How To Release Anxiety

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by Melody Fletcher on August 14, 2014

 

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Awesome Mekalah’s Burning Question: “I’ve had severe anxiety most of my life and it keeps me from many things. I’m entering my last year of high school and I’m extremely nervous and anxious about it because my school schedule isn’t the way I thought it would be and I’m trying to manifest a car so I have a reliable way to get to and from school. Also after High School, I plan on pursuing an acting career and I’ve decided it is greater than my desire to go to college, so I won’t be going to college. What can I do to make sure that I WILL be successful in my career and how can I eliminate my growing stress about what I’m going to do during school and when I graduate?”

Dear Awesome Mekalah,

Thank you so much for your question. Anxiety is a pretty rampant problem in our society today, so I’m really happy to have the chance to address it in a way you may not have seen before.

What exactly causes anxiety?

While people can be afraid of many, many things, the root cause of anxiety is always that you have a belief, an expectation, that something bad is about to happen. You feel that you are in danger, and your body responds appropriately. Your fight or flight response is engaged, you’re pumped full of adrenaline, and, if you can’t either fight or flee, you feel like you want to rip your skin off.

You see, your reptilian brain, the part of your brain that’s in charge of basic survival, doesn’t know the difference between a fear of being rejected or humiliated and a fear of actually physically being harmed. It classifies all danger as the same – it’s all super bad. “Run!”, it screams at you. And, if you were truly in danger, you would. But then, your Prefrontal Cortex jumps in and argues that you’re not actually in danger. You’re on the subway.  You’re safe. Logically, there’s nothing to worry about. If only someone would tell the lizard mind in charge of your body’s pharmaceutical supply.

Some anxiety is severe, like panic attacks. They can make you feel like a crazy person, totally out of control and even unable to function. Many people suffer silently, holding it together when an episode hits, so no one will know. Others suffer from an ongoing, ever present sense of dread and fear. Anxiety can be situational, meaning that it’s triggered by certain, identifiable events, or it can be general, which is harder to get to the root of. But, no matter how much anxiety you have or how often it hits you, it’s still all about a negative expectation. Bad shit is about to happen, and you’d really rather not be here right now.

Why we’re all scared

There are two reasons why our society is rife with anxiety these days. The first is that we, as a culture, focus so relentlessly on danger. Our news media streams almost exclusively fear-mongering content. We are told not to feel safe. Not mistrusting every stranger that smiles at your kid is considered irresponsible parenting. Walking down the street with keys firmly between your fingers while making a fist, ready to strike any attacker, is pretty much standard for any woman living in a city. And if you eat or drink anything, there’s an army of experts ready to inform you of how you’re almost certainly going to die soon. If the hamburgers don’t get you, the latest epidemic will.

We’re led to believe that every time we get on a plane, we’re taking our lives into our own hands. Even though thousands of planes take off and land every day without incident. Our kids are almost certainly going to get molested or run over if we fail to keep an eye on them at all times. Bad people are everywhere. In fact, pretty much any stranger is probably bad. The guy driving the car next to you? He’s just waiting for a chance to cut you off, go postal and cause an accident. And if they’re not evil, they’re dangerously stupid. Yep, those idiots will inadvertently get you or your loved ones hurt or killed.

In short, we are being told, over and over again, that we are in danger. We should fear everything – technology, food, nature, and most especially, each other. No wonder we’re all so afraid.

But, there’s also a second reason that anxiety has become such a huge issue: our willingness to put up with it. If a situation causes us to become afraid, we’re much more likely than ever to just stay put. We don’t want to be weird, or offend anyone, or to miss out. We might look bad, be embarrassed or get fired. If you leave the subway because you’re feeling like you’re going to get crushed in a tiny metal tube, you’ll be late for work. So you stay and clench your teeth. You stay late at a job you hate because you want that promotion. You still won’t like the job, but at least you’ll get paid more. You even go to that family dinner that makes you want to rip your hair out so that you won’t offend your relatives. You know, the ones who don’t understand boundaries and still tease you about that time when you wet the bed (you were 5).

Your body may be telling you to flee, but your logical mind tells you to stay. And so, you do. The resulting discomfort, no matter how painful, is just something you have to put up with. In fact, many people pride themselves on their ability to handle a lot of pain and fear. We look down on those who snap and can’t take it anymore, those who freak out, those who actually leave the situation, and those who rebel. And when it all becomes too much to handle, we take medications to help us numb the fear.

We have resigned ourselves to the fact that life is scary and that there’s nothing we can do about it. Because of this, many people who suffer from anxiety are met with contempt. They’re just too weak to handle life (which is hard and scary). It’s also why we feel the need to defend ourselves, become so easily offended, and stockpile guns. We’re seeing evidence of this fear all over the news. Oh, and just to make the list complete, this overriding fear also has a lot to do with the obesity epidemic. Yeah, fear’s kind of a big deal these days.

What’s your set point?

Now that we understand the two main root causes of our society’s anxiety culture, we can start to look at real solutions. As you may imagine, I’m not a big proponent of the “just put up with it” paradigm, nor am I a big supporter of medication (although I do think it can be useful in some cases, when used as a temporary tool, and only along with therapy or other forms of inner work).

The solution to anxiety has to be more holistic than that. If you’re having panic attacks in the subway, you’re not just claustrophobic. And labeling yourself as such in an attempt to explain your fear while also allowing you to simply put up with it isn’t helpful (as in, “there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m claustrophobic”). If a loud noise can send you over the edge, the noise isn’t the problem. The issue is with your normal set point of fear – the amount of underlying anxiety that’s present throughout the day. If you’re always pumped full of adrenalin, a small shot of surprise or shock can send you over the edge.

So, if you’re suffering from anxiety, you’re not going to get much relief if you’re looking for one issue, one fear, one trigger. You’re going to need to take a look at your life and how you show up in it. Basically, the problem lies in how you see yourself and how you relate to the world around you. You likely have a whole host of negative expectations around your own ability to navigate reality, as well as how much power others have over you. Get rid of the underlying fears, lower the set point, and you’ll automatically decrease or eliminate the panic attacks.

