(Kochin, Kerala , India)
I am suffering from severe anxiety for the last 23 years. I have been diagnosed with Generalized and social anxiety with mild OCD. And I'm taking medications for the last 2 years. Initially it was like big relief from my problem but now I've almost stopped medications. And anxiety hits back with full force and I'm totally fed up with life and work. And now I am sure that no medications and meditations can solve any psychological problems, instead it only worsens the issue. When ever I tried to control my thoughts and feelings it's like I am only adding momentum to it.
And luckly I have been through your site some days and read your life changing story and your reply to problems. Hope you can help me Adam, thanks.
Well to answer the question in the title, it is very difficult to just step out of anxiety. Anxiety can become an unconscious addiction, and it can become a kind of false protection mechanism, acting as if it is keeping you safe from perceived and over-exagerrated dangers or harms.
You feel that the attempts to control these uncomfortable feelings are futile. So then what else can you do about it? What happens if you don't do anything about it? Probably the mind says "then I will just be stuck like this forever. Something must be done." But usually our attempts to fix anxiety come from resistance, from not wanting it to be there, from trying to force it away with our own attention.
The main thing is to change the relationship with anxiety, rather than trying to get rid of it or come out of it. Usually it is perceived as painful, and so our attention becomes resistive and tight, in an attempt to fix it. This makes us feel as if we are little energies that are trapped within a surrounding whirlwind of emotions, and we can't get out. But really, the anxiety, these feelings, all arise within you. They come and they go. You are never inside them, but the idea of "me" which loves to separate itself from everything else feels as if it is trapped inside them.
Rather than wanting the anxiety to be gone, invite it. Still the reflex may be to resist it, but let this resistance come as well. You don't have to analyse, manage or measure the anxiety. This keeps it fuelled with interest. Notice that around the anxiety there is a neutral space. No matter what the self-image may be saying about the anxiety, the space around is unaffected. Don't turn anxiety into a foe or an enemy to escape or slay, let it be, without even calling it "anxiety".
You will notice that it is not you "doing" it. This is important to notice. If we think that we are "doing" the anxiety through personal intention, then we will feel as if stopping it will be the result of a personal intention. End the war with yourself, let the present experience be exactly as it is, without trying to change it.
Insights can arise from here, spontaneously. The anxiety will likely not evaporate at once, it will come in waves, but an awesome way to be is not minding whether it comes or not. Then you are no longer a slave to it. Let your body be the body of the whole universe, experiencing as it wants to.
It is not your responsibility to escape anxiety. Believing this makes you feel like you are a prisoner.
Notice how thinking wants to turn it into a problem, into a big thing that needs to be overcome. If the mind sees something undesirable, it just wants to kill it so it is gone. What happens if anxiety is given space to move in the body and mind exactly as it wants to? Are you still trapped in it then?
That's all I can really say for now, hope it can help,
Comments for How Can I Come Out of Anxiety ?
(from previous website)
Jun 16, 2016
Big relief from the burden of trying.
Hi Adam, Thank you very much for your valuable reply.It is a big relief from the burden of trying,now I feel little hope.
Jun 17, 2016
The same thing could be said for anger or guilt. Focus on the feeling but allow a separation between you and the feeling. Do not judge or blame yourself for the feeling. Do not tell yourself, 'I shouldn't have this feeling, it is wrong of me.' Instead, let go and trust that your feeling is always right for you at the time. Accept the feeling as what is true for you at the moment. Validate the feeling as right and good. Only then can your feeling have a chance to be felt, develop, reach a crescenfo, then dissolve. It must be held and seen with love though.If there is no acceptance towards the feeling, but self-judgement instead, then you won't be able to reach the door to healing.