Updated: Mar 17
Feeling overwhelmed or strangled by a sensation that it is hard to breathe, hard to focus, a nervousness and fear that is all consuming and feels never ending? Tightness in your throat, butterflies in your stomach and your thoughts going around and around and around and around in your head with a sense of dread that it is so overwhelming that you might be left alone abandoned or die! The unpleasantness of anxiety can sap our attention and make it difficult to focus through the fog of uncertainty.
Ruminating thoughts keeping you up at night, waking at all hours of the morning and the merry-go-round in your head starts again. For people who have not experienced anxiety before it is hard to understand the intensity of this experience. It feels endless and this can then add to the panic that it may be endless. Run, numb, avoid as much as possible, but it is often still there. Feeling out of control and fear that you will not regain control. Drowning.
Key here: Remember emotion is just energy-in-motion (e-motion) and it will pass.
FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real. Most of the time this is the case as our internal system is wired and has learnt over time to protecting us from anything that we have come to believe may cause us harm. However, many of the situations we believe may cause us harm are not founded in reality and are rather an illusion that our mind has created.
What if we considered anxiety from another perspective. Perhaps these anxious thoughts and feelings are coming up so that we can finally face them head on and release them because we are ready to do so as they no longer serve us.
Love. Remember to love yourself unconditionally through this process as you exist and are therefore worthy of love. Forgive yourself particularly if you are judging yourself harshly. Affirmations about love and forgiveness may help here: “I love and forgive myself for judging myself harshly”.
Step outside your comfort zone. Anxiety can close in our world and result in a feeling that we are stuck or need to stay within our comfort zone. But the opposite is likely true. Stepping outside your comfort zone in some way shape or form is likely to build up your resilience and strengthen you or give you another learning that shapes your new template for who you are. I recently booked into a high ropes course and whilst safely attached jumped out off a 13mtr high platform and bungeed to the ground. Whilst standing on the top I thought “you idiot what have you just gotten yourself into”, but having done it I had a new perspective on overcoming fear, some times you just have to jump (with the safety ropes attached of course).
I am not suggesting that you need to do the same but perhaps finding an activity that feels just outside your comfort zone, e.g. sing loudly in the car to loud music, go to a movie alone, go to a meet up group, get on a dating website, express your feelings to another person, try new food, say hello or smile at a stranger. The more of these small things you do the more your confidence will grow as you learn that you are capable of overcoming your fears, anxiety will have less of a hold. Set small challenges for yourself and reward yourself when you achieve them even if it is just a pat on your own back.
Meditation can be helpful to calm your body and mind, particularly if you build it in 5-10min everyday. Tense and release meditation, meditation/hypnosis for sleep, solfeggio frequencies for reducing stress and anxiety and for love.
When we feel anxious our breathing can often become shallow, so taking some long deep breaths in and out, expanding your stomach on the in breath and breathing out through your mouth on the out breath can help to calm your system. Couple this with an Affirmation of your choice, e.g. “I am calm and relaxed”.
Sometimes it can be hard to switch off those thoughts. You could start by facing them head on, ask yourself what am I worried about, where do I feel this in my body and sit with this emotion, what is the worst case scenario. Then imagine you release this emotion from your body with a few deep breaths and imagine you throw it into a fire or let it dissolve into the earth beneath you. Give yourself a set period of time to do this up to 15 min and then shift your focus to some exercise or another activity to shift your attention and shift the energy in your body.
With anxiety there is a lot of energy in your head and at times you may feel a little detached from you and the world around you. Going for a walk in nature or sitting on the ground and holding the intention to ground yourself, connect with the earth, can help to bring your awareness back into your body.
Warm bath with Epsom salts can help to destress your body.
For people who feel anxious or sensitive and when this is heightened there are times when you may need to be selfish and put your needs first by not being in big crowds or only being in them for a little while until you feel ready to challenge yourself again. Ask yourself is fear or love guiding my decision. Do I need to nurture myself right now or confront my fear.
When you are feeling overwhelmed, affirmations about how you would prefer to feel are useful at this time particularly if they are repeated regularly as your attention goes towards what you want rather than what you don’t want. E.g. I am calm, I am safe, it is safe for me to let go of control and go with the flow, I am confident.
Visualisation can also be useful – visualising light coming down from the sky, through your body out your feet and deep into the core of the earth and then back up again through your body to the universe. Then take your attention to your heart space and grow this ball of light in your heart space and about three feet outside of your body, affirming to your self that you are safe and protected within this bubble of light. Or try imagining you have a mirror ball surrounding your body so that if anyone tried to say negative words to you imagine they mirror back to that person and can not touch you. Imagine the ball of light surrounding you is pink and represents love or steal and cannot be penetrated. Our mind is a powerful tool we can use to create and give us a sense of protection. The options you can create are endless and only limited by your imagination.
Harbouring negative feelings for others only creates a tighter grip on you physically and mentally so using the idea of visualising a cord between you and the other person being cut and sending the other person and yourself love or forgiveness can release the strangle hold on you and them.
Expressing your thoughts and emotions in some way is important but this does not have to be verbally through talking or singing, it could also be through writing, painting drawing, moving, boxing, dancing, visualising (e.g. go to a field in your mind and scream), playing music, drama plus many more. Have a laugh if you can to shift your focus and mood. Seek professional if you feel you need to talk or consider complementary therapies such as reiki, kinesiology, reflexology, massage to relax and shift energy.
Draw on your faith (if you have one) or ask the universe for help. This may sound a little crazy for some but for others who use prayer and faith this can be very useful in asking for the guidance and support you need and trusting it will come.
Reflecting on what am I learning from this experience and how is it helping me to grow, can also be of great benefit, shifting you out of feeling like a victim to empowering you to take back control as you develop knowledge from your situation.
One more thing to mention here is that anxiety for some people may also mean they are sensitive to either their own internal experiences and to that of others. This can actually be used as a guide as you may know intuitively how another person is feeling because you can feel their experience.
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