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Meditations to heal anxiety?

KeyouseKeyouse Explorer
edited November 2012 in Meditation
Hello! Thank you for checking out this thread. I have general anxiety. I have anxiety related to health, the unknown, the dark, lack of control. I also have anxiety when I do not understand why. Because of my general anxiety, cigarettes and caffeine easily make me anxious.

I am wondering what kind of meditations/visualizations I should undertake in order to cure my anxiety. I also want to understand the causes for the anxiety that I feel, of which I do no understand the origin. Perhaps there are subconscious things bothering me that I do not realize. What meditations will also help me to become fearless in general and fearless of death?

Thank you!

Comments

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    Keyouse said:

    I have general anxiety. I have anxiety related to health, the unknown, the dark, lack of control. I also have anxiety when I do not understand why.

    Traditionally restlessness and anxiety is one of the 5 hindrances, and the antidote is calming the mind, eg by doing tranquillity ( samatha ) meditation.
    You might also want to investigate psychological therapies for managing anxiety.
    BunksFoibleFullWisdom23
  • If you are able, Buddhist martial arts deal a lot with overcoming fear.
    Sile
  • Awesome! Thank you both! :)
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    Meditation on acceptance.
    Invincible_summer
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    how said:

    Meditation on acceptance.

    Could you say more? Have you got a specific technique in mind?
  • how said:

    .

    how said:

    Meditation on acceptance.

    Could you say more? Have you got a specific technique in mind?
    Anxiety is just our resistance to accepting that which is. A meditation on acceptance in this case is just the deliberate abandonment to our greatest fears in formal meditation. Easy to say but still feels like suicide to the average ego.
    Where we normally guard our identity, a complete surrender to anything that challenges our identity is repeatedly embraced. It is just the meditative equivalent of a full bow.

    Anxiety gives way to equanimity after the supposed sacrifices offered in such a meditative practise illuminate nothing more than the deeper truth that there never was, is, or will be, a separate self to protect.

    As someone who had GAD and panic attacks for years I can attest to this.

    The best way to lower your anxiety is to stop pushing it away, give into it and allow yourself to be really anxious.

    It just works.
    ToshFoibleFulllobster
  • RebeccaS said:


    As someone who had GAD and panic attacks for years I can attest to this.

    The best way to lower your anxiety is to stop pushing it away, give into it and allow yourself to be really anxious.

    It just works.

    That reminds me of two things:

    1. That Simon and Garfunkel song, "Hello darkness, my old friend...".

    2. A top ultra runner says that when she's ran for miles and starts to feel tired, she embraces the fatigue, she looks forward to it, she gets to know it, and the better she knows it, the less power it has over her.



    lobster
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran
    Both Rebecca and how are giving you good answers.
    I would recommend to you the teachings of Pema Chodron (a Western Tibetan nun, who has teachings you can purchase in book, cd, mp3 download forms).
    She deals a lot with how you approach your daily living, and particular in how we handle our fear (which is what anxiety stems from). We all fear, you know, in one way or another. You can purchase teachings here:
    http://www.pemachodrontapes.com/store/
    However, I would first recommend that you look for her on YouTube .. listen to her and see if she "speaks to you".
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    I have sought help for GAD, but didn't like what they offered, and since it isn't severe I found ways to cope on my own, explain it to those close to me who need to understand, and just let it be. I do some odd things that irritate people, but that's their problem, not mine. I do what I need to to feel ok and not stress about certain things, and it works for me.

    One of my main triggers is being late. I hate being late, ever, and any time I'm in a situation with a time frame, I will run through it as a practice session first. Like, if I have a job interview in an area I don't know, I will drive there to make sure I know how to get there, where to park, etc. It eases my anxiety, I sleep at night and all goes smoothly. Drives people nuts sometimes that I need to do that, but it doesn't affect them so why should they care?

    Some situations I have to deal with that I utterly hate, but I just sometimes have to suck it up and do them, often things involving my kids fundraising activities. I'd rather get my wisdom teeth pulled than do fundraising, but I have to do it, so I do, and I just remind myself that no matter what happens, I'm not going to die, that in X hours it'll be over, I'll survive, nothing is going to happen I can't deal with. It always goes just fine.

    Meditation does help, because my mind is clearer, overall, and so I better deal with situations and I've learned that it's ok to take a deep breath or 2 before responding to a situation.
    VastmindInvincible_summer
  • Trungpa Rinpoche's Smile at Fear is another book about fear, stepping out into the world.
  • What meditations will also help me to become fearless in general and fearless of death?
    Meditate in a darkened room, preferably without an emergency torch.
    Use this mantra.
    "Come hungry ghosts, death and demons, feed on my fear and anxiety. Free for the taking."
    They will take all you can kindly provide and bring their imaginary friends.
    If you are a real woos, do it by candlelight offering prostrations to the Buddha for protection.

    Good luck :thumbsup:
    Keyouseperson
  • lobster said:

    What meditations will also help me to become fearless in general and fearless of death?
    Meditate in a darkened room, preferably without an emergency torch.
    Use this mantra.
    "Come hungry ghosts, death and demons, feed on my fear and anxiety. Free for the taking."
    They will take all you can kindly provide and bring their imaginary friends.
    If you are a real woos, do it by candlelight offering prostrations to the Buddha for protection.

    Good luck :thumbsup:

    Interesting! Can you elaborate more on what that mantra will do and how it will help? Thanks a lot for your help! :D
  • Thank you thank you thank you, to all the beautiful people who have responded to my post! I really appreciated it and there were some helpful words, indeed!! Thanks again, everyone.
    Wisdom23
  • Can you elaborate more on what that mantra will do and how it will help?
    Do it. Then tell me how much of your anxiety was removed.
    That will help.
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    I struggle with anxiety too. This article: The Neuroscience Of Change--Or How To Reset Your Brain has helped me quite a bit with anxiety.

    Basically, there are times when I'm freaking out about something and I KNOW my brain is being ridiculous. So, I've begun following the advice of the article to recognize and call out my anxiety loops for what they are: just a brain glitch. I hope that in time, it will decrease my anxiety, but oddly enough, it always seems to come in waves. Sometimes I will be fine for months, then I'll have a particularly bad few weeks where I freak out about everything, then life settles down for a while... I think it's quite obvious that it's my environment/life that influences my anxiety levels.

    My biggest anxiety is always health concerns. I've been this way since I was 5 years old and my grandfather had a heart attack. I've long ago learned not to trust my judgement on what a normal person might consider a health issue. It seems that the only thing that makes me feel better is to discuss my health concerns with someone else so I can judge the severity based on what they tell me. It's ridiculous, I know, but I just can't seem to figure out what is serious and what is not. Everything is a brain tumor or cancer to me. I wish I was joking... My brain just goes off the deep end to the worst possible scenario.
    personWisdom23
  • @zombiegirl health anxiety is still my biggest anxiety issue! Headache? No, tumor. Pulled muscle? No, heart attack :lol: It can actually be really draining.

    I don't trust my own judgement in health issues, either, but for some reason when my husband feels sick or something I'm really good with him which I find quite confusing.

    Thanks for the article. :)
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    @RebeccaS That is exactly how it is for me. Lol. Recently, I broke out with some moderate acne and naturally, my brain started this whole spiral of thinking that it's probably hormonal, so obviously, ovarian cancer. Even I was able to step back and laugh about that one once I realized how ridiculous it sounds. I've banned myself from WebMD and certain tv shows like: "Monsters Inside Me", "Mystery Diagnosis"... They just freak me out too much.

    I think the root of it for me is a fear of death, or more specifically, sickness. I don't like anything outside of my control in general and health issues definitely fall under that category. I've lost a whole bunch of family members to cancer and it terrifies me because they always say, "Well, if we would have caught it sooner..." So now I just worry about everything. Sigh.
  • Thank you
    lobster said:

    Can you elaborate more on what that mantra will do and how it will help?
    Do it. Then tell me how much of your anxiety was removed.
    That will help.

    Alrighty! Great idea.. I just need to try it. :) Thank you!
  • I struggle with anxiety too. This article: The Neuroscience Of Change--Or How To Reset Your Brain has helped me quite a bit with anxiety.

    Basically, there are times when I'm freaking out about something and I KNOW my brain is being ridiculous. So, I've begun following the advice of the article to recognize and call out my anxiety loops for what they are: just a brain glitch. I hope that in time, it will decrease my anxiety, but oddly enough, it always seems to come in waves. Sometimes I will be fine for months, then I'll have a particularly bad few weeks where I freak out about everything, then life settles down for a while... I think it's quite obvious that it's my environment/life that influences my anxiety levels.

    My biggest anxiety is always health concerns. I've been this way since I was 5 years old and my grandfather had a heart attack. I've long ago learned not to trust my judgement on what a normal person might consider a health issue. It seems that the only thing that makes me feel better is to discuss my health concerns with someone else so I can judge the severity based on what they tell me. It's ridiculous, I know, but I just can't seem to figure out what is serious and what is not. Everything is a brain tumor or cancer to me. I wish I was joking... My brain just goes off the deep end to the worst possible scenario.

    Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing this article and your experience with me, I will definitely give it a reading! :)
  • Health related anxieties have also been one of my triggers or hooks. Let me clarify:
    I have serious medical issues which can, outside of themselves, cause anxiety and panic attacks.
    One of the things that has helped me, is talking and listening to others who are facing serious illness and obstacles (there are many lonely people dealing with life threatening illness). I have found that compassion is not only a great healing method but also teaches us so much about fear (death). Many times when we talk to others and comfort others we might take notice that we too are hearing our own message and healing as well.
    I have listened to Pema Chodron (also recommended by FoibleFull) and love her message... Here's a practice that might interest you:

    http://www.shambhala.org/teachers/pema/tonglen1.php

    Namaste :om:
    Relay
    lobster
  • Just all things, accept it; assign a feel to it, a color, a smell and taste even a texture. while you meditate annalyze it in these references; human nature always tries to push away what it doesn't understand, and relies on terminology. And then when this is all over and you actually see the anxity for what it is, let it go.
  • TheEccentricTheEccentric Hampshire, UK Veteran
    I find walking meditation very helpful for anxiety and stress, it's calming and helps take your mind off the event also just simple Samatha meditation where you are being mindful of and focusing on your breathing.
    blu3reelobster
  • the lectures on this website are 50 mins long but very informative direct and they've helped me along my path buhddadhammasangha.com
  • I find walking meditation very helpful for anxiety and stress, it's calming and helps take your mind off the event also just simple Samatha meditation where you are being mindful of and focusing on your breathing.

    Yea focusing on breathing in and out one can never go astray very simple very affective
  • GuiGui Veteran
    My humble advise is not to try to cure your anxiety but to just let it pass by when it approaches. Meditation can teach you how to do this.



    “The clouds above us join and separate,
    The breeze in the courtyard leaves and returns.
    Life is like that, so why not relax?
    Who can stop us from celebrating?”
    — Lu Yu
  • I dearly thank all of you for your time and help! :) Blessings and peace to you.
  • @lobster - is "Come hungry ghosts, death and demons, feed on my fear and anxiety. Free for the taking" from a teaching?
    A friend used to always tell me that when you experience fear and anxiety, to open up your front door, invite all the monsters of the world to come visit and eat you, and then sit on the sofa and wait for the scary monsters show up.
    I always wondered where this friend got this.
    lobster
  • @Daiva, sounds like a translation of a chod or aghori practice
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chöd
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aghori

    What a kind thing to do. Some years ago I used to ask people to send me their bad karma for hell realm 'soup runs'.

    My mothers partner did something similar to the above practice, being brought up a Catholic and now a spiritualist and amateur medium, he had a hard time of it and believes there are evil and benevolent forces all around. What vehicle do they manifest through - the mind. We had a family party at the weekend and my humorous 'confession' that I had sold my 'soul' to the devil - and got a refund, was laughed at . . .

    If such talk scares you then you are possesed with fear, a nice snack . . .

    Daiva
  • I read Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh and started practicing mindfulness as he describes. I also sometimes practice mediation in which I say "Let" on the in-breath, and "Go" on the out-breath. These two things have helped my anxiety immensely.
  • Keyouse said:

    Hello! Thank you for checking out this thread. I have general anxiety. I have anxiety related to health, the unknown, the dark, lack of control. I also have anxiety when I do not understand why. Because of my general anxiety, cigarettes and caffeine easily make me anxious.

    I am wondering what kind of meditations/visualizations I should undertake in order to cure my anxiety. I also want to understand the causes for the anxiety that I feel, of which I do no understand the origin. Perhaps there are subconscious things bothering me that I do not realize. What meditations will also help me to become fearless in general and fearless of death?

    Thank you!

    Maybe 'Metta meditation. Give yourself some love first.
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2013
    Trying to directly get rid of anxiety is in itself a cause of suffering.

    My main advise would be to stop looking at your anxiety as some thing to heal.
    Instead, approach anxiety as your perfect teacher who helpfully points out whatever attachments are in need of being addressed.
    It's really your own customized identity alarm system.
    When anxiety rings, something needs to be faced and let go of.
    Developing the habit of sourcing out anxiety's cause and meditatively surrendering to it can be your fast track to all what you are asking for.

    Just choose what ever meditation you're most familiar with, to meet this new teacher with. The style and form of the meditation will be less important than the diligence by which you employ it.


    Brian
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