Technically speaking, anxiety is a state of apprehension, fear or dread, even in situations that are not threatening. Sometimes person experience restlessness, excessive worry, difficulty in concentrating, nervousness, fear, racing or uncontrolled thoughts result in insomnia, palpitation and interference in our daily activities, and so on.
After coming face to face with anxiety, I could say that it’s not just mere symptoms which need attention; it’s the underlying thought patterns. The main concern with anxiety is those racing thoughts which does not stop, which makes the person unable to relax. The person is constantly under those hurricanes of thoughts which want to engulf the person with it.
It usually starts with one stressful or threatening situation which makes the person vulnerable (though anxiety traits might be present) and then it starts spreading to almost all the situation, sometimes to non-threatening situations as well. It becomes a part and parcel of life and we fail to identify it until it becomes so severe that it starts interfering with every situation of life.
Anxiety needs attention, just like any other physical disease. We all have the right to live a fearless, happy and relaxed life. While we are under the spell of anxiety, we fail to understand that we cannot control all the situations of our life or how our future is going to be. We need to let go of our “need to control” everything. Just because we had one negative experience in the past, it does not means that our future is doom or has no hope. Embrace those experiences of life with strength. We are more powerful than we think to handle our life. Let those worries of anxiety fade away like sands of the sea.
Try to stay in present. We are constantly worrying about our future, a future which nobody has seen. Sometimes it makes me think that it’s not even the future we are worried, it’s those thoughts which we create in our mind that keeps us under its control. It’s those thoughts that what can happen which keeps us constantly worried. Be mindful of your thoughts and whenever negative thoughts come, try to switch it to three positive thoughts. It may take times, but you will succeed eventually with repeated practice. Don’t lose hope.
“The way to preserve your emotional stability is to replace your unpleasant memories with pleasant ones. If you wish to keep your physical, mental, and emotional health, then learn to remove unhealthy memories in this way.”Pt Shri Ram Sharma Acharya,AWGP
The most important thing in fighting with anxiety is to calm your mind as you cannot even imagine what those constant negative self-talk can do to your body. You must have heard about the mind-body connection; our thoughts, feelings and beliefs can positively or negatively affect our biological functioning. Therefore to calm your mind, change your lifestyle. Certain changes in lifestyle can be such as:
Yoga/Exercise: Make it a part of your daily routine. It not only keeps you healthy physically, but mentally as well.
Pranayama (Breathing Exercise): Even simply doing “Deep breathing” can bring profound relaxation to your mind and body. This can be a great help to relieve anxious thoughts.
Guided meditation and Visualization: It can help to calm your mind and can relax you instantly. There is many such videos available online, look for the one which suits you.
Music for relaxation: Music is very effective for relaxation and stress management. Music has been shown to improve sleep quality and duration. Try it for yourself
Indulge in your hobby: Hobbies are always those interests which are close to our heart. Ask yourself what you enjoy doing most and dive into your hobbies. It can be music, dancing, swimming, writing, reading, painting anything which makes you feel happy.
Walking: Brisk walking or simply walking will help you stay grounded and give you stability. Nature is always the best healer, so walking amid nature can heal you like magic.
We all have different ways of dealing with anxiety and stress, do what makes you feel good and seek help if you need. Begin your journey of healing with self-love and love for life. At times our life situations can be tough but our ability to deal with those situations can make you a fighter and make that journey smooth.
Come out as a warrior from your struggle!
You are powerful and strong to deal with any situation of life. Trust in your abilities.
When life gives us pain,it also gives us blessings
Sometimes in our life we feel a series of emotions,as if a whirlpool of emotions are going to drown us in it.We try to resist,but it catches with us sooner or later.This is my understanding of grief,which I have felt deeply inside me.
Nobody wants grief in their life,but when it comes,we cannot escape from it. It could be due to loss of loved one, any natural calamity, chronic physical disease, divorce, break up,etc.
“Grief are those waves of shock which comes suddenly, but stays for a long period of time, trying to drown us in its tides, until we finally embrace it and learn to move ahead with a lesson it teaches us”.
Grief is not just one emotion, it is a series of emotions and feelings including anger,depression,denial,resentment,guilt,sorrow,weeping or crying spells,insomnia,etc.It makes one feel as if a hole has been created inside our heart and we find ourselves helpless in that situation.
Usually grief goes through a cycle of loss. According to the ‘Kubler-Ross model’,or the ‘Five stages of Grief ‘,a series of emotions are experienced, wherein the five stages are:
1. DENIAL: The person is unable to accept the loss and thus deny that the loss has even occurred.
2. ANGER: Feeling of anger towards that person for leaving us behind; towards self for not able to stop it, and towards God.
3. DEPRESSION: Becomes hopeless; goes in self-mode. Tries to become aloof from others, remain in its shell and keeps crying.
