It’s not your thoughts or emotions that keep you in the cycle of suffering; it’s your constant struggle and rejection of them that does. Non-acceptance of ‘what is’ is what creates resistance, and it is this resistance that causes so much extra suffering.
This struggle is also what prevents the process of healing to occur.
If you want to overcome anxiety, then struggling with it is not the answer.
Anyone who finds themselves stressed and mentally exhausted has got there through rejecting and struggling with their inner or outer world. These people aren’t in the flow of life; they are always pushing against reality. They aren’t allowing their mind or emotions to be as they are; they are constantly at war with them.
Let’s concentrate on those who spend all their time battling with their anxiety. The whole battle they enter into revolves around them not wanting to feel it. The truth is that if you have anxiety, then you have no option but to feel this anxious energy within you, there is no saying, method, or technique you can master to prevent this
If you had a bout of flu then there is nothing you can do not to feel it, you would just have to ride it out and allow it to pass of its own accord. Imagine if you wasted all your day trying to fight it, suppress it while also trying to figure a way out of it mentally. Or turned to Google to find someone or something to make it go away.
All these actions take immense mental effort and can have a real effect on your mental well being. Not one of them would make your flu disappear, all you would achieve is to add more suffering on top of your initial suffering.
This battle would be utterly pointless and counterproductive. Yet this is what most anxiety sufferers do and then wonder why they feel so utterly exhausted and spent and why they stay in a cycle of constant suffering.
Be open to any state
When you give up your battle with yourself, then your thoughts and emotions will change naturally. You can’t force or create a particular state through struggle or personal will; this will only create more suffering and mentally drain you.
The outside world and others act as they do, less stress and worry comes through understanding this one fact and realising that life won’t always go your way and that people won’t always act how you want them to.
The same principle is true when you experience any form of suffering; it is your non-acceptance of your current state that causes so much extra pain.
It doesn’t feel great to experience emotions of anger, fear, irritability, anxiety, sadness, or any other uncomfortable state you may find yourself in. But trust me, if you allow yourself to fall right into your current state without struggle and resistance, then you won’t suffer the same and you will come out of it much quicker.
Also, it is the complete acceptance of your current state that allows your mind and body to start the process of healing. Left alone, your mind and body are able to heal themselves, just like they are with a broken leg or a cut finger. Your body and mind have the best healing in the world if you only step aside and allow them to do their job.
My recovery from anxiety came when I saw the truth behind my suffering and how I was creating the majority of it. Even with this knowledge, the same thoughts and feelings were present for a while, but I just lost interest in them.
I no longer had any interest in trying to manipulate a state. If I needed to feel a particular emotion or mental state, then I would allow myself to feel it fully, no matter how uncomfortable it was.
There really is no outside force doing this to us, and so there is nothing for us to defeat. We are creating our own suffering and staying in a cycle through a lack of understanding.
So much suffering is self-created through lack of knowledge which leads to a pointless battle we enter into with ourselves. Recovery doesn’t come through some technique; it occurs when we do two things.
1. When we stop doing the things that are creating our suffering
2. When we allow ourselves to go through a process of healing our past suffering. This means to fully experience it as it is without trying to fight or suppress it.
Do you now see why battling with anxiety can never cure you of it? It was a battle that never needed to be fought.
Peace will never be achieved by going to war
If you would like to read my personal story of how I overcame anxiety then you will find this and much more in my best selling book ‘At last a life’. The book has sold over 100,000 copies and is recommended by many therapists and is now on prescription at many doctors surgeries.