Anxiety - Is it all in your head?
Updated: Aug 21, 2020
“The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master”
It’s interesting that I chose to write about anxiety this month, as even though it has had an extremely debilitating affect on my life, I have been virtually free of its symptoms for years.
That is up until today, as I sit and wait for my littlest guy to come out of surgery.
That old familiar feeling of the worst case scenario plays out in my head, yet now after years of healing and meditating, I’m gently observing that angst that sits like a queasy jelly wobbling all around my tummy.
Gone is the excessive sweating and shallow breathing, replaced by gentle surrender, acceptance and presence.
However, when feeling into the fear of uncertainty and the what if’s, the discomfort is still present.
Softly realising that those plaguing, worrying thoughts can corrupt even the quietest of minds.
Anxiety is extremely common. We all experience it to some degree.
It seems our own biology can sabotage our bodies and minds. When we feel fear or stress, our bodies are flooded with chemicals that are associated with the fight or flight response. This response once enabled us to run from predators or jump out of the way of falling rocks.
However in today’s world, these kind of dangers aren’t as relevant - yet our bodies still have the same biological reaction to stress.
Anytime we perceive danger, our body reacts the same way it would if our survival were at risk and our fight or flight response is triggered.
The body releases cortisol and adrenaline when someone confronts us, or we are cut off in traffic, or even if we cannot afford to pay our bills on time.
What’s more is our bodies release cortisol and adrenaline whenever we THINK a fearful thought!
So chronic debilitating anxiety results when the fight or flight responses become triggered too easily and too frequently.
So is anxiety just all in your head?
Well it doesn’t feel that way when you’re experiencing it!
Some of the physical symptoms may include - unease, apprehension, palpitations, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, nausea, increased blood pressure and even skin rashes.
Our modern everyday existence is filled with stress and anxiety inducing scenarios, so increased cortisol and adrenaline levels are wreaking havoc on our day to day lives.
They interfere with memory and learning, lowering our immune function and bone density. They cause an increase or extreme decrease in weight, heightened blood pressure, heart disease and they can triggers other mental illnesses and increases the likelihood of depression.
Anyone who suffers from anxiety has a problem with one of our basic human needs and that is certainty.
Certainty - that feeling of internal security, that we know that we can avoid pain and gain pleasure. Those of us that have anxiety are not consciously aware that this basic human need is not being met. Instead feel powerless in our own lives. We feel fear and that causes our body to trigger the fight or flight response that causes the release of cortisol and adrenaline, and when that happens we feel more anxious and the body release more chemicals ....
and so it goes on.
Yet the constant quest to live a life without anxiety - creates more anxiety.
It’s vitally important to radically decide to experience anxiety with acceptance and presence.
Sitting with the emotions and asking “why?”
Anxiety is subject matter rising from the unconscious to the conscious and
anytime it arises it’s something you perhaps didn’t know about your hidden shadowy subconscious self.
Oprah Winfrey said “There is no point in blaming myself for my anxiety, because what I was experiencing was actually a spiritual law. The worries running around my head were nothing more than the natural force of negativity at work, the shadow that lives in all of us trying to convince us of our unworthiness “.
So obviously more knowing, leads to more integration and transmutation of unwanted aspects of yourself.
When you’re truly able to observe your anxiety and accept, you are creating an opportunity to dive deeper into knowing yourself.
Learning to FEEL anxiety and continue to live.
Moving forward WITH your anxiety not despite your anxiety.
Wherever your focus goes your energy flows, so constantly telling yourself you’re feeling anxious creates more anxiety.
Ask yourself if you have very strong expectations for outcomes and seek to come back to the present.
It’s human nature to yearn for certainty and resist change - to want the world to remain consistent. Yet nothing in the human experience remains static.
The unknown is where the magic lies.
Perhaps instead of anxiety - anticipate with curiosity and excitement, as you wonder what is coming in on the shifting winds....
I offer healing holistic processes and a technique to heal old traumatic experiences that could be creating anxiety in your now reality. Also becoming consciously aware of how you perhaps absorbed a stressful and anxiety ridden childhood environment, so being conditioned to this becoming your ‘natural’ state of being.