4. BARGAINING : Person involve feels that something needs to be done to overcome it
5. RESOLUTION: Find solution to a situation, embraces the loss and decides to move forwards.
Many people remain stuck in either anger or depression phase throughout their life, trapped forever in the vicious cycle of grief.
Although it remains in our heart, throughout our life, but we need to find a purpose, a resolution to come out of its vicious cycle, or else one could never see the beauty of life again.
It’s time to analyse what else can be done in life; what lesson have we learnt. I believe that most of the pain and suffering teaches us a lesson and leads us to a new direction; we just need to find that direction, a purpose to continue with our life.
Look for your blessings in life
Bring back positivity in life
Learn something new
Get involved in your hobby or passion
Make self-help books as your best friend
Find support group, if you need.
Find a purpose; find a meaning in your life. If life gives us pain, it also gives us blessings.
Let’s come out of our struggles more stronger and brighter.
Dear Inner Child,
As I came to know that there is a little child in each one of us; a five year old version of us; filled with love and acceptance; I took this opportunity to know about your well being.
While writing this letter,I am clearly able to visualize a five year old version of myself;dancing with joy,laughing her heart out,love in her eyes,happy without reason.I miss you.I miss those time when I could love unconditionally,I could laugh without reason,be happy within my own self.
Now I have grown up, as an adult.But am I happy?I smile less,I love half-hearten,I judge myself,I think more.I want to apologize to you for not taking care of you.While I was in a hurry to grow up,I forgot to take you with me and therefore I lost my five year old version,which was the best version of myself.
I seek forgiveness from you for leaving you behind by beginning a war with you and criticizing you just like our parents criticized us: “you are stupid”,”you are not good enough”,”you are wrong”,etc.This constant criticism became a habit and hence I lost you in the past.I forgot that by criticizing and belittling you,I am doing a permanent damage to my own self esteem.
I am sorry I haven’t talked to you over the years.I am sorry I scolded you for so long.I want to make up for all the time we spent apart from each other.
I want to connect with my “little version” once again.I want to be whole once again.I want to make our life better once again.I want to be happy once again.
Today,as I write this note,I want to tell you;my five year old version;my inner child that :
“I love you and accept you exactly as you are”.
“I am safe and secure”.
“I forgive myself and release all the hurt and pain”.
“I love you,dear one.I am here for you.You are safe.”Louise Hay’s affirmations
I am looking forward to connect with you. See you soon and welcome happiness and love once again in our life.
Every day when we wake up, we are presented with a choice: either to lead the life in the same old fashioned way with same old habits or to get up, rise up and bring change in our way of living.
Be born again, By choosing gratitude over attitude By thinking positive over negative By being optimistic over pessimistic By picking happiness over sadness By spreading love over hate. Be born again, To rise and shine again To grow and learn again To love and forgive again To heal and prosper again To be whole and complete again.
We all have heard the word gratitude many times; a word so simple has the power to change our life for good, if we are seriously looking to change our life. Gratitude is an attitude of appreciation for all the small and big things in our life.
“Thank you”, is a magical word given to us to unlock the happiness in our life. The key is in our hand, so the decision rest upon us either to open the lock or let it remained close.
I learned this magic of gratitude working through my little sister, who always expressed her gratitude for every small things and therefore she is happy unlike me.I never knew that she has been practicing gratitude so effectively, till I noticed it.For example, “Thank you for making coffee for me”. Though this sentence looks simpler, but that’s the process of gratitude, expressing thank you by specifying reason for what you are being grateful for.
In almost all the culture, people have been practicing gratitude since the beginning of time in the form of prayer, as a gesture to acknowledge help given by someone, etc.But since we have become so busy in our life that somehow we forgot the real essence of gratitude.
It is very similar to Newton’s third law of motion, “To every action, there is equal and opposite reaction”. So, when we start expressing gratitude to people and things around us, we start changing our life, by attracting more prosperity. For example, if you say thank you to the money, while you give it other, you thereby attract more money in your life. Similarly, if we say thank you to our body for our health, we attract more health. What we give out, we receive.
Another important point about gratitude is it not only helps in attracting what you want in life, but it also helps you in lifting your mood. Let’s say, if you have a bad mood, you can instantly change your mood by thinking three things you are grateful for. There are many simple ways in which one can include gratitude in their life and see its magic happening.
- Starting your morning with gratitude. When you are in the bed, start your day by expressing “Thank you Universe for….”.
- Think of five things in the morning for being thankful for.
- Try saying the magical word as much time as you want for the entire day, including food, water, clothes, job, and children, etc.
- Whenever you feel low, change its frequency (of mood) by thinking of three things you are grateful for.
- End your day with gratitude.
Please remember we are bestowed with many blessings, big or small from universe. Expressing gratitude not only helps in keeping the things you have, it also attracts more abundance as well as happiness. Let the magic of gratitude begin.
