Healing Anxiety and Fear
Treating Your Anxiety with Compassion
Everyone once in their life have probably exhibited patterns and traits of anxiety. That doesn’t make you weird or abnormal. The reality is that anxiety disorders, in some cases, appear to involve more than just a working understanding of ourselves and the world around us. We know that in some cases anxiety disorders have a genetically pre-disposed, neurobiological component to them. Because of this, such cases may only be partially responsive to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and some even being partially responsive to both CBT and medication.
However, that does not mean that you should feel resigned to give up hope that your anxiety (no matter how pronounced) won’t get better. While there are a couples of tricks in the book:
- Abdominal Breathing
- Relaxation in the form of meditation
- Daily physical exercise
- using panic-coping strategies and countering unconstructive thoughts
- Identifying and expressing deep-seated feelings
- Inner-child work
- Improving nutrition
What happens when those things don’t work? How is it that we can pour our hearts out trying to find treatment for our anxiety and yet it doesn’t seem to stick? Maybe, that is because the anxiety isn’t just stemming from anxious thoughts that can be controlled by these tools. Maybe, he problem isn’t our relationship with anxiety. Maybe, it requires. a deep transformation the idea of healing from ‘fear.’ Anxiety at its core arises both individually and collectively from out of state separation. or disconnection. This separation can occur on many levels, including separation rom family, from community, from cultural institutions and most essentially from one’s self.
Reconnecting With Yourself
of all of these forms of dissociation, separation from the self plays the largest role in contributing to anxiety as well as other kinds of emotional difficulties. There may be origins to a state of division within yourself, but it usually stems from past trauma and cumulative stress. Whether the loss or neglect or a parent, physical abuse, family alcoholism, excessive parental criticism or simply moving too often a majority of adults in contemporary society have suffered childhood trauma. These traumas can create and intense and cumulative form of stress, if you never learned as a child how. to nurture and care for yourself, you have likely ignored. the stress and kept pushing yourself even harder towards external goals, good grades, the best job, the right partner, the best home and lifestyle, continued career achievement, and so on. Society seems to reward this type of emotional disconnection – and that’s okay. The most loving and supportive thing that you can give to yourself is to rebuild inner reconnection. When you reconnect with your innermost being, there is less of a need to compulsively search for stimulation or comfort outside of yourself. You begin to discover that, by its very nature, your innermost being is a source of peace, joy and contentment.
Anxiety states are often associated with feelings of disembodiment. Being ungrounded and out of touch with your feelings and physical body is especially evident in the sensations of depersonalization and derealization that can accompany acute anxiety or panic.
I speak about this phenomenon from experience currently practicing grief work with my clients. I