But, how do we do that?

Releasing anxiety

This is the solution that many people don’t want to hear. It’s not a pill. It can’t be done in an afternoon. And it can’t be farmed out to someone else. You actually have to do the work yourself, with yourself, and yes, some of it will be uncomfortable. You’re going to have to make some changes in your life. But, considering that you’re probably already making changes – you may well be limiting your movements or experiences in an attempt to avoid triggers, this is an effort worth making.

Although anxiety is a holistic issue, there is often one area of life that’s causing most of the damage. For most people, this area will be either work or family (or both). In your case it may be school and or/family. Sufferers of anxiety feel trapped. There’s something in their lives that they don’t like that doesn’t feel good, but they feel they can’t get away from it. In your case, when the fear is about the future, the cause of the anxiety is the assumption that the situation you’re going to face will feel bad. You’re not going to get what you want. The greater your desire for what you want, the greater the fear.

Fear of the future is much easier to address than fears caused by being trapped, but I’ll address both.

Feeling trapped

When you feel trapped in a situation that doesn’t feel good, like a sucky job that you can’t quit because then how would your family eat, or aging parents that need you to take care of them but who make it hard for you to do so, it leads to stress. This stress turns into anxiety after a while. If you want to feel better, you’ll have to take a good, hard look at how you actually feel and what you’re assuming about your options.

Step 1 – First, you’ll want to acknowledge how you feel. This is often a very difficult step for people. Admitting that they hate their jobs or are overburdened by family can be hard, especially if they don’t think there’s anything they can do about it. Don’t worry about the solution at this point. Just acknowledge what feels bad and why. Let’s use the example of “I hate my job”. Often, simply admitting that you loathe your career or that your marriage was over years ago will bring a huge flood of relief.

Step 2 – Figure out what you want instead. Again, don’t worry about how you might get what you want. Trying to figure that out at this point will shut down the whole process, so stay away from that. Just figure out what you want. For example, “I want a job that excites me, a boss that appreciates me, awesome co-workers, reasonable hours and great pay.” By activating the energy of what you want, you accelerate the process of shifting and feeling better.

Step 3 – ASSUME that there’s a way for you to get what you want. This requires you to stop being so damn realistic for just a minute. What if there is a way for you to get what you want, only you just don’t know what it is? Recognize that just because you can’t see a path, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Allow yourself to fantasize (visualize) you already having what you want and how that would feel. This step ensures that you won’t shut down the energy flow you’re creating.

Step 4 – Eliminate the stressors to the best of your ability. And yes, it’s ok to start small. ANY action will bring relief. For example, you may have the realization that you have to quit your job, but that’s just not an option right now. In fact, going to an interview scares you too much for you to consider it right now. That’s ok. But it doesn’t mean that you have to leave everything just as it is. Think of small things you can do or quit doing that will bring you relief.

For example, you may want to start walking after work, which will help move energy through your body, release adrenaline and help you get more clarity on your situation. You may have the realization that you could work from home some of the time, which feels like massive relief. Journaling daily can bring relief and clarity. Making an effort to get outside into nature every weekend can help, or taking more time to go out with friends. Remember that any step you take doesn’t have to fix the whole issue. You’re taking baby steps that will add up quickly to get you out of your self-imposed prison. The more positive energy you activate, the better you’ll feel (i.e. less fear), and the easier it will be to receive the big solution (new, awesome job). Oh, and don’t underestimate the impact that TV and the media can have on your life. Consider cutting out both, even for a while, and see what happens.

Step 5 – Set boundaries. Most problems with this type of anxiety comes from not setting boundaries. If you’re doing more for other people than yourself, if you’re depleting yourself and not letting others be responsible for their own lives and wellbeing, you’re not going to feel very good. Honor and value yourself at least as much as you honor and value them. Take care of yourself. Stop doing things you don’t want to do (yes, even small changes at first will help you build momentum), and give yourself permission to do what brings relief (like taking a nap, staying home all weekend to recharge, etc.). Recognize these activities as ones that make you feel better (and not as signs that you’re lazy), and know that as you do feel better and better, your relief bringing activities will change. You will become more energetic and social down the line. Right now, just do what you have to do to feel better.

And remember, this is a process. It won’t happen in a day, but these changes will add up, and often quickly. You’ll feel better and better and you’ll be taking actions in small, manageable steps, without becoming overwhelmed.

Fear of the future

Anxiety caused by fear of the future is actually easier to address.

Step 1 – First (always), you’ll want to acknowledge how you feel and what you’re afraid of. You have an expectation that things will go badly somehow. What is it that you’re really worried about? For example, you may be afraid that you’ll be overwhelmed by your schedule this year, that you won’t have any fun, and that you won’t succeed at acting. If you need help figuring out what you’re afraid of, just freely visualize your future and see what your mind shows you. Notice what’s going wrong. That’s what you’re focusing on.

Step 2 – Figure out what you want instead. Again, don’t worry about HOW you might get what you want. See yourself having fun at school, enjoying your classes and easily handling the study load. If that vision feels weird, don’t worry about it. This is simply a sign that you haven’t been focusing on what you want, and that you have a habit of doing the opposite. Keep visualizing and you’ll feel better soon. The more you practice this vision, the easier it will get and the better you’ll feel. Your anxiety is caused by your regular focus on what you don’t want. You’ll want to give your new vision enough air time to negate the old story. The same goes for the goal of acting. See yourself already successful and get into the feeling of it. Don’t worry about how that came about, but choose to believe that it WILL happen.

