You must know something before you learn how to manage your anxiety successfully. Anxiety is fear and it lives in your future. This fear is a healthy response right before your speech, before your performance, when you see something threatening. When the event becomes your past experience, when it’s over, you return back to your balance. Well, most of us do. Think about it: you cannot be anxious about something happened in the past.
The problem starts when your normal everyday life becomes threatening to you. Normal activities like going to a yoga class, ask your partner for a favor, or just simply attending a social event. Suffering from this constant fear of the future aka worry, panic, and immense fear floods your entire body with the same neurotransmitters as you were in grave life-threatening danger.
Panic Attack from a 0 to a 100 in 1 Second
You see, a thought is an electric impulse, how it spreads in the entire body is through neurotransmitters, which are chemical. These transmitters are simultaneously present not just in your brain, but in your entire body. When you have a panic attack your entire body is in a panic attack, since neurotransmitters are bathing every single cell in your body.
The reality though is that your life is not in danger. You won’t die between a down dog and pigeon pose, and yet your body is flooded with chemicals that say you will. Of course, you know this consciously. Therefore, you must know that anxiety is not controlled by your conscious mind. You can get a panic attack feeling from 0 to a 100 in a second and you have no idea where it came from. It is just there, even when you have no reason to panic or being anxious.
How did you teach your body anxiety?
Most of the time, I see it in my office coming from emotionally charged past experiences. Since you taught your body to stay in survival mode, you continuously look for emergencies. This program is running unconsciously. Therefore, your mind and body don’t know the difference between real and imagined. By thought alone, you trigger your emergency response. You have programmed your unconscious mind, and you are not able to stop it on demand consciously.
You must unlearn anxiety. If that would be that simple, you would have done it already, right? When your body is triggered, and you are experiencing dizziness, your breathing becomes shallow, and your heart is racing, everything seems out of control. Your flight or fight is turned on, and now you are in survival mode. Nobody understands how you are feeling. Your body is fearing for your life.
There is a way to turn anxiety off
The good news is that you turned these responses on; therefore, you are able to turn them off. You can stop these unconscious patterns.
First, you must develop self-conscious awareness. You must learn to be in the now as much as you can. Your intellect is there to help you with this process. Most of us are not in the present moment with our thoughts. We are either lingering in the past with all the “should-a could-a would-a’s” or in the future creating torments of horrible outcomes for ourselves or for our loved ones.
When you become present in the moment, your body switches into relaxation. Hence the paper bag? It slows your breathing down, and you become present because you watch your breath going in and out, inflating and deflating the bag. You start feeling safe and relaxed in the present moment, and your body follows. Learn to meditate to control your emotional states.
Meditation Is Not About Quieting Your Mind
To meditate literally means self-knowledge, to become familiar with the self. Most of you are ‘trying’ to meditate to quiet the mind. You won’t be able to do that. Not just yet. Your mind is always working whether you want it or not. Meditation aims to get familiar with what you are thinking about.
Start your meditation time for 5 minutes, with or without music. Just watch your thoughts for five minutes. Set your Apple Watch or your phone’s stopwatch for 5 minutes and just observe your thoughts. Being aware of what you are thinking about is meditation. You are making your unconscious thoughts conscious.
Start with 5 minutes now
It takes discipline to watch your thoughts daily for 5 minutes. The consequences are amazing, though. Learning to observe yourself and becoming aware of fear sneaking up on you means you are no longer the unconscious program anymore. You are the observer of your fear. You can consciously change your fearful thoughts as soon as you become aware. How? Just ask yourself the question: how do I want to feel instead? What do I want to happen instead?
When you become aware of your unconscious habits, you will not allow yourself to go unconscious again. The best way to start your meditation is with Gregg Braden’s Heart and Brain Harmonization. Utilize the last 5 minutes of this meditation daily. LISTEN TO IT NOW.
Anita Saldana is a complementary healthcare practitioner trained and certified as trainer in Time Line Therapy®, Neuro Linguistic Programming and Hypnosis. She was born in Hungary, lived in Germany, Malaysia. She currently lives and practices in Las Vegas, NV.