Anxiety needs to be looked at without condemnation. I used to try and pretend I was not anxious, or try to hide my feelings of anxiety but that only made it worse. In trying to hide it, we also set up a dishonest situation in ourselves and in the interaction we have with others and life. I used to lie a lot. Trying to keep track of the lies including to whom I’d said what, made me feel very anxious. I didn’t really want anyone to know me. I didn’t know who I was and I suspected that I wasn’t very nice. I preferred to avoid people, especially large, loud groups. I would quietly observe them which made me feel safer, yet more distant, too. I already had the label of “shy” and “learning difficulty”, so adding the label of “socially anxious” was not a big jump. It became something to hide behind. A protection. A facade.
As it turns out, 30 years and a lot of therapy, personal development and energy healing later, I am not at all anxious. I do not have a learning difficulty (apart from the difficulty in not being taught in a way that I understood), I have a learning difference, as I am on the autistic spectrum. I am not shy, I love people and interacting with lots of people all at once is fun for me. I went from INFP on the Myers-Briggs to ENFP.
Actually, I am both introvert and extrovert so I get the best of both worlds.
And, this is the key with anxiety – en training a whole brain approach, which I offer in my transformational programs.
In my work with people with anxiety issues, I have found these typical traits:
told frequently that they are “too” something (intense, uptight, tense, weird, full-on etc)
Anxious people tend to have a larger-than-most capacity for receiving information. By “receiving information”, I refer to a perceptive awareness of individuals’ states of mind – if people are upset or happy, for example. Also, intense physical sensations in the body, such as migraines, may relate to atmospheric fluctuations, such as solar flares. Insomnia, IBS, eczema these biological traits are all related to an unacknowledged capacity in the anxious person to receive environmental information that is “larger-than-most”.
This distinction is important, as anxious people feel different to others. They know that they are different and they are trying not to be. This quashing of awareness creates the symptoms of anxiety – overwhelm, crying, meltdowns, ongoing worry of fearful outcomes, fantasies of destruction and addiction, for example.
So, what can be done?
Here are 10 unusual ways to handle anxiety symptoms holistically:
1. Acknowledge that you are aware of something. Name it. Say it out loud to yourself or to another safe person. Be curious about it. Speak its name. Describe it, even especially if it seems like you could be making it up.
2. Splash your face with cold water. This stimulates the vagus nerve which creates a sense of well-being. Do it regularly and you will begin to retrain your brain away from anxiety.
3. Orgasm. I know it is the opposite of what you feel like, but, again your brain will be filled with oxytocin which is the opposite of anxiety.
4. Take your shoes off and stand on the grass. In your mind’s eye, see all the anxiety being sucked into the Earth and transmuted into energy for plants. Allow yourself to be connected to the ground. Expand your energy field as far as you can envision and then 10 million miles more. What do you notice?
5. Say thank you to your pet. Or pot plant. Or the clouds in the sky. Or the wind that lifts your hair. Or your bed. Or your friend. Or something that you love wholeheartedly and without reservation.
6. Ask yourself what you are aware of. Allow whatever comes into your mind to be there and then just pass through.
7. Lower your barriers. Be alone to begin with. Practice feeling all of the barriers you have up to keep you safe. And then practice letting them down. See what is different. Are you less anxious or more anxious? Ask yourself what it would be like if you had no barriers and nothing to fear?
8. In social situations, experiment with walking around with no barriers. See what changes. This is the exercise that transformed everything for me.
9. Move your body! In any way that feels good. When anxiety strikes we try to be small and nonthreatening. Our body doesn’t like this. Shimmy!
10. Create a playlist of your high-vibe favourite tunes and then play them ☺
Know that you are an extraordinary being, who happens to be human at this time. You are unfathomable and unique. Ultimately unknowable. Stop trying to make yourself fit in, it doesn’t work.
Anxiety can be a springboard to knowing yourself. Anxious feelings are showing you something to be aware of. When you can take a step outside of the reaction to anxiety, you will find another way of being. This takes practice. You can do it if you choose to. How much energy does it take to resist all that you are aware of? What if you didn’t have to resist anything? Who would you be and what else would be possible?
Marina McQueen ~ Holistic Mental Health Mentor. She has worked in many settings, including education. Marina is passionate about supporting people and helping them to reach their fullest wellbeing potential.
You can contact Marina via email here