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This article gives you guidance on how to deal with the root causes of anxiety. Not just tools to help you cope with anxiety. There was a time in your life you didn’t suffer this and you can and will return to that state with a little practice, patience and perseverance.
This subject has become a fast growing question over the last five years or so. I felt under what I teach this was a subject I need to cover and further I’ve been dealing with anxiety for around fourteen years. My personal anxiety also covers phobias so my experience on how to deal with this and overcome it is extensive. Not to mention the thousands spent in all therapy’s listed under our health care. Everything has its place but what I’m writing here has been far more responsive than all the therapies combined.
Dealing with anxiety does not have to be extremely difficult. I appreciate someone that’s new to the symptom’s will be scared because you don’t really know what’s happening.
Anxiety is a mechanism to keep us safe from danger that’s why it triggers the “fight or flight” response. However, in this case there is no real danger. Our ancestors would have to fight or run given any danger out in the wild, but we don’t have to deal with this type of danger.
DANGER IS IN OUR DAY TO DAY
Our danger is our day to day lives that become so busy we don’t have time to stop and think. We spend much of our days in jobs we don’t really enjoy over the long term this is putting pressure on our mental well-being. If around seventy percent of our lives is taken up by an activity, we don’t enjoy how can we have smooth mental health?
We don’t. This comes out in anxiety amongst other illness’s, the stress and pressure gets too much and tries to escape our body. Anxiety will start when we are not paying attention to our thoughts and feelings. We tend to feel this constant need to catch up with the world and preform to a certain standard. However that standard is not everyone’s standard.
It’s the pressure we feel from modern society or just our family and friend’s circles that create these feelings of inadequacy within us. If we slowed down and asked ourselves what we want in any situation then followed that answer our anxiety would be reduced significantly.
I started applying this way of living around three to four years ago. My anxiety levels currently are non-existent in comparison to the ten years of dealing with anxiety I’ve lived with previously. I do have the added complication of phobias but I’m homing in on anxiety only for the purpose of this post.
An example of this is trying to fit in with what everyone expects of us. How we look, what job we do, our education. For the young adult it’s the pressure of having a well to do job, and getting a mortgage, maybe having children, getting married.
ARE WE VOICING OURSELVES?
Do we voice how we truly feel if we are struggling to do these things? How many adults will admit to family and friends they don’t want the life they are living if on the outside their life is deemed the perfect norm? Or what if you feel you have to get to a certain standard or you won’t be accepted by those around you.
All this pressure is applied to ourselves by ourselves. In trying to keep up with whoever, the celebrities/neighbour’s/friends/pleasing the parents or in laws. How much of what we are doing are we doing to please us?
When your dealing with anxiety, observe your thoughts. This is one of the hardest things to do however not impossible. Yes in the moment we can’t hear or think clearly, chest is thudding palms are sweating. We are getting this monumental fear build within us and we feel we can’t breathe and we may even pass out. I’m talking about the seconds before this event, what were you thinking?
This will give you an exact idea of why you get anxious, that thought alone will be one of your triggers but not the cause. You would have to link back from that thought to the one previously and continue through repeated conscious awareness and practice to get to the root cause of your anxiety by keep back linking to your original thought patterns.
LINKING IT ALL BACK
An example would be (I’ll start from the anxiety point then linking back):
I am starting to feel anxious > I’m nervous in this social situation > I don’t think I’m doing as well as they are > I don’t fit in > I’m not dressed well enough > I shouldn’t be here.
So after each angle bracket (>) I’ve used an example thought. I understand anxiety is a wide topic so you’re thinking may not be anything like this to trigger your anxiety. We are just using this particular thought process as an example.
Starting with your original thought which in this case is “I shouldn’t be here”. I would ask you to then further break this down. Why do you feel like that? How well do you know these people? In what area of your life could you be surpassing these people? Who decides who’s doing better than another?
IS FIFTY POUNDS MORE THAN TWENTY?
If one man gives someone poor a fifty pound note but has a lot of fifty pound notes, but another man gives someone a twenty pound note but that’s the only note they had. On the forefront the guy that gave the fifty is the better man, but when you look deeper he’s not.
This analogy is given here so that we stop comparing ourselves to others based on external circumstances. Because it’s never quite what it seems. We need to judge ourselves based on our former selves not by society and other people’s standards.
