Posts From Archive: November 28, 2013

Stop TRYING to get out of your anxious state

struggling with anxiety

Before I start today’s post a lot of people have been emailing me asking why the app is no longer available. Well it is a fault on apples side and after numerous phone calls trying to sort it out they have promised to get it back up by next week.

O.K on to today’s post which is entitled;

‘The battle with myself is over’

A lot of anxiety sufferers are in a constant battle with themselves, I was on a daily basis also. This battle can take many forms.

It can be;

Trying to figure out why they feel a certain way.
Trying to come across as normal
Trying not to think about anxiety
Trying to hold on to who they are
Trying to feel a certain way
Trying not to feel a certain way
Trying to think a different way
Trying to be somewhere else
Trying to use mantras they have learnt to help ease how they feel

The list goes on, but there is one key word there and that is the word ‘Trying’. That word is what causes the battle, as they never accept their current state, it’s always about feeling different. This approach is not only physically exhausting, but it also exhausts the already tired mind. You can feel mentally drained, detached, not with it and this can then stop or hinder you engaging with the world around you, which gives you another thing to worry and obsess over. All this just keeps you stuck on the subject daily, until you feel you can think of nothing else.

I also went through these daily rituals, each day was another battle to get through the best I could, to try and figure it all out, maybe today everything would just slot into place, maybe today I would wake up and it would be all over. Then one day after tiring my mind and body out, it hit me that the only way to stop thinking and obsessing about it was to allow it. Not the half hearted attempts I had done before, but a full on allow.

Firstly I understood that allowing would not have me feeling great, forget that, that was the mistake I had made before, I had used allowing as a technique to feel better in the past without success. Also I wanted to move on from the subject, after years of thinking about it, then I realised my obsession with it would not go over night, I realised my attention would stay on me for a while, that was understandable and fine. Last, but not least, I had to let myself let go fully, this meant, to let my mind think whatever thoughts it wished, to let my feelings go haywire, no allow any feelings of detachment, no more thinking I can accept that, but not that, no more trying to hold on, no more trying to keep a grip on myself, I had to allow myself to fall in a hole, fall right into how I felt, to allow myself to feel as yuck as was needed, without going back to old habits of trying to fix or sort out. It was like riding a bike and taking the stabilisers off for the first time, I just had to do it. It was all the years of trying to control and fix, that had led me to this point, to realise that nothing worked and it was time now to just give in totally.

The statement that I wrote down at the time was ‘The fight to control my mind, my thoughts and my feelings is over’ and I meant it. I could no longer care if I felt good or bad, alert or distant, clear or foggy headed, anxious or not, a racing or still mind, nothing was off limits anymore. This was not an easy process initially as a lot of feelings surfaced stronger than ever, as they were now no longer suppressed or controlled and had the space and freedom for once to be felt and free up.

It’s the need to control, the instinct we are born with that kept me in the loop. It’s not always easy to stay calm and not get involved when your thoughts and feelings are seemingly going haywire, to not try and put the brakes on. But just remember these feelings are not you, they are just surface feelings, an off shoot of anxiety and are totally harmless, they can only hold the respect you give them. They actually want to be left alone so they can go ahead and heal, they don’t need your constant worry and intervention, your mind and body knows exactly what it is doing to heal, so leave it to do so. Just remember, the healing process is not always going to be comfortable, be OK with not feeling OK.

The best way to truly fix yourself is to stop trying to fix yourself.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life.

How I found my own cure from anxiety

Anxiety cure

I just placed this statement on my twitter account as it was something I wrote down many years ago and it stayed with me for all these years and one I use in general life, which was;

‘Everything is at it is and things go how they go’

It was essential for me to develop this attitude years ago on my own journey of recovery and eventually it did become a built in attitude and not just words on a piece of paper. You cannot say something, but then not believe or mean it, as was the case with me at first. I would go into a situation with these words, but really I was saying ‘Everything is as it is and things go as they go, but please go well, let me feel OK’ or I would use it thinking ‘I will feel great now with this statement’ only then to still feel anxious and think, ‘Well that did not work’, little did I realise I was missing the point, it was not there to make me feel better, it was there to stop me avoiding, it was not there to make me feel great, it was there to stop me trying to feel different.

The whole point was, it was not about striving to feel good anymore, which had totally had the opposite effect and my whole day had been consumed by it. It was about accepting who I was and situations with utter acceptance. Some days would be good, some days would be bad, some situations would go well, some not so well, I would now try to be neutral to it all. I would stop ‘Trying’ to feel different, I would stop watching my own social performance, there would be no more inquest when things did not go as I wanted.

But in time I got far more out of this statement when the meaning truly sunk in. I stopped worrying so much about future events, I stopped mentally going over things as much, I stopped living inside my head as much, wondering how I felt or how things were going. My mind felt clearer, my anxiety levels dropped.

Someone who worked in a hospice once said that, ‘when someone finds out they have a few months to live, then understandably their initial reaction is anger, resentment and huge sadness, but in the last couple of weeks when they are resigned to it and fully accept it then a huge sense of peace comes over them, many saying that they had never felt calm like it’. I learnt a lot from that story, it was a sign of complete surrender, knowing there was nothing else they could do, a complete collapse of all control and resistance and this is what brought them so much peace. I then understood that it was my resistance to my current state that had caused me so much more suffering and it was time to fully accept it and stop fighting against myself and that if I did not wage a war with my mind, body and life, then it would not wage a war against me.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life.