Healing Anxiety

Do you find the world filled with increasing uncertainty? Does your future feel less secure? Does your future feel unsafe?  You are not alone by far.

In America about half of all adults feel in imminent danger at least 1x a day (source: OnePoll in 2022). Nearly 70% of adults feel the economy is getting worse (source: ABC News Ipsos in 2022). All of this creates the climate for heightened anxiety. Anxiety is not just heightened for adults. There’s been between 24% to 31% increase in emergency visits related to mental health for children 5 years or older (source: CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics in 2020). Everyone is being impacted by increasing levels of anxiety.

Anxiety is just another part of natural human life so it is not something that can be eliminated. However, when it becomes chronic, paralyzing, and unhealthy it starts to make life spiral out of control. I have many years personal experience being in sustained periods of very severe anxiety and depression. But now I’m so much stronger. I will still experience anxiety, but now I’m more often able to take myself outside of anxiety and not get so caught up in the turmoil. I’m more able to observe my anxiety from the sidelines and offer compassion and healing to it. In this article I share with you my approach to not just cope with anxiety but to actually heal anxiety.

I lived much of my life afraid of lots of things. I was afraid of upsetting or disappointing others. I was afraid of being laughed at. I was afraid of being yelled at. I was afraid of not being good enough to get hired for a job. I was afraid of being unemployed. I was afraid of having no money and going into endless debt. I tried lots of positive motivational visioning to build myself up.  I also worked through many therapy and coaching sessions to identify reasons why I did not need to be afraid. They helped to some extent in coping and managing anxiety, but for more severe anxieties they seem rather limited because they mostly relied on educating the mind and failed to address the emotions. After many years I came to discover the missing piece in most all approaches to dealing with anxiety. The missing piece was love.

At first this does not sound obvious. For example how can love counter fear of loss of job or fear of bodily harm? Getting a job and not love would seem to be the best thing to counter fear of loss of a job. Taking a self-defense class and not love would seem to be the best thing to counter fear of bodily harm. Understand the core aspect of anxiety is not about what you can physically do to protect and defend yourself. It’s about accepting the fact that there will always be something you don’t know and can’t control. And so the core aspect of anxiety is about finding ways to dealing with what you don’t know and can’t control.  Because in the end even after you get a job you will still feel on edge to prevent losing that job and even if you improve your self-defense ability you will still feel on edge bracing for a threat you’ll never know will appear. With anxiety I want you to start thinking about how can you shift out of living on edge and start living in ease?

Much of society views anxiety as a problem to be fixed or disease to be removed. This makes one think about coping techniques like using smoking, alcohol, or controlled substances. These can be effective short-term solutions for coping but they don’t get to the root of anxiety. Many psychiatric medications can also be effective for coping with the symptoms but they still do not get to the root. The problem is not so much what we do to try to cope with anxiety. The problem is that we are simply focused on coping more-so than healing. The coping attitude considers anxiety as something we need to fight, avoid, remove or resolve. This attitude adds a hard edge to anxiety. That edge tends to tighten up, intensify and compound anxiety. I want to introduce a change in attitude and our relationship with anxiety that will soften the edges in life. I want to encourage us to move from simply “coping with anxiety” into more “healing anxiety”.

It’s about softening the edge. To soften the edge the first thing is to stop considering anxiety as a problem to be fixed. Stop looking at anxiety as an enemy disease to be removed from your body. Instead start to view anxiety as a timid best friend. Start to consider that anxiety is just an emotional expression connected with the more tender, vulnerable, and lesser seen parts of you. When you make this shift then anxiety becomes your doorway to discovering more of you. So instead of hiding, avoiding, or numbing out the parts of you that are scared you start to heal, transform, and integrate newer more creative parts of you into your entire being. The result is you steadily transform those anxious parts of you into an ever more resilient, capable, compassionate, caring, creative and courageous you.

One thing that will help encourage this shift and softening of edge are practices of self-love.  This may include taking time for self-care. But more importantly practices of loving kind self-talk help induce feeling fully loved. The goal is to feel unconditionally loved for being you just as you are.  This means feeling loved not for what you’ve done or not done but for you just being alive and existing just as you are and nothing else. 

To help you start making that shift watch this below video where I share a simple technique I call “Heart Aligned Healing” which combines positive self-love talk with physical contact with heart.

Heart Aligned Healing is an effective technique to promoting self-love in the face of the challenges of everyday life. Understand whenever you can support love of self then it the supports you feeling completely secure for who you are. It makes you feel like you don’t have to do anything. And when that happens you allow yourself to be the best version of yourself always. And in dealing with the uncertainties of life the most prepared you can ever be is when you are the best version of yourself. When you are the best version of yourself you still encounter fear, but you will face that fear as the best possible version of you. When you do this, it results in continual healing of anxiety.  Through the process of healing the things you fear start to gradually soften and lessen with each encounter. And you shift out of living on the edge into living with ease. You become a person filled with natural resilience, confidence, creativity, capability, and courage. 

If you are interested in more tools on self-love and creating this shift out of edge, I strongly encourage you to

1) Get my “Spirituality for REAL” book series or

2) Enroll in my newest online course “Be the Center of Your Universe”