Anger, referred as a negative emotion, the more we try to resist, the more strength it gains. The strength of anger is often so strong that it controls us during a heat of the moment.
I tried fighting my anger again and again. The more I tried to fight it, the more intense it became. With each passing day, this fight to win over anger became difficult for me.
I was always told that anger is very bad, we should not get angry. Those who get angry are not good. So, whenever it knocked in the door of my mind, I shut the door more tightly. I started suppressing it, assuming that it will go away eventually. But it didn’t happen. I kept the anger bottled up inside me, consuming me from inside and out. Slowly, I felt like trapped in a spider’s web, unable to escape.
One fine day I realized, do I really need to suppress my anger? I have already tried that for years, but it didn’t help. So, one day when anger knocked on my mind’s door again, I opened the door. But this time I was loving and kind towards it and hence we connected. For the first time,I embraced my anger part and I realized that it wanted to tell me so many things.
I started peeling its layers and then I found fear which was hidden deep inside me as I never wanted it to be revealed to the world.Secondly,I discovered rejection; from jobs, friends, relationships, work, etc. as nobody likes facing rejection. I peeled further layers and uncovered pain and hurt from others as well as by myself.Next,I observed diseases that was created unknowingly by me (psycho-somatic diseases) by suppressing anger. One last layer was peeled by me, and tears started rolling my eyes when I realized the amount of self-hatred I have within me.
This was the day when I uncovered a very important secret to emotions, i.e., every emotion we feel has something to tell us, a message which it wants to give, it is upon us whether we want to listen or ignore it.
We must understand that emotions, whether it is positive or negative are both part of our self. We cannot separate one part completely, although we do need to understand what message does it wants to convey. Listen to the message, when your anger, anxiety, sadness, fear etc. knocks on your door. Remember, these emotions are just the tip of an ice berg.Address those emotions and then let it go.
There are certain things which we can do in order to deal with our anger, such as:
- Create a journal, write it down(applicable to most of the emotions including anger)
- Take a face mirror, look into your eyes and speak to it, release all the resistance.
- Talk to someone you trust or someone who listens to you unconditionally.
- Write a letter to the person (to whom anger is directed), write everything down; tear it and either burn or flush it (try this out!)
- If it still doesn’t work, be mindful and whenever a negative thought enters, consciously think of 3 positive things, try to flip the script each time with positivity.
Let us all remember that every emotion is a way of expression of our hidden feelings. Embrace your emotions instead of fighting it, give it love and acceptance, it will go away.
Journey of Self-Love
In our day to day life, we often speak about “self-love”, how we should love ourselves, how we should give time to self, how we should make ourselves a priority. But do we really love ourselves?
Often we assume that we can easily develop self-love, in a day or two. Let’s say by taking a break, travelling, going for shopping, joining a hobby class, pampering ourselves with a movie, by doing exercise and the list goes on and on.
But have we ever thought that why a rise in mental health issues is there? Do we ever wonder why do we easily get angry? Why do we feel stressed most of the time? Why do we feel sad? What has led to an increase in suicide rate? What are our greatest fears and insecurities? Why am I always anxious? What are we afraid of?
Now the real question is what has led to so many problems in our life?
To answer this, let’s visualize a one year old child. They love each and every part of their body. They are filled with unconditional love; their smile reflects the love stored in their heart and their eyes reflect joy and happiness. But as they grow up(just like we did); their parents starting teaching them the concept of right and wrong, based on their experience and learning from their parent. And thus a vicious cycle of right & wrong, conditional love gets transferred from one generation to another. While as an adult, we start teaching the concept of right and wrong (based on our own little experience), the child gradually starts developing the idea that only if they do everything right, then his parents would love and accept him (conditional love).So the child starts a war within himself and starts feeling, “I AM NOT GOOD ENOUGH”, “I AM STUPID”,”I CAN’T DO ANYTHING”,etc. Slowly as the child grows up, love for self becomes conditional and he starts loosing love and acceptance for itself. So when we grow up as an adult, we start abusing ourselves for every little mistake, developing a parameter of judging ourselves and thus become the biggest critic of self.
While speaking of self-love, Pt. Shri Ram Sharma Acharya has stated,”Realize your worth and believe that you are uniquely made by the almighty in the world.”
Now that you have understood that self-love is a long journey,which requires feeding yourself with positive thoughts,unconditional love and self acceptance,I would like to ask you :
ARE YOU READY TO BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY OF SELF-LOVE?
If yes, then right now go towards the mirror and look deep into your eyes and say, “I love you, I really really love you. I accept you exactly as you are.”(Louise Hay’s affirmation)
How do you feel?Now I would request you to do this as many times as you can,daily.
Congratulations! Your journey of self-love has begun.