Hi, I've been suffering from anxiety for about a year and a half now. I was having horrible thoughts and stomach churning. I know I'm fuelling my anxiety with my need to feel better and I'm getting very impatient.
When I have a good day I then expect the rest to be like that and get very agitated when they are not. I really just want my life back to the way it was. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you, Sandy
Is it possible for you to not identify with the anxiety? I realise the feelings and sensations can be intense, perhaps crippling at times, but is it possible for you to not look for yourself in the feelings, to not take them to be who you are? You are the awareness of anxiety, not the anxiety itself.
Anxiety clearly has a mind of its own. You can not control when it comes or when it goes. All attempts to stop it just make it stronger. I would advise total surrender to the emotion. No resistance whatsoever. Anxiety can not survive in an inner climate such as this.
Anxiety is a form of resistance in itself. The mind that reacts to anxiety is a resistance machine. These things can not survive you being an empty space for them, totally allowing them to be, even welcoming them.
An open, accepting inner environment gives these feelings no food to feed on. They can not stand it. Drop all name calling. Don’t call it anxiety. Don’t identify with the resistive or judgemental thoughts that come with the emotion.
Allow yourself to be uneasy. Allow yourself to be nervous. Allow frustration to arise. Drop the idea that you should not feel this way – since this is resistance.
Adopting this attitude, it becomes more clear that you are the unaffected awareness. Anxiety will weaken by itself if you are to take this attitude of allowance and emptiness, having no preference to whether these feelings come or go.
Even in the presence of anxiety in the body, having an attitude of uncompromising surrender will mean you are immediately free, since you have accepted the emotions in the moment, without mental labeling or identification.
You are far greater than these feelings and thoughts would have you believe. Even the one that suffers the anxiety is part of the illusion - the self image – the “me” inside the mind . The one that suffers anxiety is itself a thought, or a sense of identity – which is also witnessed by the unaffected observer – you.
Only be a silent witness to internal suffering. There is a distinction between suffering and the awareness of suffering. You are the awareness.
Let the ego suffer if it must. It will burn itself out if you practice being the space for the emotion. The space around emotion - in which emotion is perceived - is unaffected by the emotion. Space around emotion does not know anxiety or suffering. It is impersonal space.
Even if the whole body is shaking, let these energies rise to the surface and play out. They are rising into the light of your awareness, and they will soon pass.
Habitually the mind will throw up resistance, which you can allow. Allow everything to arise as it does in the moment. There is no need to take any responsibility for the anxiety. Let it manage itself.
It helps to practice staying rooted within your body. Practice taking your attention within the body and focusing on what you can feel – your legs, arms, breath, torso etc. Only focus on the feeling. Establishing attention here means you will not be swept away by anxiety so easily.
Then when the stomach churning takes place as it may, you can be there simply as a witness to it inside the body - rest your awareness on the feeling, watch it, without letting the emotion rise up into the thinking mind.
It is a paradox that as you allow anxiety and thought to be there, whilst only being a space of awareness, anxiety will weaken without any effort on your part, and your natural peace beneath becomes more apparent.
I am not sure how much of this will resonate with you, but I hope it helps. Do feel free to ask any more questions if you wish, by using the comment link below, or asking a fresh question on the main page.
There is also an individual Skype guidance service on this site if you would find that helpful.
All the best,