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Anxiety

FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman ExplorerEngland Explorer
edited August 6 in Diet & Habits

Not really a starting of a discussion. Kind of more a thought. But I have the habit, I'm sure most people do, of when say having the feeling of anxiety in the stomach, I can recognise the anxiety as just a feeling, but there's always the thoughts which are associated with it, and just spring along almost inevitably. And I get lost in the thoughts, or even when I don't, the thoughts just keep coming, and I basically spend the whole time just watching the thoughts, and it seems like there's not a respite from the thoughts. Even when I don't attach and suffer, the thought then comes along that I did get caught, and that's the judging thought that tells me I've somehow failed by getting caught. Then I guess I feel sometimes like I'm watching the thoughts pass, but wanting to be rid of the thoughts, judging the thoughts. I guess its a process and a practice of just watching the thoughts, and then eventually they lose their power. I always feel afterwards when the thoughts have gone, oh yeah now I know how to deal with it next time. But obviously fall into the same trap again. Or maybe there is no way to escape the trap, maybe it is just watching and witnessing the suffering. Although I suppose that is an escape from the suffering in some degree, because not completely caught in it. I suppose it stems still from my judgement and still wanting to be rid of suffering rather than accepting it.
Anyway thats kind of a rambling thought process. Guess just would like to hear any thoughts, if someone can decipher my words.

Bunks

Comments

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran

    I thought about that reading what you had said. I have different cycles of different kinds of problems but anyhow I thought that you're observing your feeling of anxiety. From what I've heard before I'm not sure if the best strategy is to accept the suffering like as the indefinite fallback strategy. I'm really unclear on this. But it shows that there is awareness that we notice we are suffering. Right now I have some social anxiety and feel very overwhelmed going out to do things and I wish I could be a bit more clear and confident. I guess I'm going to do my best and simplify but I'm a little depressed and anxious. So having said that what you described sounded familiar to me though I kind of got lost in confusion or what have you.

    FinnTheHuman
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I have heard... that enough suffering will cause anyone’s habits to change :3 If you could learn not to judge, then you’d be a lot better off. It’s possible to do that, to just refuse to judge anyone or anything in your thoughts.

    I’m minded of Seng-tsan’s poem the Hsin Hsin Ming...

    The Great Way is not difficult
    for those who have no preferences.
    When love and hate are both absent
    everything becomes clear and undisguised.
    Make the smallest distinction, however,
    and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.

    If you wish to see the truth
    then hold no opinions for or against anything.
    To set up what you like against what you dislike
    is the disease of the mind.
    When the deep meaning of things is not understood,
    the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail.

    The Way is perfect like vast space
    where nothing is lacking and nothing in excess.
    Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject
    that we do not see the true nature of things.

    Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,
    nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
    Be serene in the oneness of things and such
    erroneous views will disappear by themselves.

    When you try to stop activity by passivity
    your very effort fills you with activity.
    As long as you remain in one extreme or the other
    you will never know Oneness.

    JeffreyFinnTheHuman
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Explorer England Explorer
    edited August 6

    I try now to ask. Where’s the suffering? Who is suffering? Try not to fight it. But to accept it without any judgement of it. But I think deep down there’s still a wanting to get away from it. I guess it just takes time. As you say enough suffering will cause habits to change. I’ve already observed a lot of changes in my habits since being able to just witness. I think you witness it happening and judging so many times it just naturally and effortlessly goes after a while. And even though writing this now. It’s alot lot better than it used to be, and it seems insignificant in the grand scheme when I know that and have experienced that the suffering is empty. But yet when in it the thoughts that surround do sometimes seem like they won’t give up until you give in. I try remember story of bodidharma not believing a thought for 9 years. But I give in to them, although not as much as I used to. And also with the ‘knowledge’ that the suffering is empty sometimes leads to a judgement of myself for falling into an ‘empty’ trap. I’m like watching it and I’m ike how am I getting caught here,

    JeffreyShoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited August 7

    @FinnTheHuman said:
    I try now to ask. Where’s the suffering? Who is suffering? Try not to fight it. But to accept it without any judgement of it. But I think deep down there’s still a wanting to get away from it. I guess it just takes time. As you say enough suffering will cause habits to change. I’ve already observed a lot of changes in my habits since being able to just witness. I think you witness it happening and judging so many times it just naturally and effortlessly goes after a while. And even though writing this now. It’s alot lot better than it used to be, and it seems insignificant in the grand scheme when I know that and have experienced that the suffering is empty. But yet when in it the thoughts that surround do sometimes seem like they won’t give up until you give in. I try remember story of bodidharma not believing a thought for 9 years. But I give in to them, although not as much as I used to. And also with the ‘knowledge’ that the suffering is empty sometimes leads to a judgement of myself for falling into an ‘empty’ trap. I’m like watching it and I’m ike how am I getting caught here,

    You are what you think @FinnTheHuman ...but you are not your thoughts....Keep this in mind when anxiety comes knocking...

    It would seem that you are on the right track @FinnTheHuman ....

    One of the first things I learnt when I started to meditate was ....all a thought wants (positive or negative) is to be acknowledged, once this happens it will dissolve however the habitual patterns that occupy our conditioned minds, are only interested in entertaining the positive thoughts and not the negative ones...a force of habit ...

    And the more one tries to block/ignore negative thoughts, the more energy one is giving them and the stronger they become and the more they will continue to knock on mind's door wanting to have their say...

    A couple of short youtube clips by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche on overcoming anxiety...


    Be patience @FinnTheHuman for this too shall pass....

    BunksFinnTheHumanlobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Anyway thats kind of a rambling thought process. Guess just would like to hear any thoughts, if someone can decipher my words.

    😌

    The anxiety, like piety, depression, repression or addiction is overwhelming ...

    Here is a story:

    Finn the Anxious (the well known mythical viking) was about to go on a communal fishing trip. For no real reason he was worrying about the trip as he walked home. 'What if there was a storm?'. What if the ship was eaten by the Kraken Sea Monster?'. The usual mind circles. Just then a ferocious bear came out onto the path behind him. Heart pounding Finn backed away and when he was clear, ran as fast as he could away from the bear to the fishing boat.
    “Quick cast off, let's catch some fish!” shouted Finn at his fisher friends, dangers of Kraken forgotten.

    The physical running from bears/activity/distraction is a physical activity based solution. I do yoga or martial arts moves to burn up such anxiety or similar ... <3

    ShoshinFinnTheHuman
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    This link may be useful ...
    https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/01/11/what-is-an-emotion-william-james/

    Can we change our emotional experience through soothing/calming the body?

    Yes.

    I am amazed by two practices. Diet and yoga.
    https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6425/Eat-Like-a-Buddhist-in-10-Easy-Steps.html
    https://www.lionsroar.com/buddhism-and-yoga-where-the-paths-cross/

    Hope that is helpful :)

  • NamadaNamada Veteran Veteran
    edited October 5

    @FinnTheHuman, why do you have anxiety? What is the main cause?
    Is it something you can do with it? Is it something you need to do in near future? Or is it the past, do you regret something?
    If its nothing you can do about it, you should practice forgviness, and get in peace with it and (like always) practice giving/sharing.
    If its something you need to do and can do (one big task/project) divide it up in small pices and start, one small step at the time. (And get rid of all disturbances like social media/newspapaers, PC/mobil phone). After when its done you should feel great.

    If you lack happiness, go out in nature and start training/walking (with friends/dog/family) and eat healthy. Or if you are little bit lazy, paint/draw/write.