Step 3 – ASSUME that what is happening now is actually taking you closer to what you want, even if it’s not apparent how that might happen. For example, you may not have gotten the classes you wanted, but why not choose to take that as a good thing? Perhaps the classes you did get will be much more fun. Maybe the professors will be much more interesting. Assume that the new schedule will actually be BETTER for you somehow, and look forward to figuring out just how that is. Again, you may need to practice this stance for a bit before it becomes more natural. But this is actually a great perspective to hold when anything happens. It keeps you open to receiving what you want. Also, everything IS always happening FOR you, but you have to be willing to see it as such.

Step 4 – Follow the bread crumbs. As you continue to line up with the energy of what you want, opportunities to take inspired action will open up. Follow them. If you hear of a play that you want to go to, go. Even if you can’t find anyone to go with you. Allow the path to what you want to line up, and when it does, don’t just sit there and ignore it. This will not only get even more energy going in the direction of what you want, but it will actually make you feel more in control and more hopeful that what you want is actually on its way.

Choose to believe that you can get what you want, that you are always being led to it (because you totally are!), and that everything that happens to you is in support of that somehow. In other words, create an open and positive expectation to replace the negative expectation that’s been causing your fear.

Bottom line

Anxiety, at its core, is a message that what you are focusing on, on a very regular basis, is not serving you. It can also be a sign that you are holding yourself in a situation that doesn’t feel good for some reason that seems valid, but isn’t. If your fear is about the future, the solution is really all about training yourself to focus positively. By doing so, you’re automatically shifting all the underlying beliefs, such as unworthiness (if you see yourself getting what you want, the worthiness is implied).

If you have general anxiety, you’ll have to gently dig a bit deeper. The fear is still caused by your focus on things that aren’t serving you, but it’s never just one belief. You’ll want to incrementally soothe yourself and eliminate stressors from your life. You’ll want to learn to set boundaries, be kinder to yourself, and honor what you actually want, instead of just taking care of others at your expense. As you step more and more into your power, you’ll find your anxiety dissipating.

I can tell you from personal experience that this works. I did, for a time, have panic attacks on a fairly regular basis. My general anxiety set point was so high that it took very little to tip me over the edge. After doing some conscious work on myself, the attacks stopped and my anxiety decreased. Then one day, I noticed that even something scary (like someone jumping out at me), didn’t have the same effect on me. My set point had decreased so much that it actually took A LOT to get my body to have an adrenaline response. I was Zen as could be, which allowed me to react to ANY stressor in a much calmer manner. Now, fear no longer feels like anxiety, but much more like reluctance. I’m so far from the edge, it would take actual physical danger to tip me over it (which is how it’s supposed to be). In other words, my adrenal glands rarely get a workout anymore. And I’ve seen the same results in people I’ve worked with.

Taking a holistic approach to anxiety may seem like it’s more work, and it does take some time, but ultimately, it’s worth it. It is possible to release anxiety for good.

Have you overcome anxiety? Why not share your own experiences and techniques in the comments!

{ 46 comments }

kelli August 14, 2014 at 23:48

Hey Melody
OMG…amazing post that I know I will be coming back to again and again. I have gotten better with my anxiety over the years. In the last several months I have made major shifts LOA-wise, and it’s amazing. But, I have now noticed this anxiety coming up about things being ‘too good’ and worrying something bad is going to happen to ‘balance things out’ though I know that is not how it really works. This is exactly what I needed!
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Moonsparkle August 15, 2014 at 00:19

Thank you for the post, Melody and thanks to Mekalah for asking the question. :) I have general anxiety and health anxiety.

Do you have any tips for releasing health anxiety? I think that mine started from seeing people around me with cancer when I was young, a few people I knew died of it (including my grandad). I have OCD as well and it gets caught up with that.
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Summer Starr August 15, 2014 at 00:52

Melody, how do you know exactly what to post exactly when I need it? lol

I know that stuck feeling all too well. I’ve been feeling it for some time, but the anxiety from it has been getting worse lately. I have been working on being abundant in all areas, and I feel pretty good about my relationships, my health, and my spirituality. And I’ve become REALLY good at setting boundaries now. :)

It’s still that pesky money/job issue that is getting to me. Although, I do feel anxious about it, there is a part of me that is actually pretty excited that this is the last puzzle piece. If I got to where I wanted to go in those areas, I know that I can get there in this one last area. I will just keep going until I get there. :)
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Ophelia August 15, 2014 at 01:18

This is exactly the topic and post I needed today. I think it was for me… ;)

Amy August 15, 2014 at 02:37

Melody,

Oh my God! Now I have no doubt that LOA is real! I needed this post right now. I’ve always been anxious, but for the past few days I’ve been horribly scared, to the point where just making it out the door is an issue. It’s an old fear I got over years ago, but it’s resurfaced now. The fear is of stepping down curbs. I know it’s strange, but I get really anxious about it. Also I’ve always been afraid of uneven surfaces and steps without railings. I hate dizziness, but I have manifested a lot of it within the past four days. I’m dizzy when I’m walking in my neighborhood that I’ve been familiar with for months. I’m even afraid to walk in my own driveway, which has a steep slope and ledge. I’ve been having horrible thoughts such as, “I wish I were in jail or in a wheelchair to solve my problems.” But I know that’s not what I want. It’s also this fear of walking outside alone. I’m blind and a teenager, so I don’t have much experience with it. Do you have any additional tips for me? Anyway, Thanks So Much for the post! I’ve been at a very low vibration all week, and need to shift my energy, but I can’t do it alone.

Just Call Me A. August 15, 2014 at 03:29

This topic came up again, Melody. You had written about it in the past as well. It is very prevalent in our society. Indeed, using the anxiety as an indicator to point you in the direction of the things not serving you is the way to go. Also, the constant beating up of yourself will also lead to anxiety. How else is the poor body to react. It is like, dude, ease up already, I can’t function this way. And it shuts down. This is known as depersonalization and it is an extreme symptom and pretty scary.

