First of all, it’s NOT an illness that simply can be got rid off through the right concoction of medication. Far from it. That just numbs us into a being that has barely or no human feelings… i implore you, please don’t go down that route!…(However, if you are on medication, I do not recommend simply chucking them without gaining help and support for reducing them in a safe way )
So what is it?
Simply put, Humans are energetic beings. We pick up all sorts of signals through the “airwaves” and use the information to decide our next action. If we perceive a danger, we are likely to feel a sense of anxiety in our body. A build up of such anxiety, might lead to a full blown panic attack where an individual is unable to cope with the present situation and the body enters a type of shock.
Today I’m going to ask “What happens physically?”
When we feel anxious (and this is from my own experiences not a text book or paraphrasing others), our stomach muscles tighten, and all sorts of other muscles start to tighten as we have entered fight or flight.We have triggered our body’s “sympathetic nervous system”. We might stay in this state for some time and carry on running on adrenaline, until we take action to calm ourselves down, or our nervous system perceives the danger to have passed, and we begin to relax.
Simply put, the lack of oxygen to the brain, and the overstimulation to the nervous system, begins to take it’s toll, as we are less able to think rationally, and all our body is doing is preparing to take flight from this perceived danger….
We have a few options at this stage, and I’ll begin with the least helpful, and work up to steps that YOU can take to improve your life not just once but forever…. :
*Try to ignore it, and distract ourselves with food/tv/drink etc… basically this is numbing ourselves and trying to forget the feeling inside us…It’s also very common, and the media plays right into this need that we have developed of avoiding our feelings! This also can prevent us doing anything that gives us anxiety, and can lead to quite a limited life … trust me, I had a limited life for most of my 20s where I ignored anything (including big cities) that was just too much!
*Go see GP or psychiatrist – who could put you on some medication… they might also enrol you onto a mindful course… which can help us to bring ourselves into the present moment, and remember that there is no “real” danger…However, the medication acts like any other distraction: alleviates our feelings for a while, but doesn’t address the deeper reasons behind our feelings.
*Accept and dive into the feeling, and begin to open up to your subconscious… and use the feelings that come up (and you can do the same process with ALL feelings) as a learning tool to get to know yourself, release old fears and beliefs, and make real changes in your life!
… the art of surrender….
The last option is what I’ve been doing for the last few years. Before that I was living in a near constant state of anxiety/fight-or-flight and lived in my mind, contemplating as a coping mechanism to avoid my feelings. When other people might self medicate (and I did that alongside!) I would “think” my way through situations that I didn’t like, trying to understand what was happening. However that is only half the story.
We NEED our feelings, as they are the body’s way of communicating with us. If we ignore them, we can create energy blocks around the body, and ultimately this can lead to illness and death as the life force literally cannot flow through the blocks.
So the steps to delve into your feelings are something like this:
- Recognise that there is a feeling. Contrary to popular belief, whatever you label the feeling (anxiety, stress panic attack) if you are recognising that there is a feeling, you are a long way to being present with yourself, and your sensitivity is NOT a weakness, rather a fact that you are becoming more self-aware!
- Locate where it is in the body. You might now place your hands gently on it, comforting yourself, and drawing your energy and awareness there.
- Breathe into the feeling, rather than wishing it would just “go away”. By doing so, you are feeling your whole self (including your subconscious) that you are willing to listen to what the feeling has to say (and ultimately you are listening to your soul as you gain guidance and wisdom from the feeling and situation from your higher self)
- Allow yourself time (if possible within you day!) to breath deeper into the feeling, and see if you can dig deeper…I’ll give an example that might illustrate….
- I feel a tightening in my stomach above my belly button. I know this to be my solar plexus chakra that deals with amongst other things, motivation and right action. I am talking to someone I know through another friend. I wonder why this feeling has arisen, and observe myself starting to feel disappointed that I’m not able to be perfectly calm all the time. This is the first recognition for me: that my perfectionist self is trying to lead me down the road of self-doubt and “not good enough”. I stop that and thank the thought.
- I breath into the area, rather that trying to avoid it. I know that this helps, even though there is a nagging feeling that I should “be better” already.
- Breathing in, I remember what happened, that I was talking to the lady, and realised that I had felt like I was a fraud in front of her. I then peeled back a layer of self that still doesn’t quite believe in myself and my experiences. I thank these thoughts for how they have served me, as they have driven me to push forward and learn more and more, and continue with self-development.