    There are plenti of options, the mind is the mind, but dont forget the body also.
    Psycial health and mental health goes hand in hand.

    lobsterFinnTheHuman
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    It strikes me that anxiety comes mostly from the illusion of separateness, of being an individual. There are meditations that show that this is not true, such as thinking on interdependence, or on no-self. Perhaps that is a way to proceed?

    lobsterFinnTheHuman
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    There I was (this is a true story) feeling stressed out/anxious/fearful etc. The cause was not being a nun/professional relaxer ...

    Ah yes. Breath deeply. Meditate, chant, exercise etc. I knows it! :D

    Just need to look over my ToDo List B)

    • Save World - does not need saving ✅
    • Be kind to self - don't have one (allegedly) ✅
    • Begin ✅

    Another successful completion ... ✅
    http://www.egreenway.com/taoism/ttclz63.htm

    Dhammika
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Doing through non-doing, eh @lobster?

    I think relaxation comes through a certain exploration of mind, the realisation that there is nothing to be anxious about, it all is as it is, and the avoidance of being hypnotised by certain key images. We always have a tendency to become hypnotised by what can cause us harm, everything from a grinning toothy predator to deep spiritual peril.

  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Explorer England Explorer
    edited October 11

    @Namada said:
    @FinnTheHuman, why do you have anxiety? What is the main cause?

    Its not an anxiety of anything, its more generalised. The existentialist philosophers, which I study in depth and am doing a PhD on Karl Jaspers (ft. Meister Eckhart), say that anxiety at heart is not about something, rather it is a fundamental aspect of the human condition (or apparent condition) I've been reading alot of Meister Eckhart and I think I can kind of explain it like this. He sees God as a fullness of Being, and each creature (or individual) is fundamental nothingness. In other words characterised by a lack of self and being, there is no fundamental being of the individual. (Any one see any similarities here) The anxiety is just a part of the human condition as an individual in its condition of separation, or illusory separation. The Fall being the archetypal myth of this separation from God and the divine life. The anxiety is part of the creation of a tension between our concrete man-made identity and the the nothingness at the heart of one's self. It is thus a calling to return to the ground, to relieve this tension by realising the emptiness of one's concrete self . I don't think without this sense of anxiety I would have been called to such a path, so I can only thank it. But of course when you're in the midst of it, its hard to see the wood through the trees.

    @Kerome said:
    It strikes me that anxiety comes mostly from the illusion of separateness, of being an individual. There are meditations that show that this is not true, such as thinking on interdependence, or on no-self. Perhaps that is a way to proceed?

    True dat. And as I mentioned, without this anxiety I would not have been brought to do such things. It only opens you up to a deeper and more profound way of being

    lobster
  • 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

    ... anxiety at heart is not about something, rather it is a fundamental aspect of the human condition (or apparent condition)...

    I am not as well-versed as you, given that you are studying, and I am not, nor have I ever done so. But I find this statement personally, questionable.

    Babies are born with two inherent fears, applicable to every child: A Fear of loud noises, and a Fear of falling. All other fears are inherited, learnt or absorbed from outside experiences, and to my understanding are not either a component or a fundamental aspect of the Human Condition. They are rather side-effects of happenings, experiences and influences. We are programmed, not conditioned to have anxiety.

    Anxiety is not a part of the human condition.
    If it were, we would not be able to get rid of it.

    We cannot remove our fear or shock at loud noises, even as adults.
    We cannot remove our fear or shock at tripping and falling, even as adults.

    Anxiety - along with every other apprehension - is learnt.
    Thus, we can un-learn it.

    Simple.

    (Which, by the way, does not mean, 'easy'.)