This is vital and key for our mental health and for us to grow. If you have a different mind-set to that five years ago YOU ARE A BETTER PERSON AND HAVE GROWN! We are all chasing the next best thing. Within this chase we often lose sight of what’s important to us. The quickest way to decrease anxiety levels is to question your own thinking.
Often we are taught “to go within” what does that even mean? It means step back and view your own thoughts. Question the negative and feed the positive (NOT ego driven thoughts this adds to anxiety) but feed the good thoughts about yourself. If you managed to get up, get dressed and go to work give yourself a break! There’s people out there struggling to do this and wish they could.
DEALING WITH ANXIETY TOOLS
I mentioned at the beginning not wanting to give you mere tools to cope with. A majority of this article will read about root causes. However, there are in the meantime anxiety and anxiety attacks occurring which some of you are dealing with. I’m going to bullet point a series of tools below for you to practice.
- Concentrating on your breathing
- Rhythmic breathing i.e. five seconds in five seconds out
- Focus point, this is an internal or external focus point, keep your awareness on this one thing
- Play music
- Talking to anyone around you or with the people you’re with
- Walking (exercise in general)
- Drink camomile tea/eat a banana/eat dark chocolate (seventy percent cacao solids)
- The scent of lavender and vanilla
DEALING WITH ROOT CAUSE OF ANXIETY
These methods are a lot more advanced. If you have been dealing with anxiety a long time.
- Putting yourselves in the very situation that cause’s the anxiety (I tried this method this year and it has reduced my daily anxiety levels by 75%)
- Back linking your thought patterns (example given earlier)
I’d like to delve deeper into the root cause tools first let’s take a look at “putting yourself in the situation”. I can give you a first-hand written experience of what this is like.
Most people relate this to a way of dealing with a phobia i.e. handling a spider when you have arachnophobia. However, since I suffer from phobias and anxiety the two are generally tied in I can speak from experience and tell you this method works for both.
This is likely the harsher method hence why it took me so long to try it. With great regret that I hadn’t used this method of dealing with anxiety sooner. The build-up in our minds to place us in the situations that cause anxiety is far greater than the thing we need to face in the physical. For example, we can start thinking hundreds of different ways the situation could play out but the probability of the worst case scenario happening is next to zero.
WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN
Also what goes up must come down, anxiety can only reach a certain point before your body and mind turn towards calmer levels. I experienced this as follows:
My mind started running wild, anxiety set in, I thought I was going to have a panic attack, I started feeling dizzy, everything around me blurred out, my breathing was rapid, I thought I was going to vomit, I felt as though I was going to pass out, I started crying a lot.
That was the height of it, normally I run and distract myself or use the coping tools again it’s all a distraction. Facing the anxiety head on and going through all its motions helped to dissipate it. Once I’d felt and mentally allowed myself to get to the worst state the anxiety levels started declining.
What this allowed my mind to understand is, that I was safe and still alive and nothing bad physically happened to me, therefore my mind did not need to keep turning on the safety mechanism to try and keep me safe from said danger.
This particular situation has reduced its anxiety levels by 75%, and I’m still testing on all other situations and the same pattern repeats without fail.
This then allowed me to focus on my method of “back linking”. As I’ve allowed myself to go through those feelings of fear and anxiety I’ve learned to become observant of my thoughts in these situations. As a result, most if not all did not have any solid foundation. Everything that created my anxiety was done through unconscious acceptance of what’s around me. Once I started consciously thinking about my thoughts and linking up to the point of anxiety I was able to go back to my original thought and change that thought. More in-depth practices on how to change thoughts are written here.
That last bit in bold italics is crucial in facing and dealing with anxiety. We must become aware of our thinking and our unconscious thoughts. It is with this amazing change that we control what goes in and thus controlling moods our fearful thinking and dealing with anxiety levels.
SHARING YOUR WINS
I don’t expect change overnight it’s taken me a long time to get this far. However, if you apply everything learnt in this post especially the “root cause tools” I promise you will have at the very least diminished 50% if not more of your anxiety. ?
Please share this knowledge if it helps you, so that we can alleviate anxiety worldwide. If you feel you need further guidance you are welcome to use the contact form and ask the question or please subscribe to get all my future posts.
In the meantime, good luck, I hope to hear from you, where you tell me your anxiety’s going.
All my love