The experience of anxiety is a call for compassion for yourself. Rather than letting it define you or control you, consider that it may be just telling you that you are alive and that you may be in territory that is somewhat unfamiliar. Rather than rejecting your experience, consider that it may be a call to bring some compassion to what is happening.
Here are some suggestions for taking action. Firstly, when the experience of anxiety arises, bring an attitude of friendliness towards the experience, even if it is unpleasant. Make room inwardly for the kaleidoscope of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations and rather than taking action, practice “being” and see if you can let go of any inner struggle to get rid of the experience.
Secondly, consider practicing loving kindness for yourself. I have been highly influenced by Sharon Salzberg, a mindfulness teacher and author of “Lovingkindness, the Revolutionary Art of Happiness”. Among the many practices that are available, one of my favourites is to repeat phrases silently including the following:
“May I be safe
May I be healthy and happy
May I have ease”
The spirit of this practice is to plant the seeds of potential in us for these kinds of minds and body states.
Thirdly, let go of any harsh judgements that surface in your mind during periods of anxiety such as “ I’m so stupid to feel this way”.
To try these actions takes some courage and determination. You may find that the power of many habitual responses to anxiety are difficult to counteract. Consider that a mindfulness practice can provide sufficient strength and stability of mind to follow through on these suggestions.
Consider exploring compassion and anxiety in the “Calm Your Anxious Mind with Mindfulness” workshop on Saturday, July 26 at Practical Wellbeing from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.
Invest $95 in yourself and begin to discover a way to deal with the challenging experience of anxiety.