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Extra anxiety is the last thing we need right now. Not only does it feel crappy and scary, but it carries with it energy sapping cycles of worry and often unhelpful decisions.
(And since I’m not a doctor, and if you’re living in a heightened state of anxiety and worry, please do consult a professional.)
It would seem that our daily getting-by techniques, when the world is experiencing trouble, turmoil and fear, don’t always cut it.
That’s what I’ve personally discovered for myself.
My anxiety causing experience
Last Saturday I had two letters in the mail. Both from England. One from the British version of the IRS telling me I owed them a heap of money, bucket loads of money, gulp!
They seemed to be totally Ignoring the fact that I had already paid my taxes here in the USA, something I’ve been doing since I became an American citizen lo those many years ago.
The second letter was just as anxious making. The long and short of it was I would no longer receive the money they owed me.
It’s possibly true that these situations wouldn’t have triggered your fears and worries as they did mine.
If that’s the case, try putting yourself in a situation that would doubtless cause you to feel scared and worried, so you can try out my approaches to help you deal with the headaches that crop up in your own life.
Getting caught up in my head wasn’t difficult at that moment.
I think It’s safe to say we all realize how natural that is. Focusing on the the anticipated pressures of a situation is an option possible for us all. And recognizing that this isn’t helpful, doesn’t seem to carry the jolt it should.
New anxiety perspective
I tried to see my apprehension as a ‘friend’ – I read somewhere that this is a good thing to do. But it didn’t work. I tried listening to what it had to say, but it was yelling so loudly that I only felt fear and more stress. It wasn’t much of an ally.
So I pushed on to the next technique for quelling those distressing thoughts.
Take a deep breath
I knew this one. I use it when I get myself into a self-inflicted state of upset. Can you believe there are times I still do this?
It’s a significant response for allowing us space to take back control of our cognitive processes.
I know that over and over scientists have told us, that even the perception of a little control can alter the impact of stress and anxiety. Nope. Not for me. Didn’t work this time.
And then there are these ideas
Watch a cute video – it reduces heart rate. Nope, not right then, not for me.
Use your set-aside worrying time. I knew how to do that; I set this up in my life years ago. But this time it had no effect on my wandering mind. It was like this untamed horse that I couldn’t gentle.
Meditate. Ha. Despite being a regular meditator of many years, the level of panic I was feeling wouldn’t be quelled but kept storming into the room of my silence with banging of drums and clashing of cymbals creating enough noise to waken the dead.
What about a bit of booze? Nah, that wouldn’t work for me either. My body decided a long time ago to stop allowing me to enjoy even a small glass of wine without causing me pain and regret.
Take a nap.
What! Take a nap whilst my mind was plagued with fears of what if, and what might be? I needed the discipline of a Navy Seal to do that.
And yes, I’d read about the idea that they only consider something an emergency if they couldn’t find a solution. But it sure felt like an emergency to me at that moment.
Light bulb moment
And then I remembered something that smashed me in the face like an out-of-control frisbee. But I should probably warn you, it might sound a little weird at first.
These steps are things I do on a regular basis. But usually not when I have such in your face evidence of unmanageable fears. And in the face of such powerful anxiety, panic, botheration, call it what you will, I had totally shut down my normal operating system.
So if you have a minute I’ll share some simple steps. What I actually did and the results I had.
1. Accept and acknowledge what is being felt
Thoughts that are ignored or denied are thoughts that get more energy. The more we try to find that ‘off switch’ for anxiety-ridden thoughts, the more they plague us.
Acceptance allows us to wheel and deal with those painful thoughts. Until we can restructure them into something more helpful. To feel intensely about a fear without expressing it is the beginning of all dis-ease. In mind and body.
2. Acknowledging doesn’t mean allowing scary thoughts to dominate
Scary thoughts don’t get to take over, at least not for long. We need to intervene, and rational conversation with negative thoughts doesn’t work.