Once I started respecting myself again, figured out what I was doing, focused on things that made me feel good including being in nature and even hugging trees what it got bad, got perspective that what I did and did not do in the past was not bad, as I thought I missed the bus as mentioned in a previous post recently, then my body started to function normally again.

No pills. Cognitive behavioral therapy did not work at all, as all we did was re-hash. I also stopped eating sweets regularly and just have an occasional sweet here and there.

Mariana Galvagno August 15, 2014 at 03:32

This article has been really helpful and I want to say that Im with Moonsparkle on this one. Ive experienced two panick attacks, one of them Future Related (I was travelling by plane with my two small children, alone) and the other related to Health Issues. This is the one which worries me most. I think using the tips in the Future Related Anxiety could do, what do you think? Thanks a mil!
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Moonsparkle August 19, 2014 at 16:26

Sorry to hear you also have anxiety, Mariana. I’ll re-read the Future Related Anxiety tips and see if I can apply them to my health anxiety. :)
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SK August 15, 2014 at 05:09

another way to help reduce stress and anxiety.

simple.ology

Larra August 15, 2014 at 05:49

Anxiety has always been a big deal to me. Since I have been practicing LOA, I’ve noticed a great decrease in how much I feel it. I used to go into a panic when someone took too long to answer a text. Now I only seem to get it when I ask someone something important, like in a job interview, or anytime I ever asked my old boss anything. I deeply fear anger. I don’t like being around anyone that is mad, I especially hate it when someone is mad at me. This is a big one I have yet to find a solution to. Leaving the room does not help one bit. I think all my issues with anxiety revolve solely around this. Has anyone found a solution to anythibg similar?

Cordy August 15, 2014 at 06:29

I think this is a huge thing, the fear of anger (in self and in others), and I think a lot of women especially have been gradually socialized to basically equate anger with (metaphorical or literal) death. If someone is mad at you, you might get kicked out of the tribe and eaten by a tiger! If you’re mad at someone, you can’t show it, because drama=eaten by a tiger. Well, there’s a neat little trap. Have to care desperately that others are mad at you, but can’t allow your own healing anger. No wonder we’re balls of anxiety, right?

I’m not sure there’s a fast answer. I think there’s just a slow moving through challenging your own beliefs as you find them. I’ve found asking “why? why? why?” helpful. I hate when someone is mad at me. Why? Because I hate how it feels to know that they’re mad at me. So why does it feel so bad to know that someone is mad? Because I am required to care deeply about it. Why do I have to care? Where does that rule come from? What will happen if you stop caring? Um… Hmmm, good point. I guess because I secretly believe that if I stop caring what other people think, something terrible will happen, like the apocalypse. Hmmm. So I believe that me caring what other people think and striving to please them and keep them happy (even though I know from experience that this isn’t even possible!) is what holds people and relationships together, and that if we all stopped caring so much about what other people think, we’d fracture apart? Well, that’s just crazy. As soon as the light hits it, I can begin to see (although maybe not yet to apply) that that’s a nutty notion I don’t want to buy into any longer.

The more I understand that I don’t need to please other people or care what they think (that is, the more I REALLY get this, instead of paying lip service to it), the more I am gradually able to handle the idea of being angry, the feeling of being angry, and even anger in others. But for me this is a really big lifelong thing, so it’s not an overnight shift.

It’s simple, but not easy. I think it’s a process!

Larra August 15, 2014 at 06:58

Thank you for your reply! Worrying with what others will think of me is a big issue that I have been trying to get over. Social anxiety is something I’ve addressed and been trying to release for a few years now. I think it’s also rooting in my fear of anger. I can’t seem to understand why I care. I feel like it’s lost deep in my childhood, primarily revolving around my mother. I don’t understand why it’s so hard for me to talk to people that I really want to talk to. If this conversation was taking place in person I would be a ball of nerves. Why? I have no idea. The second someone I don’t know, or someone I respect addresses me, it falls into my stomach like I just swallowed a brick. And I either cannot think of anything to say other than simple responses, or I cry. I cry when I’m mad, I cry when I’m scared. I immediately start crying if someone is mad at me. It’s embarrassing, especially when people call me out on it. But it’s also almost impossible to talk.
I’ve been trying not to talk about it, I want to fix it, not draw attention to it. But I’ve accepted that this is a part of my I cannot figure out how to control on my own. Naturally, I want to apologize to you for posting such a long and extended reply. But I sincerely seek your guidance if you have any answers for me.

Cordy August 15, 2014 at 07:34

I am not an expert, so this is just my understanding of my own stuff. I think a lot of us, in childhood, got shut down emotionally by adults. If you buy into the “other peoples’ emotions are my responsibility” paradigm, seeing someone else, like your child, go through intense emotions like anger can be really, really uncomfortable. So well-meaning adults tell little kids to shut down their tantrum or “whining” or whatever, and the child decides that feeling strong negative emotion is bad and wrong.

But life automatically generates those feelings in you, especially when you’re feeling hopeless or powerless or disappointed (feelings you have a lot of opportunity to experience as a small child!) so then I think many of us get “stuck” in a loop of emotion where something happens that makes us feel bad, our bodies naturally try to go into anger (which is power-giving and moves you out of the despair), but we’ve so strongly internalized that anger is bad that we shut the feeling down, stay in despair, AND then conclude on a deep level that we’re probably bad people for feeling such bad emotions. Plus we have an additional package of crazy to do with still being responsible for how other people feel – so we wind up feeling like we’re slinking around all the time, desperately trying to please people (who, because of LOA, are unlikely to be able to be fully pleased by us when we’re in that place!) and it goes around and around as we try not to feel “bad feelings” and try to please others who are not all that pleased, and definitely if we were better people – etc etc.