    Keromeyagr
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Explorer England Explorer
    edited October 11

    I agree, at the ultimate level, thats why I say apparent condition. What I mean by that is it is in the condition of existence as we live it as a separate being. But that is as much a fundamental part of the 'human condition' as much as being an individual human self is. Of course we can un-learn it, because it does stem from the illusion of seperateness. The true nature of things is that there is no anxiety, for who is there to be anxious, but by a fundamental part of the human condition is meant something that we all face as apparently individual existent beings. Much of the 'human condition' is not actually the true nature of things, and yet they are still the things we inevitably face. We would say suffering, death etc. is all part of the human condition, but nevertheless it is possible (in a sense) to overcome them. These problems do not ultimately exist, they are illusory, they only exist for us as limited individual selves which we are ultimately not, but I don't think anyone would say that these are not problems which are inevitably faced in existence.

    lobster
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Explorer England Explorer
    edited October 12

    @federica (the post above was meant to be a reply) also in terms of Eckhart- the anxiety only comes because we see ourselves as individual creatures. Because we are attached to our individual sense of selves, and are thus frightened and scared to death of the nothingness and the illusory nature of these selves. There obviously is no anxiety, it is an illusion as much as the sense of self. There is only the the ultimate reality of God, and it is possible to realise one's true self as being grounded in the God, beyond the individual self which is in actual fact nothing. So of course anxiety is possible to be overcome, because it is an illusion stemming from another illusion. But this does not mean it is not part of the human condition, for when we say human condition we mean suffering etc. which are all ultimately an illusion stemming from the more fundamental illusion of a separate self.
    I think we agree, I think maybe you got put off by my wording of fundamental human condition. But all I mean by this is that condition of an separate self which inevitably faces isolation, death, suffering, anxiety. What I am on about is not the anxiety of possibly being late for a bus or something like that, although that probably fits in somewhere, but the more fundamental anxiety which comes from facing the inherent nothingness at the heart of the individual sense of self.

  • Ziggy925Ziggy925 New Colorado New

    My first experience with meditation was Transcendental Meditation. This is meditation on a nonsensical mantra that basically clears your mind and you're not thinking at all. Having had some serious GAD in the past I can testify that meditating on your anxieties is like a dog chasing its tail. Medication can help if the problem is serious, but clearing and calming your mind allows you to come "back to earth" with a new outlook on things, or maybe even no outlook at all, which is okay. Nothing wrong with a vacation from all thought.

    lobsterFinnTheHuman
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Transcend dental Medication (as used by dentists) uses the names of Hindu deities depending on persona type. Unless you are learning to fly, in which case ... a full lotus and runway is required ...

    Nothing wrong with a vacation from all thought.

    Indeed 👍🏻
    Welcome to Newbuddhist 🙏🏽 🧘🏻‍♀️🦞

    Have you developed any anti mind flying away siddhi? 🙃

  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Explorer England Explorer

    @Ziggy925 said:
    My first experience with meditation was Transcendental Meditation.

    That was my big gateway aswell.
    I was still on anxiety meds and anti-depressants until I started TM, and then it just opened me up. Magical

    Keromelobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @FinnTheHuman the experience of transcendental meditation helped you overcome your anxiety and depression? That’s awesome, for some people meditation does work.

    FinnTheHuman
  • 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

    I bought one of these. It's brilliant!

  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Explorer England Explorer

    @Kerome said:
    @FinnTheHuman the experience of transcendental meditation helped you overcome your anxiety and depression? That’s awesome, for some people meditation does work.

    Cheers. I mean I wouldn't say its gone but I have overcome it in the sense that I don't always get carried away with it anymore. But as I've been saying I see it as a fundamental part of the human condition, so it will always be there as long as I identify as an individual self. But ye I don't take meds or anything, not because I don't find it hard sometimes (and I still do find it hard plenty of times, as everyone does), but because it is better to face it rather than try paper the cracks with medication. This is by no way an advocation of getting rid of meds or whatever, I am no doctor (although possibly a doctor in Religion and Theology in a couple of years, but doesn't mean I can fix my dads back). But the medication does not go to the root of the problem, which is (in my view) the fundamental issue of existence and being. It is only through delving deep into the self, to find the ground of being beyond the individuality, which can illuminate the space beyond the chattering and anxious mind. Its no coincidence that the Secular-mindfulness fad in the West comes along at a time of increasing anxiety due to the way in which Western (Capitalist and Consumerist) society is structured. It might be to much of a naive (and possibly dangerous) solution to say that people should be prescribed meditation rather than medication for such issues but it certainly helped me more than 3 years on meds did.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    It might be to much of a naive (and possibly dangerous) solution to say that people should be prescribed meditation rather than medication

    Well said.

    My cousin learned TM and he died recently. However we all die 🤷🏼‍♂️ so there is no causal/karmic link :'(

    I am a great advocate of taste the flavour to know the food and if it works use it. For example I recently started taking B vitamin complex. It really was for another family member, thought I would support them. The first batch were useless. However the mega dose had an extreme calming effect. The closest to a meditation pill I have come across, though I always found chamomile useful.

    Meditation and Extinction Rebellion etc seem a viable pathway. Bravo.


    She who dares you wins ~ SAS XR

    FinnTheHuman
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran Veteran

    Just stating the obvious: Anxiety is, of course, something we have all faces. Chronic anxiety can be a serious condition. meditation, silent or with chants, as well as medication (natural or pharmaceutical) are tools that will help enable us to overcome the anxiety.
    of course, we must maintain or at least try to maintain a proper diet and adequate exercise.

    Peace to all

    lobsterFinnTheHuman
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Explorer England Explorer

    @lobster Sorry to hear about your cousin
    I would agree with tasting the water and seeing if it works. 'There are as many paths to God as there are souls on earth'
    Or as Ram Dass always says 'Different strokes for different folks'. I mean I don't always do TM anymore, I now more focus on like Zazen, but I do often go back to it. It is possibly an easier way which bypasses all the clutter in the mind, but doesn't necessarily give you the skills to be able to deal with the clutter in everyday life. Certainly its great to do sometimes if I forget why I am meditating, then I can quickly transcend and remember haha. However, at that time in my life TM was perfect for me, and almost as if it was written in the stars it was one of the things that set me on this journey of the self (or no-self) which I find my self on. What works one week will not the next, and then it may work again. In the end all practices are illusions which try to bring us out of an illusion. Simple ey

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    @FinnTheHuman said:
    ... In the end all practices are illusions which try to bring us out of an illusion. Simple ey

    <3
    As an imposter/beginner/heretic/fabrication of my limitless delusions, I feel I am in goodly company ... o:)
    https://www.lionsroar.com/beginners-mind-of-imposter-syndrome/

    ... I am going to become more humbly shortly, not too much of course, don't want to undermine Daibai ... ;)

    FinnTheHuman
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Bunks mentioned an interesting thing in a post awhile back about anxiety being part and parcel of our daily lives, eg, like making simple decisions ....

    I came across "this" from Science Direct....

    Abstract
    Excessive levels of trait anxiety are a risk factor for psychiatric conditions, including anxiety disorders and substance abuse. High trait anxiety has been associated with altered cognitive functioning, in particular with an attentional bias towards aversive stimuli. Decision-making is a crucial aspect of cognitive functioning that relies on the correct processing and control of emotional stimuli. Interestingly, anxiety and decision-making share underlying neural substrates, involving cortico-limbic pathways, including the amygdala, striatum and medial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between trait anxiety, measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and complex decision-making, measured by the Iowa Gambling Task, in healthy male and female volunteers. The main focus of this study was the inclusion of gender as a discriminative factor. Indeed, we found distinct gender-specific effects of trait anxiety: in men, both low and high anxiety groups showed impaired decision-making compared to medium anxiety individuals, whereas in women only high anxiety individuals performed poorly. Furthermore, anxiety affected decision-making in men early in the task, i.e. the exploration phase, as opposed to an effect on performance in women during the second part of the test, i.e. the exploitation phase. These findings were related to different profiles of trait anxiety in men and women, and were independent of performance in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and cortisol levels. Our data show gender-specific effects of trait anxiety on emotional decision-making. We suggest gender-specific endophenotypes of anxiety to exist, that differentially affect cognitive functioning.

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