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Message for the anxious !

I am no stranger to anxiety, in fact me and anxiety are quite well acquainted. Now i realise that to be anxiety free is an impossibility as a little bit of anxiety puts one into action. Like me many people seem to have overdosed on anxiety. Getting more to the point to my knowledge anxiety is a product of evolution to help us be aware of the possibilities of real danger out there in cave man period. So whenever i hit anxiety overload, i stop and ask myself " is this a real threat to my existence?". Acknowledging the reality of my worries has helped me kicked them into touch.

This may seem trivial and simple to most but for anyone who suffers with anxiety they will know how bad it can be. So i thought i would share me little bit of advice that has been working for me, in the hope it helps others.

Adios Anxiety


ThailandTom

Comments

  • howhow Veteran
    Anxiety for me is a mental spinning of ones wheels over an attachment. A mental mastication over what I want or don't want to happen. Tracking the creation or existence of an arising anxiety involves trying to be mindful of any physical tension developing in my body. It is my early warning system that I am not accepting something in my life.

    I then address that body tension with attention of my natural breathing or the counting of my breathes until that tension dissipates.
    It's an extension of Zen's "body & mind are one" teaching.
    JeffreyWisdom23Invincible_summer
  • The trouble is I never know that I'm anxious I just am anxious, the moment I know that I am anxious I realise that's all it is and I stop being anxious.

    I'm now a little anxious about how many times I've used the word anxious in one post and need to go for a little lie down but I'm a little too, erm, anxious.
    JeffreyWisdom23BunksSubtleMother
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited November 2013
    I'm anxious that you are anxious from hearing about theories on being anxious. I'm also anxious about getting anxious myself and being anxious about that anxiety. Hmmm being absurd makes me anxious!!
    ChazBunks
  • OP, have you ever tried getting a massage, to see how it affects your anxiety? Most people respond very well to massage. It makes the anxiety go *poof*

    :)
  • how said:

    It's an extension of Zen's "body & mind are one" teaching.

    This 'mind and body are won' is an important tool for me. For example, recently I was feeling fear and anxiety. I searched for the cause. It was too much coffee. Another time it was the body over reacting to a few hours without water.

    With the lack of water, at first I just drank water to alleviate the water shortage. However the next time I had time . . . As the anxiety was present, I assured the body it would get water but only when the anxiety was won over and emptied. It took a little practice but it complied and the water came after the anxiety left.

    This looking at a mental state in the body allows us to find out what anxiety feels like. Where it is located. The breath or butterflies in the stomach perhaps? The recognition and sitting with sensation awareness, eventually exposes and feeds back to its unimportance and trivial arising. This needs some meditational practice as sitting with a chronic fear, anxiety or depression can be overwhelming. However sitting with awareness of a heavy heart or tight stomach is much simpler.

    In other words, sit with the body, not the mind.
    Bunks
  • I think anxiety is heterogenious, Different causes and different manifestations.
    lobsterEvenThird
  • Anxiety is an inherent human emotion or feeling but there is a line of anxiety where it becomes a problem and then there is another line where it becomes a total hindrance to ones life.

    I have been (as a lot of you know due to my whining over the years) have suffered anxiety disorders a great deal and recently it manifested itself into one hell of a stomach ache. I thought I had a stomach ulcer, well I still might have one to be honest, but I spent 24 hours doubled up with this centre point of pain in my stomach that was like a marble of burning lead. It has now subsided somewhat but I still may take a trip to the doctor, I was very close to sending myself to hospital but it was around 3am so I didn't.

    Going back to what I mentioned about anxiety being something we have all felt before, yes this is true, but for those with chronic disorders where it becomes a prominent hurdle in life it is something different. It is impossible for those to know what it means to be this way, to feel this way and to think this way just as it is impossible for me to know how it feels to be a female.

    @Wisdom23 you have come across with some wisdom :D anxiety disorders stem from irrational thinking and it seems pausing and taking a moment to think and put things into perspective may help bring some rationality into the picture. However, this isn't always enough for some of us or some situations, you need to simply plunge yourself into the situation. It is like somebody who is deadly afraid of heights stood on a 30 foot cliff dive into a lake, they just need to jump and once they do there is no going back and once they re-surface, they will see that the anxiety disappears and relief soon returns.
  • EvenThirdEvenThird NYC Veteran
    edited November 2013
    @ThailandTom-- In my early teens, before any real encounter with Buddhism, I used to do something like what @Wisdom23 mentioned: I thought about why I was anxious, and realized that it was an irrational feeling given the situation, and that helped somewhat. However, that itself usually didn't dispel my anxiety, as my feelings seemed to overpower any relevant thoughts or realizations I might have.
    Side note: After starting medication almost a decade later, the same reflection on reasons for having anxiety (in the moment) has been a little more helpful.