I totally relate to what you’re saying about nerves, anxiety, crying, all of it. I don’t want to label anything you’re feeling, but for myself, I look back (I am feeling better these days, although there’s a ways to go!) and see that basically my body had become a pressure cooker I kept jamming negative feelings into and then slamming a lid on, and then resenting and blaming for feeling like a tank full of anxiety/panic/despair, because if I was just a stronger, better, more focused person, I would clearly be able to feel better through sheer force of will. I think I was just a swirl of emotions I couldn’t really understand or process for information all of the time, because throughout life I had come to the conclusion that “feeling bad things” was the same as “being a bad person” – as well as concluding that I was responsible for managing everyone else’s feelings 24/7. (Insanity! Where do we get this stuff, right?) So, complex and difficult to unravel, and insisting to ourselves that we’re bad people for not being able to will our way out of the problem just adds to the momentum.

A couple of ideas for you:

1) I got a lot of initial relief by doing a variant of meditation where I sat in silence and waited for body sensations to emerge, and then just sitting with those feelings. It was really, really, REALLY hard for me at first to just sit and experience the physical sensation of anxiety, which I was used to shoving away or trying to ignore. (Like I felt that if I actually just let it happen, I might die. Spoiler: I did not die.) But after just a day or three of trying this in 10 minute blocks, things started to shift emotionally. I started to realize that I could allow the feeling of body sensation/emotion without something terrible happening, and in fact, if I allowed the feeling of anxiety to happen in a compassionate way (greeting the feeling, telling the feeling I wasn’t going to get rid of it, allowing that it had a right to exist in my body – eventually telling it that I understood that it was trying to help me), it would fade and shift. And even if it didn’t, I definitely did not die, so it allowed me to start to think, okay, hold on, maybe I can actually allow myself to feel these emotional sensations as they come instead of trying to control them.

2) Contemplate that maybe it’s okay to feel how you feel. What if all feelings are okay? What if you are no more supposed to “control your feelings” (behavior, sure, feelings? No way.) than you are supposed to “control your immune response” or something? Whatever you feel is what you feel. You can’t shame yourself out of it or will yourself into something else. Thinking of it as a biochemical response, as information, is helpful to me. I am not “making” myself anxious, and I cannot somehow will myself out of it. I can change how I focus on things, yes, and over time I will feel less and less anxiety, but in the moment where you’re feeling the knot in your chest, that’s just how you feel. It’s okay that you feel that way. You’re not a terrible weak person for feeling negative body sensation. All feelings=okay. I mean, would we really beat ourselves up so much about other kinds of body information, like “I’m feeling really warm, it’s too hot in here”? No, we’d open a window or take off a sweater, not just sit and sweat and insist that we could be not-overheated if we just try harder. But that is what we do with our emotions (at least I have done so), deny that they are valid, or even have a right to exist, let alone acknowledge that they contain valuable information, or that they are guidance to get us where we want to go.

3) The above two steps took me about a year, and that was after multiple years of studying LOA – I think I had a lot of deprogramming to do first, and/or I am a slow – ahem, deliberate! – learner? I mention time not to discourage but just to say, you know, I think for some of us this stuff just takes longer in the beginning, and that’s probably okay. But recently, I have been opening myself to the idea that it’s okay for me to actually feel angry. It was really scary to even look at this idea at first, which was a clue about how much of an issue this apparently still was. So I just softly meditated on it and thought “Self, I am willing to feel anger. I’m willing to try it. I’m scared, but I’m willing to give it a shot.” And indeed, life has slowly been presenting me with opportunities to feel anger. Nothing giant and scary. Just little stuff. Little, low-stakes opportunities for me to feel my anger. It’s very much an ongoing thing I’m still in the middle of. And it’s not like I’m actually fighting with people, it’s more like I’m allowing those internal bursts of grumbling and resentment to actually come up, instead of shoving them away. And for the first time I am starting to be able to see that anger really is a healing, powerful emotion that naturally lifts you into a higher vibration, and not just a terrible emotion you only experience if you are a terrible person, or whatever.

PS – I have been through many iterations of the “don’t talk about it, don’t draw attention to it” thing, and come to the conclusion that (for myself), there’s a difference between something that is new and doesn’t have much momentum and is annoying, and something that is big and deep and comes up a lot. A thing that doesn’t have much momentum seems to easily dissipate if I cease focusing on it, but the kind of thing that is very powerful and active seems to need some digging in and unpacking before I can shift it. So if this is an issue that comes up frequently for you, might it be a signal from your inner self that this is the thing you next want to clean up so you can move forward on your path?

I hope you find some answers that really resonate for you!

Edelweiss August 15, 2014 at 14:05

Thank you so much for this, Cordy. Your advice is brilliant.

Yemi August 15, 2014 at 16:31

Beautifully written Cordy!

John August 15, 2014 at 17:28

Wonderful insights and awesome writing, Cordy! You have a talent for written expression!

MovingMeta August 15, 2014 at 18:57

Nice comment there. It’s interesting because what you are speaking of is essentially mindfulness. Just being mindful of the feelings and accepting that they are there. This is getting some attention in regular psychology. There is a form of therapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT.) Unlike the other common ones such as cognitive behavioral therapy or rational emotive therapy, it does not focus on changing the anxious thoughts when they come up. It instead focusses on just accepting them, riding the waves and being mindful of them.

Karen August 15, 2014 at 20:40
Larra August 15, 2014 at 21:58

Thank you for your suggestions! I will try and implement them into my meditations!

Moonsparkle September 11, 2014 at 23:04

I just read this now. Thank you for the advice, Cordy. :)
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Susheel September 20, 2014 at 08:49

Wow Cordy, that was great advice! Where is your blog? I would love to read your insights! Thanks a lot! :)

Brian August 15, 2014 at 21:02

Hey Larra,

”I deeply fear anger.”

To give you a different perspective, replace the word “fear” with “expect” or “believe I will attract/receive”.

”Worrying with what others will think of me is a big issue that I have been trying to get over.”

You would only care what others think of you when you do not care as much of what you think about yourself.??

You care about the opinion of others and allow others to define you when you don’t fully know, love and accept who you are.??

