It is interesting to me, and noteworthy to have a bit of a discussion about anxiety. in 12 years in the natural health field, I find it incredible the increase in the number of clients that are coming with anxiety being the number one factor for bringing them in.
It has been estimated that anxiety is now the most common mental illness in the world, even though only about 36% receive treatment. Possibly to avoid the stigma associated with "mental illness" or any number of reasons. Also, symptoms vary from an overall feeling of always needing to "do something", to jitters and heart palpitations, to not being able to participate in public, to many many more. The most harmful statistic I read was that even though many are taking medication, they still feel symptoms!
It is alarming that so many feel anxiety feelings in our world today, which suggests heavily that we need to re-look at our way of living. While certainly nutrition and chemical imbalances play a large part, our conceptualizations hold the largest key to correction. Below are some thoughts I excerpted from my book, "Anxiety Turnaround", including one simple exercise to begin your awareness. It is based solely on my own experience, both with the experience of anxiety to the point of not wanting to leave the house, as well as my work with clients over the past 12 years. As with every source of information, let the seeds of truth take root in your mind that you may transform, and leave those that don't ring true alone. These thoughts, of course, do not replace proper professional attention.
Feel free to comment below and carry on the discussion.
1. YOU ARE NOT DEFECTIVE
While it has never been outrightly spoken, society and the use of medicine and the ease of its availability has seemed to be sending us the message that anxiety is bad, undesirable, something to get rid of, rather than understanding the nature of its presence. As if there is something wrong. There IS something that is currently wrong, or feels currently wrong, but it is not YOU that is wrong. YOU are not defective. The situation is. You don’t have a DISEASE. You have an improper use of a tool. To really blow your mind, I will tell you that the body, however, doesn’t see it as improper. It sees it as proper and necessary and you have been telling it it’s WRONG for doing so. How about we thank the body’s efforts and see why it feels threatened. What is the challenge we haven’t wanted to face? Remember, it is trying to protect you. This is why “getting rid of anxiety” doesn’t work, because it is innate in each of us, like a built in scanner on a computer it is a safety measure, and a necessary one.
2. Anxiety is a Protective Mechanism.
Anxiety is a protective mechanism. It is not something you “shouldn’t have”; it is there innately. It indicates feelings or sensations of danger to self. Problems arise, however, when this is overused, and when the falseness of dangers become seen as a reality. When you next feel anxiety, determine if the danger is theory, fact, or fantasy (most people link fantasy with desirable feelings when really it is simply a conjuring of imagination).
3. Anxiety is a tool
Anxiety is a wonderful TOOL. It is a balance indicator from your less aware mind to your aware and conscious mind. The body was made to feel anxiety and for the mind to know it so that we would be alerted when something was amiss. Problems arise when these feelings of anxiety rule our lives rather than being a guide we can use to live our lives. Rather than avoiding the problem, we become intimately aware of it. We invite it into our lives and get to know it. Knowledge is power. I know. This sounds like the scary part. We want to know about anxiety LESS. But if you know how it feels for you in particular, you can do something about it.
4. AWARENESS OF YOUR PERSONAL FEELINGS
This is How I PERSONALLY Feel. This is how Anxiety affects me.
When it comes to my physical body, I feel it in my…
It feels like (tightness, heat, chills, tension, etc)
If I were to describe the sensations, they feel like….
Without anxiety, I would be/feel….
My life would look like….
5. Anxiety and Fear
Anxiety is a close relative of fear. When it comes down to it, if you look at every reason, worry, excuse, or avoidance, it all comes back to fear. There is a fear behind not doing something. Anxiety is based in worry and feelings of something being not quite right, or missing. If you didn’t have fear, there wouldn’t be anything missing, not measuring up, or amiss.
Discovering what the fear is can be the hard part. I say “can be” because sometimes we hide it from ourselves or don’t want to admit to it. You know in your gut what the fear is, but it’s difficult to bring it out into the light and see that maybe that truly is a culprit.
The question you can ask to help yourself when you feel anxiety is, “What is the worst thing I fear is going to happen?”
Ask yourself, “Is this a real threat, and a danger to my body that I need to pay attention to?”
6. The label, Anxiety, is a disease of irrationality.
It is threats that are felt, as they normally should, but threats are perceived everywhere, and then taken to epic proportions.
Anxiety is not your shadow side, the negative side of you, or your evil twin. It is a protective ally, determined to keep you safe. These protective systems are innate and powerful but like all things, work best in your favor if they are in BALANCE.
7. THE PROCESS IS THE GOAL
The PROCESS is the GOAL, not the end result of “not having anxiety”. You will always have the tool. But you will learn how to use it. Anxiety means you have the opportunity to get strong, allow change and transformation. It is the learning process that is of value. The allowing, the willingness to change, to see a new idea, and transform your life due to this willingness that is what we strive for. This is where the learning happens.
8. HEALTH BEGINS IN THE GUT
I completely believe that every endeavor towards health needs to start in the gut. The gut is largely responsible for your food digestion (which are the nutrients that feed every part of your body and brain), and 60% responsible for your immune system (which defends your body against invaders, some of these being food and the bacteria that came in on your food). Every part of the body that needs to produce something else for the body relies on a healthy gut to do this. For example, the gut is 95% responsible, according to Fit Life TV, for serotonin production. If you want to be happy, get healthy! And it all starts in the gut!
The above is an excerpt from "Anxiety Turnaround", a conceptual process for anxiety.
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