    I feel that cliff analogy is very true for myself in many situations in my life. Now so more than ever. It gives me something to reflect on, so thanks for that tidbit!

    This thread was a good reminder for me to not take my sudden irrational anxiety so seriously, and look at it as a useful function that is just currently inappropriate for the situation.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    Anxious people are prone to repeating "Yes, but what if.....".

    The way to recover from anxiety is to actually question your own thought porocesses.

    When you find yourself asking the question, "What if....?"

    Answer it.

    "Ok, let's play....What IF such-and-such happens? What IS the worst that can result?"
    EvenThirdVastmind
  • federica said:

    What IS the worst that can result?"

    Oh, lots of stuff. Our house gets repossessed, Mrs Tosh leaves me, I get back on the drink, live in a bedsit for a while till that goes pear-shaped and then I end up on the streets, before I die a slow and miserable drink and drug addled death in some gutter.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    All matters that can be dealt with as - and if - they should arise.

    Remember the old adage:

    "If you have a problem, and there is a solution, there's no point in worrying.
    If you have a problem and there is NO solution, there's no use in worrying."

    Deal with the issues, head on, as they present themselves.
    But worrying about things that MIGHT happen, is what inhibits personal growth and progress.

    We know this, right?
    ChazEvenThirdStraight_ManVastmind
  • Wisdom23 said:

    I am no stranger to anxiety, in fact me and anxiety are quite well acquainted. Now i realise that to be anxiety free is an impossibility as a little bit of anxiety puts one into action. Like me many people seem to have overdosed on anxiety. Getting more to the point to my knowledge anxiety is a product of evolution to help us be aware of the possibilities of real danger out there in cave man period. So whenever i hit anxiety overload, i stop and ask myself " is this a real threat to my existence?". Acknowledging the reality of my worries has helped me kicked them into touch.

    I feel anxiety is ones of the caveman body/mind survival strategies that also respond well to yoga/qi ong . . . as well as introspection the 'challenge and calm' you mention. Dukkha takes many forms and meditation and chamomile tea rather than anxiety inducers such as coffee (lobster raises a guilty claw) do not help us. Music can stimulate us or calm us. Smell can alter moods. I used to carry grapefruit essential oil for a sniff of mood lift.

    What are we doing? Trying to put in place less dukkha, less ignorance and more happy bunny strategies.

    Gosh I feel all 'New Agey' . . .

    :o
    EvenThirdStraight_ManVastmind
  • I struggle with anxiety daily. I'm currently on a generic Paxil to "stabilize" myself. I've always hated the medication and I was extremely hesitant to begin in the first place.

    I'm curious if this medication will effect my ability to meditate properly - I haven't been successful yet from what I gather- and if I could potentially get off of it using some sort of method. If anyone here even has any experience with this.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    I struggle with anxiety daily. I'm currently on a generic Paxil to "stabilize" myself. I've always hated the medication and I was extremely hesitant to begin in the first place.

    I'm curious if this medication will effect my ability to meditate properly - I haven't been successful yet from what I gather- and if I could potentially get off of it using some sort of method. If anyone here even has any experience with this.

    First of all, make sure to consult with your doctor in regards to any change you are making.

    I took a low dose of Paxil for a couple of years when my son with in some serious legal problems. I can't say that it ever really affected much that I did, but it did smooth out the rough spots. Finally, however, the crisis was over and I decided to get off it. I very, very slowly pared down my dosage over almost 6 weeks, and even then it did bother me a lot getting off it. I'm not saying I suffered, but it was a bit of a challenge. I was glad I got off of it, mostly because I don't like taking unnecessary drugs.

    However, please note -- for me the crisis that led to depression was past when I decided to get off of it.

  • I don't think paxil will ruin your meditation. Meditation is sitting with whatever is here. Whatever it may be. Sleepy or worrying or thinking about food and sex and whatever. Paxil will alter the mind and alter meditation but don't think it will make 'the wrong' meditation. I am on: clozaril, propranalol, seroquel, risperdal, lamictal, and nuvigil. I can meditate just fine though I can't do long sessions. The worst thing is that I can't do long sessions so I can't meditate with a local sangha.

    The only way you can know is if you try it. Did you just start meditation? Or have you even started?
    EvenThirdlobster
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