“Social anxiety is something I’ve addressed and been trying to release for a few years now.”

People only ever hold on to a limiting belief because it helps them in some way.??

So, lets magnify the limiting belief to get a closer look:??

What is the worst thing you think would happen if you were socially calm and relaxed?

What is the worst thing you believe would happen if you no longer cared what other people thought of you?

“The second someone I don’t know, or someone I respect addresses me, it falls into my stomach like I just swallowed a brick. And I either cannot think of anything to say other than simple responses…”

Because it’s very unlikely you will be judged for simply responses. It’s the specifics of being authentic to who you are is what you are afraid people won’t approve of.

“I cry when I’m mad, I cry when I’m scared. I immediately start crying if someone is mad at me.”

You may cry as a defense mechanism, in hopes that your crying will stop someone from being angry at you.??

So, subconsciously, you prefer to cry rather than have someone be mad at you.

If that is the case, crying is of benefit to you (the lesser of two evils), which is why you continue the behavior.

Larra August 15, 2014 at 22:00

Thank you! That made me realize a few things. Especially the crying thing.

Just Call Me A. August 16, 2014 at 15:36

Brian,

Could this be true when crying is a reflex, a response to pain of sorts, if you will? Would that not be how one would react to the circumstances or to immediately release tension? It does not necessarily have to be a defense mechanism. When someone explodes at someone else, a good release of the energy coming towards the person is the shedding tears. This was also explained in the Abe forum- it is a needed release.

I know each case needs to be looked into individually, but this is also a point.

Just Call Me A. August 16, 2014 at 15:42

The release of energy is important. In LOA, it is said that obesity is stored energy and the holding on of it and not releasing it. I do not remember the source of this, exactly. Finding ways to release it and use it is a way to stay fit, maintain balance and well-being. We just need to figure out these ways that work for each of us.

Brian August 16, 2014 at 20:19

Hey A,

”Could this be true when crying is a reflex, a response to pain of sorts, if you will? Would that not be how one would react to the circumstances or to immediately release tension? It does not necessarily have to be a defense mechanism.”

Yes, it can help be a release.

With Larra’s particular situation, it appears she may use crying as a way to stop people from being angry with her. So she may be using crying as a way of stopping anger, and thus stopping further pain, as well as a release.

“When someone explodes at someone else, a good release of the energy coming towards the person is the shedding tears.”

I agree that is one way of releasing the energy.

Also understand though, that at the core, you would only have a desire to release the energy because you have accepted it and invited that energy in.??

As you focus on raising your vibration and focus on feeling good and being in alignment, you have less of a desire to cry in response to lower energy because you do not feel negatively affected by the lower energy, and so you do not have negative energy to release yourself from.

”it is said that obesity is stored energy and the holding on of it and not releasing it.”

It is stored energy that originated from a limiting belief(s) the individual has. As they begin to release the limiting belief they are holding on to, so to will the weight be released because it no longer serves a purpose.

?I believe it was Bashar, and/or possibly Abraham, that someone with “weight” is “waiting” on living their life; “waiting” on being their true selves.

Just Call Me A. August 16, 2014 at 23:15

Limiting beliefs really block the flow, don’t they? It is “funny” that most of them are not even ours to begin with, yet we make them so anyway.

Raising vibration is the answer. Kryon recently said that the overall vibe is already raised at a higher level than expected at this point in “time”, thus major calamities that were prophesied according to past vibration did not happen. I imagine there is still some way to go if the overall vibe is raised; yet I do feel it. It can still be so much better, though. It can get tough maintaining the personal vibe, as long as we continue to do it when veering off, which does happen, but we need to make it temporary and raise it. it is best when this naturally happens, when we do not consciously try to do it, because it does not even work that way.

Just Call Me A. August 16, 2014 at 23:26

Oh, by the way, Brian, what would exactly constitute a miracle? This is on my mind. Is it when the belief has greater power over the circumstances and situation and, henceforth, comes forth? What is your take on this?

Brian August 17, 2014 at 21:18

Abraham Hicks 2014 – What Is A Miracle?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVRC_lEKa-w

“Is it when the belief has greater power over the circumstances and situation and, henceforth, comes forth?”

If this was the case, the person with the belief would not view what happened as a “miracle” (as defined as being unexpected) if they truly believed it would happen–They would simply view their belief manifesting as very normal.

As Abraham calls it, “the next logical step.”

Also, let’s say someone needs help at the 11th hour and they give up and accept their fate.??

In that instance, they finally give up offering resistance to their natural well-being and they allow what they want to come to them.??

People may consider that to be a miracle, when it is simply just the natural well-being that is flowing to and through us all the time, only allowed in at the last second.??

They could have received what they wanted much earlier, but they resisted the solutions and well-being so they did not allow themselves to receive what they wanted.

Leeann August 15, 2014 at 07:31

Thank you for this amazing post. ! I already feel better after reading it. Everyone’s comments are very helpful!
I am struggling with Feeling “as if I already am what I want to be”, every time I try to feel as if I have my dream job and I am living independently, I feel a bit down, for some reason I don’t know how that feels like! Or I am not able to access those emotions. I know as mentioned in the article, it is because I have been focusing on thoughts that do not serve me for a really long time, but I am still stuck. Any tips on this?

Brian August 16, 2014 at 05:31

Hey Leeann,

“I am struggling with Feeling “as if I already am what I want to be”, every time I try to feel as if I have my dream job and I am living independently, I feel a bit down, for some reason I don’t know how that feels like! Or I am not able to access those emotions.”

I recommend you read “Ask and It Is Given” by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

On page 114, they show you the Emotional Guidance Scale, which is all of the emotions ranging from 1 – 22 in terms of their higher and lower vibrational frequencies.??

When you are on a lower frequency, you do not have access to higher frequency emotions.??

For example, if you are depressed, you do not have access to happiness. But, you do have access to anger (which feels better than depression). And then from anger, you can reach for feeling blame, then frustration, then pessimism, doubt, boredom, hopeful and then happiness.

