Anxiety is a slow evolving trait that was useful to human beings at some point but is no longer as necessary now that lions aren’t lurking around the corner. We are dealing with a natural defense process that needs to be witnessed and acknowledged rather than fought against and discouraged. Anxiety skews our perceptions, making us believe that everything is very serious, dramatic, even life-threatening.
Responding to feelings of anxiety with patience, curiosity, and compassion is the key to allowing these feeling to move through the body, rather than becoming stuck and recurring again and again. The paradox is that by accepting the feelings as they move through our body, they can move through us and dissipate.
Most of us spend an inordinate amount of time judging ourselves and others, regretting the past, worrying about the future - we are at war with ourselves. The anxiety you felt a year ago isn’t here - it may come back when you think about it, but rather than staying caught up in the perpetual thoughts regarding a situation, focus on feeling the sensations in your body. You have to continually ruminate on thoughts that will perpetuate the feeling, otherwise it just dissipates and is forgotten.
Take a few moments several times throughout the day to:
By being willing to just experience the sensations, we lessen the power anxiety has over us. Anxiety can be as meaningless as any other sensation your body experiences, such as indigestion or itching. It may be extraordinarily unpleasant, but it says nothing of you as a person.
Be willing to feel it; cease to give it deep meaning. These practices can help bring you back to the present moment. Living in the moment will decrease the likelihood of continually experiencing intrusive memories of the past or worries of the future.
Practicing these simple exercises throughout the day can help you feel calmer, less stressed, and more grounded.
I write about human behavior, meditation, body awareness, and a variety of other things that pique my interest.