It’s possible to live a life free from anxiety.
From the inconvenient panic attacks to the never ending hum of ‘background nerves’.
If this is you, there is a solution.
I’ve gone from daily panic attacks to a level of stillness that I wouldn’t have deemed possible for ‘my anxious mind‘.
Stuff to know
- Anxiety isn’t a separate entity intruding on your life. It’s connected to you and your experience. You can’t live the life you’re living, doing the things you do, thinking the way you think and be free from the anxiety you’re feeling.
- Anxiety is the tip of an iceberg. It’s trying to tell you something. If we dip our head beneath the water we’ll uncover a whole host of unresolved experience that we’ve collected over the years. Anxiety is a symptom of our inability to process this experience.
- Anxiety is our guide. Thank goodness it exists or we’d have no sense of where to look to resolve our inner disturbance.
Resolving the inner disturbance
Step 1: Creating space
There are many ways to give the unresolved, neglected parts of us the space to be processed. Here are two that changed my life:
Goodbye smartphone and social media
I know this one is hard. These tools are heavily imprinted in our sense of self and society (which is why anxiety is on the rise). The pull to use them is powerful beyond belief.
But being overstimulated hugely increases anxiety.
And since getting rid of my smartphone and limiting social media use to work only my level of anxiety has drastically reduced. It is possible to do and I have only gained.
A huge space has opened up.
For more info on how changing phones can change your life read this post.
You knew this was coming didn’t you! That’s because it really does work.
I found it excruciating to start with.
A clear sign that I had so much unresolved within me. But as time went on I’ve learnt to enjoy being with myself.
This is a superpower. You’re free from the grip of yearning for more.
From the stillness I have been brought to tears and uncontrollable hysterics. There’s been a load of boredom, joy, shame, fear, nothingness, unsettledness and euphoria. I’ve had vivid childhood visions and gained valuable insights.
Learning to interact with our uncomfortable emotions in a compassionate and curious manner is how we include the neglected parts of ourselves.
This inclusion is the essence of wholeness.
If you’re new to meditation this beginners course is free.
Step 2: Expression
So you’ve created a space for the unresolved to come forward.
Now what do you do? You express.
For in-order to heal we must feel.
Here are two tools of expression that have helped me to heal:
I wake up every morning with incessant negative mental chatter.
Some of it is useful. Most of it is useless. The useless stuff just needs to be heard once and then it can dissolve. I can’t start my day until I write these thoughts down.
Writing my thoughts down creates distance. It’s in this distance I can gain perspective on what is passing through me and feel clarity so I’m not consumed by the drama.
Journaling has decluttered my mind.
It is the very act of sorting through all the unresolved experience and deciphering what is of value.
This is an essential form of expression.
I don’t mean to sound patronising I know you know this but it’s only now I’m understanding how to use this tool to heal.
Share how you’re feeling, talk about what is coming up in the space you’ve created. Regularity is key or the drama will consume us. This is why trusted friends aren’t enough. We don’t want to burden them with our inner work.
This is when a therapist, coach or wellness community can be vital to healing.
Often to resolve the unresolved it means to express how we have felt or are feeling to another person. This can be very frightening.
For we may fear that our expression may lead to conflict but conflict is inevitable if we don’t express.
And in my experience there is nothing more powerful than learning how to express ourselves in a nonviolent way.
For it’s in this ‘confrontation’ that an opportunity to unite with the other person, to understand each other is born.
We step outside the incessant chatter and feel reality when we express.
Healing starts when we dip our heads beneath the water and say with a warmness:
‘Hey! It’s me. I’m sorry for not giving you any space. You’re a part of me after all. I had no idea. But I’m here now. Love ya.’
And it’s hard work. No doubt about it.
Continuing this conversation day by day can be very knackering!
But my goodness is it worth it.
We’re working for our freedom.