It’s about soothing yourself, finding relief with where you are right now and reaching for the next best feeling thought you have access to (which is about 3 – 4 emotions above where you currently are).??

In “Ask and It Is Given” Abraham helps guide you to going up the Emotional Guidance Scale to reach for better feeling thoughts.?? Then when you feel better, it will be easier for you to focus on what you want and feel you already have it.

In addition, your primary focus is on feeling good, and focusing on being in alignment. And you don’t have to feel good about what you want in order to allow it into your life, you simply want to feel good.

When you feel good (on any subject that feels good), you allow what you want to come into your life.

When you don’t feel good, you offer resistance.

Also, go general with your thoughts. When you focus on specifics too soon, you can introduce resistance. So, by going general with your thoughts, it’s easer to feel good.

Specific: “I already live in this specific house” and “I have this specific dream job.”

General: “If I had to choose between love and fear: I choose love.”
“I prefer the feeling of love rather than fear.”
“I like feeling peace rather than stress.”
“I like feeling independent.”
“I like the feeling of freedom.”
“I prefer feeling freedom rather than bondage.”
“I enjoying having a place of my own.”
“I enjoy having a job I enjoy.”
“I appreciate working with fun co-workers.”
“I like doing what I am passionate about.”
“It feels good to work with people who care about me.”
“I appreciate feeling loved at work.”
“I appreciate doing what I love at work.”
“I love having a job I love.”

It may be too much to say “I am”, so start with “I want to feel…” and follow it up with a general thought, and you can gradually get more specific as long as it still feels good, to ease you into the emotions you want to feel.

Leeann August 20, 2014 at 16:44

Can’t thank you enough Brian!! I am going to read the book… Your advice made things simple and accessible rather than a challenging! I reread your comment several times and I will refer to it further on…
Thanks again !

Seren August 15, 2014 at 11:30

Hi Melody, thanks for the amazing article. I’m sitting over here at my computer laughing my ass off, because just yesterday I said “I want to believe LOA is a real thing but it’s so hard to get past all my fear and anxiety to see that I can influence my life”, then you posted this! I guess I got the proof I wanted :) and the article is super useful too, just as I was afraid I wouldn’t find anything that could actually help me with my anxiety. Thanks Melody!

Blessed be,
Seren

A August 15, 2014 at 12:35

Another great post, but for some reason I am not connecting with your posts lately Melody….I look forward to them and when I read them it doesn’t really have much relevance to my life and I feel a bit disappointed. Which I am finding odd because I have avidly devoured all your archives and learned so much in the last few months. Maybe my expectations are too high?! Well I have lots to ruminate on anyway :)

Isabel August 15, 2014 at 12:36

I’ve dealt with extreme ansiety too, massive OCD that was triggered by a health situation in my childhood that made me feel like I had no control over my life. I went years trying to soften its compulsions and obsessions, but what was the pivotal point for me was descovering the principles of the LOA. By that time I had the compulsions (physical behaviour) well controlled/disguised, but my obsessions (mental behaviour) were still in full force. With the LOA I started to learn that I had control over what came into my life, and although this was hard to believe at first, as the months passed by, this new belief strenghtened inside and opened a door that allowed me to be made aware of other supporting beliefs, and I slowly but steadily started to substitute my fear draining beliefs for energising and uplifting “you control your life and destiny” beliefs. It’s still a process, and it has taken years to completely change my former beliefs (I did it almost accidentaly, that’s why it took so long, now I know how to deliberately change my beliefs, and in about 3 months I have a new supporting belief), but the knowledge I have now and can share and teach others is invaluable! So, for anyone with OCD, this can be an incredible opportunity to discover your mind and actually have an advantage, because you are MORE THAN CAPABLE of a very strong, powerful FOCUS, you just have to direct it towards what you want! :)

Moonsparkle August 19, 2014 at 16:32

That’s great that LOA has helped you with your anxiety and OCD, Isabel. :) Studying LOA has helped me to feel better sometimes (so I’ve raised my vibration) but I haven’t been able to use it to heal my OCD so far. I think OCD is very much about control, trying to control things.
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Lynda whitaker August 15, 2014 at 14:47

Wow: Melody – You’ve done it again. Mucho gratias – thank you – I didn’t realize how my anxiety issues were affecting me until you mentioned how small things can really affect someone and also their adrenal glands go into overdrive. I have always been an optimistic person and lately have had a difficult time to be positive but I think I have now figured out that being an empathy I have taken on too much of other people’s concerns and worries and I am now learning, very slowly, that I have to take care of myself first – it is not an easy change to make – but I am more confident, especially after having read your posting. Thanks again. Cheers!!!!

Laila August 15, 2014 at 17:14

Reading this blog IS my therapy. Anxiety has been crippling me for years until I decided to shift my thinking and behavior. It’s all that internal circus that needs to be tamed. Lots of work and dedication but oh so worth it :)

Thank you all for being so darn awesome. Melody, you are simply magical.

Karen August 15, 2014 at 17:16

Thanks for this post Melody – perfect timing for me! I too have been struggling with anxiety over the years, and more recently panic attacks (as I shift to a new career path). I also wrote a blog post on anxiety back in May, and really like your LoA take on this. I have come to realize that my #1 stumbling block has been an unconscious negative expectation that things will go wrong (since many things did in the past). Now that I’m aware, you can be sure I’ll be shifting this, and I’m hoping my panic attacks will be a thing of the past. :)
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MovingMeta August 15, 2014 at 18:41