They’re not exactly rational, and often based on not what has actually happened, but what we think will happen next. As in my case.
3. Liberate yourself from your mind
Your mind isn’t YOU. Just as your arms, legs or hands aren’t you; they’re part of you, yes, but not the whole of you.
We need a little space between the ‘mind’ that thinks it’s us, to remind it that it doesn’t get a vote in what we decide to give our attention.
4. The subconscious mind is the gateway to creation
Your subconscious mind receives ideas through your feelings, be they good, bad or indifferent.
And so, focused as I was, as we far too often are, on possible difficulties or failures, it will, without hesitation, assume this is our request and proceed to produce these very things in our physical world.
Yikes…what on earth was I doing. I knew better.
Every feeling you have is giving your subconscious instructions and unless counteracted by a stronger feeling of the opposite nature, will be manifested in your world as an experience.
The good news is that ‘I am happy and confident’ is a more powerful feeling than ‘I am worried.’ Even if it doesn’t always seem that way.
‘I am’ is always stronger than ‘I am not.’
And this light bulb moment turned out to be my saving grace.
I remembered I had to think feelingly only of the experience I wanted to have. Not worry about what might happen, or could happen, or worse case scenarios, or even how what I wanted would be delivered to me. None of these things were my job.
A change of feeling was my part to play in this little drama. And changes of feeling for me and for you is a change in our destiny.
Truth be told we don’t need to live at Jedi-level capabilities. We can all do this because we’re human beings with the power of creative imagination.
Once we understand that our feelings form the pattern from which our world is fashioned, and a change of feeling is a change of pattern it all makes so much sense. And becomes so much easier.
5. I chose a picture in my mind and a feeling to complement the image
Firstly, I imagined myself talking to these people (remember they were in England) and that despite all the shutdowns we currently experience, and the difference in time zones, it was easy to contact them and in my mind’s eye I had them apologize for the error and tell me it was all resolved.
Then I added what I decided I would feel if this had actually happened. My feeling was relief and gratitude because it was all so easily and quickly dealt with.
6. The outcome
I made my first call at 7.50 my time, got through straight away, was informed it was resolved, said thank you and moved on to my second call.
All I had to do was confirm some of my personal details and was told everything was fine and received apologies for the misunderstanding.
At 8.05 it was all done and concluded.
I know we’ve covered a lot of ground here, and I don’t want you to think that I literally am some super Jedi-like being. That would be so far from the truth.
I continued the the process of keeping my attention on my outcome all through Saturday afternoon, Sunday all day, and when I first got up on Monday morning.
And there were plenty of times during this time when anxiety reared its ugly head. So I acknowledged it and moved right back into the practice that I knew would bring the results I wanted.
And my manifesting partner, my subconscious mind, set about establishing a likeness in my physical reality to my strongest desire, thought and feeling.
To say I was stoked at the result is an understatement. Even knowing how the universe will work in conjunction with me, I still feel excited when I watch it all play out in front of my very eyes. It’s totally awe-inspiring.
At best maybe this will work for you the next time, some unforeseen, unwanted experience that might have consequences you’d rather not need to handle has the cheek to show up in your world.
At worst, you’ll realize you’re not alone.
Others have felt the same and that your thoughts and feelings aren’t the truth of your world. Just thoughts and feelings, that aren’t always accurate and most definitely aren’t always the compassionate and caring thoughts and feelings you deserve. The ones that bring you the life conditions you desire.
We’re all on a similar journey, and should you ever find yourself in a position where you need to know how to cope with anxiety, when it seems like things are falling apart, may your journey to the other side be blessed with joy, relief and gratitude.
Relief being one of my most favorite emotions. 🙂
Before you go, I’d love to hear from YOU in the comments section below.
Which of these steps resonates with you most? What helps you handle unexpected anxiety-laden experiences and come out the other side in good shape?
Please share your thoughts.
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And lastly encourage one another. You most definitely have some wisdom others need to hear.