- I delve deeper, and realise that I was trying to convince her of my self, and my experience, and realised that event though she was there, in reality I was really trying to convince myself. Everyone that comes to our lives plays a role of reflecting back to us something that is not resolved. Otherwise we would be in a state of love with everyone we meet! I thank this lady for the experience.
- I also recognise that I it IS ok to have a part of me that doesn’t quite believe my luck, and where I am in my life. INSTANTLY the feeling has gone! I chuckle to myself. Never has this type of delving bought such a quick response! I realised that I had been denying the “doubter” inside, because I HAD to believe in myself to take certain actionsI have over the last few years, otherwise I would have given in to the easy choice, or what I perceived was expected of me from the outside influences!
- I send love to the part of myself that i have denied – the inner doubter – and thank it for the part it has played. I neither wish to negate it completely or ignore it any more, I have made PEACE with a part of myself, and in doing so, I have made peace with all beings that also show signs of this trait!
So, to summarise what you are doing in this process, I would invite you to imagine that you are a sphere. And every different trait or thought makes up this sphere. As soon as we decide that this part is “not allowed” usually due to listening to someone when we are younger – parent, teacher, friend, media – we begin to try to erase that from ourself. We might begin to judge it, or commonly just erase the feeling and the associated behaviour. We might find ourselves judging others that display the same traits as they are reminding us of something we had decided to ignore/erase.
In this way, we create a division – and this is the subconscious: the part of us that we have denied for whatever reason! Our brain as part of the nervous system that is designed to keep us “safe” is exceedingly clever at hiding from us what is deemed to be dangerous. Imagine, you are told not to do something when you are younger – knowing you may well get told off if you do a certain action. Then of course, you start to wipe it from your being hoping you won’t get in trouble again. It may not be until years later that you find out the action was not harmful, but you were led to believe it was because of the implied repercussion of chastisement if you continued!
Similarly when we suffer a trauma, our brain cleverly blanks it out, until some later time that we are able to comprehend and deal with it, unless we are able to fully express the feelings that arise at that time. For example, recently I was nearly struck by lightening, as in, the flash and thunder were so close we were blinded by the bright, and deafened momentarily by the noise! The friend that I was with could not believe the racket I made!
But I know now to express entirely every bit of feeling that occurs through me, rather than holding back for the sack of propriety, because when we hold anything in, has to be released some time down the line. So, that evening, I wailed like a banshee and allowed my self to shake like a leaf in a storm. It was thrilling to just “let go” in the moment, and not bother trying to act a certain way. I let it all out! The natural path of my fear and all the hormones that were realised were allowed to take place, and I felt fully at peace afterwards, in a way you might liken to the peace you have post orgasm!
When we are feeling anything we’d rather not feel, we are being ”triggered”, and often we are reacting from an emotion that was previously locked in the past. And until we fully feel the feeling, dig deeper, and learn the understanding that that past scenario gave us, we may carry that trauma and feeling for years, if not our whole life, never fully releasing the energy behind it. When we become familiar with the process, it becomes a friend, a tool to use in any scenario, and something that unlocks door upon door of self-knowledge!
The result over time is that we are releasing a back log of emotional energy from our mind/body/soul and we make room for more life force/chi/prana/love to enter our system. We are cleansing ourselves from the inside out, and over time, you will also notice you feel lighter, with a clearer head and you begin to feel a sense of peace.
Further, if you are able to commit time to your own self-healing, you can allow yourself to meditate deeply into your body, feeling into anywhere you have stiffness or pain, and breath into the area. Slowly you become able to have a conversation with yourself about why there is an energy blockage there. It is through this method I have had the deepest visions and healing over the last year that have led to enormous breakthroughs in my life, and have enabled me to make moves forward with living the life of my dreams, having released energetic blocks that were holding me back!
This might all sound a long process, but as you begin to get comfortable with the process, every feeling you have will be an exciting journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance, rather than something to dread. Further, it is all to easy to blame someone near to you when an uncomfortable feeling arises, and in doing the inner work on yourself, you begin to be able to thank them for being a trigger, and love them, rather than building up a feeling of resentment if we perceive them to be the root of our suffering!
Good luck with your journey, and please know there is so much support out there at any time that we let it in! I spent years thinking no-one understands, but one day, I prayed for help and a friend that understood, and my life changed – because I allowed the universe to help, rather than my old pattern of “I’m alone and not worthy of help” (or something similar!). Ask for help and you might just get a surprise! Above all though, our own journey is our responsibility, and the sooner we start to take it, the sooner we begin to take our power back, and be in the driving seat of our life!