love, life, and the pursuit of liberation
I suffer from anxiety. It’s not the “can’t leave the house” or “must complete a ritual” type* but it’s highly disruptive and harms me physically. For years, I didn’t realize that the “episodes” I was having were actual anxiety attacks and that my growing list of food intolerances were psychosomatic. Though sometimes my anxiety is triggered by physical stress, way more often it’s induced by mental stress. And here’s the most frustrating part of it all, that mental stress is almost always due to my misperceptions of my self-worth. True, everyone faces deadlines and deliverables and difficult people, but it’s when we internalize it and make those challenges become our beliefs about how deserving or capable we are do we have anxiety.
I can tell the truth and shame the devil by admitting that my anxiety comes from feeling “not good enough” or “disposable” to people. When I let my mind run, all of my negative feelings boil down to those two misperceptions. I’ve grown tired of the stomach pain and panic attacks, and I’ve worked with those closest to me to come up with strategies to beat this because thoughts are illusory and can be changed!
Technique One– The Work by Byron Katie: This approach guides you through asking yourself if your thought is absolutely true, if other possibilities exist for what is happening, and to substitute your negative thought with another positive possibility. These steps are extremely helpful for me because it slows down my thinking and grounds my approach in reality. It also helps me build the habit of positive script-flipping.
Technique Two- Your Friend, Anxiety by Danielle LaPorte: This approach teaches you to embrace your anxiety because it’s a reminder to get clear about the root causes. By peeling back the layers of your anxiety and getting to the true origin of this feeling, you are able to remove the lies you are telling yourself about the present and form new ways of thinking.
Try one and let me know what you think. As always, leave me a note! Even if you haven’t tried one, let me know what you think 🙂
* I am not trivializing these very real and debilitating disorders. Instead, I respect the experiences of others and do not wish to trivialize them by comparing my own to them.