help addicts move past a craving was for them to distract themselves with a game of Tetris. They consciously distracted themselves as the habitual craving moved through their mind then bodily system.
So, you want to do the same type of thing. The anxiety (fear thoughts) are your habit, and you need help out of that habit. Distracting yourself can be done many ways and you may already know what a good distraction is for you. But for those who don’t, here goes!
Observe your surroundings, note the colours or other qualities of things around you, like this… the grass is green, it is soft with a gentle dew upon it. The couch is charcoal grey, it was purchased at Crate & Barrel. The saleswoman had white hair and glasses. The dog is black. He just got a haircut. He is 9 years old…
Distract yourself with the details of your surroundings which will take the energy out of the negative thought. Your mind can only think one thought at a time, this is a law of the mind, so use that to your advantage. You may still feel the physical discomfort of anxiety as you do this but do not be tempted to judge that discomfort, simply recognize that the residual energy is just flowing through your body and that it will pass. IT WILL PASS.
Change Your Environment. Move out of the environment where anxiety was triggered. Leave the store, the room, the home, whatever you need to do. Try and get outside. Who cares if it is -30 outside, just give it a try, freezing your arse off may turn out to be a nice distraction for you anyway! There is an expansiveness to the outdoors which can relieve the claustrophobic nature of anxiety. Once outside or in a more relaxed space you can take the next important step, breathe.
Deep Breathe. Breathing deeply is an amazing coping mechanism. It’s simple, effective and healthy. Breathing deeply helps you out of anxious moments but it can also help to prevent anxious moments. Whenever you feel a twinge of ego fear, get your breath flowing in a more effective manner. Envision blowing out the negative energy and breathing in relaxed energy. And your focus on your breathing is also a very effective conscious distraction.
Turn on something funny. Remember that the anxiety occurred because you took the ego seriously. The only thing that helps to remove this feeling of seriousness around fear is love and I personally find that laughter is the most effective at bringing love into the dynamic. Lighten up! Raise your vibrational levels! Have an anxious child? Be funny more often, have funny shows on in the background and encourage laughter and light-heartedness. This whole ego mess happened because we took fear seriously, so you gotta laugh in order to let the ego go. Have a bit of a giggle and carry on with your day. Laughter is truly the best medicine!
Physical Activity breaks that cycle of fear. It gives the fearful energy somewhere to go, and in this case it would be best if that energy moved out of the body. We don’t want to carry the energy of negativity and stress in our cells, so this is one of the major benefits to physical activity. Get that negative energy OUT! You know what exercise is best for you so rock it out! I personally prefer squats or even holding plank position which activates the whole body. Also, be open to the beauty of making love to your partner. This is an excellent way to get the love flowing and also, all the stimulation releases very healthy chemicals throughout your whole body. The connection with your loved one will also be very soothing for your agitated mind.
And lastly, recognize that anxiety has never served you. Own the fact that you do not need to live with it nor have it as part of your life. This attitude will help you to be vigilant for moving past the anxiety. Whenever anxiety comes up see it as an opportunity to get that old, negative energy out of you, because that is exactly what it is! Old stuff which was just lying dormant in your unconscious mind. It will lose strength in time.
Try these tips out next time you’re feeling anxious. Remember that you have to be vigilant for your own healing and your healthy mind. When you are doing these positive things to help yourself you are truly serving yourself. You are making the effort to be a happy, non-reactionary and very loving person, so don’t be shy to take care of yourself. There is no one else in this world who can do it for you.
Love and Vigilance,