This article will explain how to deal with anxiety. Awareness and acceptance of anxiety transmute it into inner peace.
- When you are aware of anxiety, there is a separation between you and the emotion.
- When you accept anxiety, the resistive energy of it can not survive for long
Resistance Is Futile
How to deal with anxiety is something I have experience in. Whether you go through periods of extreme anxiety or you just find yourself feeling a bit nervous from time to time, deal with anxiety in the same way.
Let it be. Know that it is ok to feel these feelings. Completely accept that they are there and do not resist them or try to think your way out of them. When you completely accept feelings like this, straight away they become less unbearable. So many of our problems with anxiety come from a resistance to it, thinking about how we do not like the feelings and how we want the feelings to go away. If you let the feeling be, much of the pain you have identified with separates from you.
From this point the anxiety energy may still be inside you, even taking over your thoughts completely. Know that you are the awareness behind the emotion, the awareness behind the anxious thoughts. These thoughts and emotions are not who you are at all. You are that which simply knows they are there. You are the space in which these thoughts and emotions play out, so just be the space for them. Give no sense of self to them, even though the thoughts say "I".
When you can observe anxiety as a certain energy within your field of awareness, you are not part of it any more. You no longer say "I am anxious" or "I am nervous", but rather feel that there is this certain energy within you. This is disidentification from emotion, which removes its power. Do not force the energy/emotion away, just feel it, observe it, be the space for it, and it weakens all by itself.
I can not stress enough the power of acceptance over any negative emotional state. When you completely accept it as it is and do not even desire to change it, it miraculously changes all by itself. It either subsides or may remain for a while longer - yet it this state of acceptance you are free in either case.
Anxiety is a form of resistance. Your nonresistance to it means that this resistance can not take you over, and can not survive for long.
When you feel anxious - know that there is something in you that is enjoying it - this is the pain body. The purpose of your anxiety is to feed the pain body and keep the ego in place. Your awareness and acceptance reverse this.
Imagining "The Future"
Anxiety is some form of negative anticipation of the future. "The future" seems to be so real in your mind - but have you ever noticed how "the future" is just part of your imagination that you call "the future"? Have you also noticed that all of these future thoughts are actually made up of past thoughts? The ego is conditioned by the past and then projects these past thoughts into "future" circumstances - but it is all just an illusion.
Do not give the voice of anxiety any authority. All it does is cause you pain. Do not resist it, just let it be. Just letting it be implies it has no authority over you, and that it is not a threat. In the same way you may see a bird flying across the sky in the distance, just observe your anxiety without trying to interfere with it.
How to deal with anxiety actually requires no effort, just an awareness.
Anxiety may still seem very strong, but just remain in the present moment. Accepting the present moment fully includes all the thoughts and emotions you have within it. Relinquish any belief in controlling your thoughts and emotions. When you surrender and give up your need to control, you actually gain control through transcending what is.
We like to believe that we should be able to stop feeling anything unpleasant through some sort of resistance or interference with our emotions. Strangely, interfering does the opposite - gives our thoughts and emotions strength. Surrender takes their authority and power away.
Step by Step - How To Deal With Anxiety
- Allow yourself to feel anxiety. Know that it is ok to have this emotion. Allow it, give it space to exist. Don't reject or resist or interpret.
- Be crazy and fully allow. If you can accept it as if you had actually chosen it be there, this is ideal.
- Remain surrendered in this way. You may notice that your allowance takes the sting out of any identification, and you are aware that the emotion itself arises in an untouched, peaceful space.
- Anxiety is resistance, and cannot survive in this inner climate of nonresistance. Let it leave when it wishes, it is no longer yours to manipulate.
When you know that this anxiety is just part of your ego or pain body acting out - you can disidentify from it. Do not take it so seriously. Smile at the insanity of it all, completely imagining things yet claiming that it is all so real. Observe and accept, that is all you need to do. This, in my opinion, is how to deal with anxiety most effectively.
For more on how to deal with emotions like anxiety, check out the book: