Introduction to Anxiety
Anxiety is a tough problem to tackle. Part of the reason anxiety can be hard to heal from comes from the fact that the anxiety often isn’t the root problem a person is facing. So, for example, you might feel anxious, but the real reason you feel anxious could be due to allergies or peer pressure. So anxiety and the cause can be totally separate. Sometimes it’s possible to see a direct connection between the cause and the anxiety. Many times people can be blind to the roots of their anxiety.
Another problem is that anxiety can be caused by many things and several different things at once, even. This often means a person could be facing several root causes but only focus on one problem.
One example of several problems combining into worse anxiety issues:
- One: A person feeling anxious over peer pressure might focus on one primary bully at school, but perhaps they are also facing silent abuse at home they don’t recognize as bullying. A person might love the person who is abusing them and so turn a blind eye to one source of abuse (and hence their anxiety). It’s common for a person to get abused by many people at once.
- Two: Additionally, perhaps that person is also eating food they love (for comfort), but it may be quietly causing an allergic histamine intolerance, which can also cause anxiety. Ironically they may again focus on only the bullying as the reason for anxiety since they are using the food to soothe their nerves. Another example of this is I knew one person who uses smoking as a way to calm their nerves. Yet smoking is, in part, the source of their distress, especially when trying to quit smoking.
Anxiety can tear a person apart. Sometimes it becomes necessary to treat both the anxiety and the root problems in play at the same time. The trap is people often only treat the anxiety but then don’t work on the root problems that cause the anxiety. When this is the case, the anxiety will always come back and over time to get worse.
It’s important to address anxiety because it’s a warning sign your body, mind, or spirit are breaking down from a bad situation. Ultimately it can lead to PTSD and other more extreme problems. Later stages of anxiety, such as PTSD, are quite debilitating where a person has to limit their exposure to the outside world.
Initial stages of distress can be moderated with simple remedies like herbs, relaxing, meditation, and positive changes in lifestyle. However, anxiety shouldn’t be ignored through suppression and time should be spent to work on removing the root causes when possible.
One of our Personal Tao / Awakening Dragon secret teachings is to create new senses. We are not limited to 5 senses and can develop quite a few powerful senses to help us in life. This is a very amazing truth because it gives a person an alternative set of tools to find and solve problems.
For people experiencing deeper distress, there will often be a tell-sign or a place in your body that tweak out due to the overload of negative impulses. You might feel an itching in your wrists, Your knees may get tense, or you may begin to have a motion that comes out like tapping, or you might feel a tickle in your breath and have a nervous cough. A pre-anxiety attack tell-sign can take many forms.
For example, I feel the tension in my knees; it’s a tightening at the sides of the knees when in uncomfortable social situations. When eating foods that cause me problems, I will get an itch at the base of my throat. When around toxic chemicals (I used to be an engineer at a chemical plant and was exposed to unhealthy amounts of dangerous compounds), I get 3 to 5 different responses, which I know represent a problem chemical that I have been harmed by and should now avoid.
I have a good dozen different tell signs for different problems, which I used to navigate around problems and avoid inputs which can badly harm me. This brings up a different truth; you can have many different tell signs for different sources of problems that cause you anxiety. As you learn your body’s secret tell sign language, you can also have an early warning to the problems that cause you anxiety.
You can develop a sense of these tell signs to alert you of problems and to expand how you sense and see the world. More importantly, you can learn how to sense and avoid the inputs that cause anxiety to live in a more secure manner.
You can contact us directly if you want lessons on how to expand your senses in this manner.
Negative vs. Positive
We are hard-wired to pay attention to the negative. This means when we have a problem that doesn’t go away, it eats away at our baseline and stability. Yet people don’t know they subconsciously track the negative. It’s a survival skill built into our instincts. (After all negative things hurt or even kill us) When too many negative processes are in play, it can overwhelm our mind and nervous system to create anxiety. Strangely, light anxiety, especially in challenging situations, can be a survival sense, warning a person of danger or keeping them alert and on their toes.
This is, in part, why positivity can initially help counteract anxiety.
Positive thinking is merely the first step. It removes the mind from focusing on the negative, which prevents you from being proactive in your solutions.
If your distress is primarily fear-based in nature, then positive thinking is very effective.
In many cases, you still have to follow through with improvements in life that remove any non-fear based problems that create your distress.
Impacts of Depression
Depression is when a person is in a negative cycle of life. Depression isn’t anxiety, but if you do experience depression, it can make anxiety worse by taking away a person’s ability to act and change your situation (to remove out the sources of your anxiety). Some of the factors that create depression can also be factors in your anxiety.
If you are stuck in trying to solve your distress and nothing seems to work, then consider seeing if some of the depression cures help you out. Working on removing things that make you depressed can be a good place to start your healing process. Just keep in mind as you peel back depression, there could still be some additional work afterward to finish healing your anxiety.
Impacts of Crisis
At times our anxiety can stem from events out of our control. For example, living through adolescence or midlife crisis can generate both frustration and anxiety for a person. At times we need to ride the process out to resolve our anxiety. In such times a person needs to be careful not to overreact and cause more damage in their life.
Another Way to Examine Anxiety
Many times the first sign of a problem comes when we feel frustrated. However, we are not taught to deal with frustration. Some people bury their frustration or react in different ways to their frustration automatically.
Earlier I talked about creating senses to help detect when you are in a situation where you are about to become anxious. It’s possible to do this one step better and detect problems two steps before your distress occurs. Work on detecting when you are getting frustrated and then deal with what is frustrating you long before things get worse for you.
It’s very easy to train yourself to sense frustration. Then upon feeling the frustration, we can take action to prevent further problems from happening. Many times frustration is the first sign we have a problem. So developing a sense of frustration is a powerful technique to handle both anxiety and anger issues.
The deep problem is when we get stuck for too long or in a too difficult situation, it can create distress or even break a person to PTSD.
What is Frustration?
Frustration -> A warning sign of being stuck.
We have several options to handle frustration and breaking free of being stuck in life.
1. The Fighter: Frustration -> Anger -> Lash out create space / remove blockage.
2. The Runner: Frustration -> Release -> Walk away from the problem.
3. The Engineer: Frustration-> Examine problem -> Solve or Create Solution.
4. The Passive Approach: Frustration -> Hunker Down wait for the problem to go away.
It’s important to understand your baseline of how you naturally react to frustration. Our instinctual responses are often the wrong response to a frustrating situation. I train my students to use pause to buy time to examine the situation they are within so they don’t just react in a counterproductive manner.
Quite a few people use anger as the preferred method to release their frustration. We have quite a bit of abuse in our culture, and people are often taught to use anger as a tool to get what they want in life. Also at an instinctual level, anger is a deep programmed response to being stuck in life. This means when a person is tired or worn out, they’re more likely to skip straight to anger from frustration. Modern western culture tries to teach everyone to be a fighter. This option doesn’t work very well if by nature you are not a fighter.
We can at times release unconsciously with bad habits or distractions. So, for instance, some people will use smoking as a habit to release their frustration. Some people might play games or read a book as a way to avoid dealing with a frustrating situation. Another example is a person might have an affair as a way to release their frustration in a marriage.
The third option is to create answers relative to the source of frustration. In other words: solve the problems that led to you being stuck. This is harder to do since most people in frustration will feel clueless or powerless to change the situation. In an abusive society, society actively works against people who try to fix problems. Ironically problems are often used as a tool to hit people and keep them down in life. So while this option seems the most ideal of the 3 options, it’s also the hardest to do in real life. Typically solutions require an expansive state of mind to enact and when frustrated a person tends to have a narrower mindset to use in solving problems. It’s possible to train yourself to pause, relax and then expand how you see solutions when frustrated in life.
Sadly for many people, they take the passive route to a frustrating situation. The passive answer hopes that the problem or source of frustration will move on with time. While at times a passive approach can work well, many times it doesn’t work at all. So you can try the passive approach the first time you encounter a problem, but as you begin to feel frustrated, then chances are the passive approach is failing you as a solution.
For many people the problems pile up as the bad situation they are within doesn’t change, or repeats over and over again with time. The hammering of frustration and issues over time will pile up into becoming anxiety and then eventually even break a person in crisis.
The interesting thing you will notice from the Anxiety Flow Chart is that once a person gets trapped in anxiety, there are no exit points from anxiety!
The linkage of anxiety to frustration was an amazing insight for me in helping people heal from anxiety. It can often be very difficult to find the root causes of anxiety. Since many of the root causes are hidden, it usually takes experimentation and trial and error to see and then remove the source leading to a person being anxious. Once discovering frustration itself leads into anxiety, you now have a tool to spot the frustration and work on removing the problem frustrating that person.
Now, this technique won’t work for systemic sources of anxiety such as the histamine intolerance example I used above. This method does find most social and interactive sources of anxiety. It will allow a person to quickly pinpoint if a person, job or social situation is the source of their distress. If this is the case, you can then use release, creating solutions or even anger as a way to move past the source of the problem.
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Professional Assistance Releasing Anxiety
Julie and I teach from a wide collection of tools that will help you find peace and release anxiety. Often addressing deeper truths require outside assistance to gain new angles that resolve out the internal conflict a person is holding. We teach you how to release judgments that hold you back and then flare up later in rage. We work with Taoist and shamanic tools that add in a grounded spiritual component to truths that require outside assistance to gain new angles that resolve out the internal conflict a person is holding. We teach you how to release judgments that hold you back and then flare up later in rage. We work with Taoist and shamanic tools that add in a grounded spiritual component to anxiety management.