Nice post. Thanks so much for it. I am preparing to enter university, and I am going to really try to implement the steps you gave to stop worrying about the future for the last few days before I start. Visualizing myself having a great time there has always felt extremely weird. There are times I have felt simply unable to access the vision of having a wonderful time there without any worries. I thought maybe I was going at it incorrectly somehow, but I guess I just have to keep gently coaxing out the visualization.
There is one great technique I use when I actually am closer to the vortex, to say, when I feel more hopeful than weary. One of these strategies is a sort of projection. I imagine that the event I am worrying about has already started, and I think the thoughts I want to be thinking then, in the voice tone I would hear in my head. As an example I can take how I am worrying about how I will do in university. Well, I picture that the first week has already finished, and I think something along the lines of, “Wow, I was really worried for no reason. This is so awesome. I couldn’t have imagined how awesome this would be.” I hear the little voice in my head say it in an excited tone.
I have found that this technique helps associate me into a visualization. One thing I have found about visualization in general is I feel the feelings more profoundly if I am associated, not dissociated. What do I mean by that? Well dissociated would mean you are seeing it as if it is a movie. You see yourself in the visualization. You hear the sounds as if they are coming from a television or radio. Associated means you see what you are seeing, hear what you are hearing, and feel what you are feeling. You are not in the picture. You are seeing it from your own eyes, hearing it from your own ears, and hearing the thoughts that go with it in your own head.
I often start a visualization dissociated and weed out the fears, and then attempt to “float in” to the picture. How well that works depends on how hopeful I am feeling.
Another technique I like to use to help with anxiety is the “thank god I know what this is,” technique. Literally all you do is tell yourself exactly that, thank god I know what this is. Somehow, it takes the edge off of it. When you know what is going on, it is less frightening then when you do not. I do not know how it works, but it certainly can take the edge off.
I also love brainwave entrainment. The theory behind it is that you can use different sounds to control the frequency of your brainwaves. These computer generated sounds usually come with some great nature sounds and/or music, and just the frequency of the “brainwave” sounds soothing. I have used it to get into some awesome states at times. It has helped me calm down from anxiety.
Thanks again for the post. I love the clear explanation of the steps to take.
It might just be me, but I feel that your posts may have somehow gotten better, more detailed and maybe, I don’t know, thorough, since yu switched to one post per week.

Leeann August 20, 2014 at 16:48

Very interesting suggestions! thanks for sharing

starfish August 15, 2014 at 21:49

I don’t know if anyone can help me with this…I have recently come out of a long phase of being pretty steadily content, at worst bored and a bit frustrated, but mostly not feeling much at all beyond daydreamy. And I was happy with that for that time. It is only maybe the last couple of months I have started working on getting happier, and as I have I have been noticing when ‘bad’ things came up and realising how they made me feel, and letting them go quickly and feeling like I was getting somewhere. Only today I had a good day at work, came home and for no reason whatsoever, have not been able to stop crying and having panic attacks for about 3 hours. It’s completely out of the blue, I’ve been trying to talk myself down but feel a bit like I’ve snapped and can’t intellectualise it…anyone with any ideas at all would be much appreciated! I never usually have panic attacks or particularly bad anxiety..

Summer Starr August 20, 2014 at 15:51

Hi starfish,
I’m kind of going through the same thing right now. One day I’ll be all happy, shiny, and feel like I could rule the world. Then the next day all I can think about is how stuck I feel, and how life seems to be sucking my soul away.

It sounds like something you’ve been surpressing for a long time is ready to be released.

I found out what my deep, dark issue was and I’m currently trying to clear it, or work it out, or whatever you want to call it. This is what I did to find out what’s been bugging me. Whenever you can, sit quietly, and think about how you’ve been feeling lately. And whatever you do, don’t judge your feelings. They are just feelings. They are only there to tell you that something is “off”, so feelings themselves are not a bad thing. Ask the Universe why you are feeling this way. Then sit silently, and see what immediately pops into your head. Usually the first thing that pops up is what your higher self is trying to get you to release.

I would advise against talking yourself down, unless you are in public and don’t want to have an emotional outburst. When you do that, you continue to surpress it. When you’re alone, you gotta let that out. Hope that helps.

starfish August 20, 2014 at 23:05

oops, replied in the wrong place…

Mishmash August 19, 2014 at 12:12

This is very interesting. Anxiety can be addressed by reprogramming our mind. We have LEARNT to be scared of something – this maybe as a result of childhood experiences, something someone said to us once that made us feel bad – whatever it is, we were not BORN anxious. Something has caused us to be anxious. I have been scared of being anxious. Which makes me anxious. How crazy is that ? When we can reprogram our mind to see the issue as not something to be scared of, we can kill the anxiety. EFT is amazing for this. Really. I would recommend the below article and work through those fears and see how you get on.

http://www.thetappingsolution.com/eft-articles/tapping-away-stress/

As far as the ‘riding through the anxiety’ school of thought, please look up the works of Claire Weekes.

starfish August 20, 2014 at 22:51

Hi, thanks for the reply :) Yes I feel exactly the same as you explained there! It makes sense to me though as it’s like by trying to swing further in the happy direction you have a further distance to swing back as well. It’s interesting to me when I’m feeling normal and not all caught up in it haha – for years I’ve had myself down as such a placid, almost emotionless person and now when I’m ‘up’ I am literally tingling and when I’m down it’s like slamming into a wall. I guess it’s all progress though.

You are completely right that it was something suppressed that needed to be released, and it was something that I had been kind of refusing to admit and so it just forced its way out of me ha, in a 3 hour fit of uncontrollable wailing. I have never had anything like it, at least not since I was a young teenager.

Your reply coming when it did also is other evidence to me of the nature of manifesting and letting go etc etc! I don’t usually like to post very personal comments but when I sent my original comment I needed needed needed some kind of reassurance or explanation or validation (I couldn’t really talk to anybody personally because I’d sound mad or hormonal), but knew at the same time I wouldn’t get it because I neeeeded it. Anyway, I’ve just got to completely calmed down the last couple of days and understanding what I’ve gained from it, and so just now I’ve got some reassurance that somebody else feels/has felt maybe the same :)

Thanks again for the advice and good luck with clearing out the rest of that issue you were experiencing!

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