Undoing The Thought: Anxiety Ruins My Life

question your thoughts and fear leavesI woke up agitated and anxious this morning. This is not uncommon for me at this time in my life. At the ripe hour of 5:30 am I couldn’t take it anymore so I went downstairs to the computer. I went to do a trusted Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet to undo the thoughts that were making me sick.

I will hold this belief up against the 4 questions of The Work of Byron Katie.

Let me show you how, by using 4 Simple Questions and then finding Turnarounds, I was able to set myself free of a belief that was causing me much pain and mental anguish.

My hope is that, by seeing this simple process here, you will be inspired to use The Work on your own limiting beliefs – about anxiety, stress, worry, or anything that is causing you to suffer.

This is a simple way to find peace and freedom! And freedom from suffering is our birthright! 🙂

1. Who angers, irritates, saddens, or frustrates you and why?
I am angry at anxiety because it ruins my life

2. What do you need them to do in order for you to be ok?
I need anxiety to go away forever.

3. What is it that they should or shouldn’t do, be, think or feel?
I shouldn’t wake up with anxiety.

4. What do you think of them? Make a list.
Anxiety is cruel. It takes the joy out of my life. It makes everything hard.

5. What is it that you don’t want to experience with that person again?
I don’t ever want to wake up with anxiety again.

Anxiety ruins my life.
Is it True? No

How do you react when you believe the thought?
Hopeless. Sick in gut. Negative thoughts bombard me, images of past and future. About me, my life, work, mom and dad, the girls, Bob, my sister, Buddy, the neighbors, how mornings are so hard. My pain body is 100% activated, I feel overwhelmed. Images of past taking Sam as a baby in to Dr. Levine, going there when I was pregnant, feeling sad about that. Feel the anxiety in my lower abdomen and wonder how it will go away, notice it keeps coming back.

Who would you be without the thought?
Still. Taking a breath. In this moment, peace. Hear the Tap tap tap of my fingers on the keyboard. It’s now 6am on a Sunday morning. Just here in peace with no story. Looking at my hands.

Turnarounds (Find examples for each turn around that is or could be as true or truer.)

Anxiety builds my life. (Doesn’t ruin my life)
Example: I’ve learned to feel the feeling and watch it. To witness it. As Eckhart Tolle teaches, who put that feeling there? To watch it without making it a story.

Example: I’ve learned to question the thoughts that cause the feeling. To undo the thoughts like now doing a Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet. And the anxiety natually falls away. With such ease…

Example: I’ve learned to cross over into the other brain hemisphere (from being emotional to being logical) when it takes hold. Via looking left and right, heart breathing, exercise, tapping, expanded awareness and eyes in the back of my head, hypnosis, or doing the Time Line exercise.

Example: I’ve taken the anxiety and used it to move forward. I learned to function with it. On every level in my life.

Example: I can take medication any time.There is nothing stopping me. Ever.

Turnaround: My thinking ruins my life.

Yes, thoughts come about my life, my work, my family, they come with images of past and future and I attach to them and I can’t relax. I can’t handle it. My world becomes hell and my life is ruined in that moment.

I need anxiety to go away forever.

Is it true? Yes.

Can you absolutely know it’s true that you need anxiety to go away forever?

Well, I guess if I had to know in the highest sense, if i had to really know for sure that it would be for my highest good and for the highest good of humanity, I would have to say no.

No.

I’m thinking of that Rupert Spira video I saw about why are we so afraid of this little feeling?

How do you react when you believe the thought?
When I believe this thought, I am in an endless abyss. I can never make anxiety go away forever so I am in complete and utter hell, and the only temporary escape is to take pills all the time and live in a very careful way.

Who would you be without the thought?

Just sitting here in peace. Feeling my abdomen relaxed so much already. Feel so much peace from just investigating these untrue thoughts. So grateful!

Turnaround:
I need my thinking to go away forever.

This is more true.So so so true! I need my thinking and attachment to the stories to go away forever. This is the way out of anxiety forever.

I shouldn’t wake up with anxiety.

Is it true?
No.

How do you react when you believe the thought?

I feel exhausted and yet I can’t rest. I cant relax. I just lay there miserable. I feel hopeless and I slept like shit on top of it.

Who would you be without the thought?
I would have some saneness, some clarity of mind, some space around the anxiousness. In that space, I could feel the feeling, and have the wherewithal to do tapping (or something else out of my toolbox to help calm me, and then a Jude Your Neighbor Worksheet.

Turnaround:
I should wake up with anxiety

Proof or examples:

Because I do. It’s what is for now.

It is morning, it’s a weekend, I have a lunch planned with friends today, I am sensitive. For now, it’s the way of it. Until it’s not.

I had anxious thoughts and I attached to them. I had images in my head and I attached to them. That is why I should wake up with anxiety.

Turnaround:
I shouldn’t wake up with thinking….And think that I shouldn’t have anxiety.

Anxiety is cruel.

Turnaround:
My thinking is cruel. Anxiety is just a feeling. It is benign. My thinking is cruel and merciless when it attaches to the story of anxiety is cruel and it shouldn’t be happening and it’s ruining my life.

Anxiety takes the joy out of my life.

Turnaround:
My thinking takes the joy out of my life.

Anxiety makes everything hard.

Turnaround:
My thinking makes everything hard.

I don’t ever want to wake up with anxiety again.

Turnaround:
I’m willing to wake up with anxiety again.

Why? Because it could happen. It could happen tomorrow. Then I can do a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet again and set myself free again.

Thank you Lord. 🙂

I hope you can see from my example how it’s not anxiety that causes the suffering. It’s THE STORY we weave around the situation and believe that causes the suffering.

And once we loosen our grip on that story, the story itself doesn’t feel so real, so powerful anymore. And naturally then, the anxiety and all the drama around it starts to naturally fade away.

“A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.” – Byron Katie

Here are some other posts about using The Work that you will want to read:

How the Mind Twists Reality into Hell- And The Way Back to Peace

How to Notice When Your Thinking is Distorted

Doing Byron Katie’s The Work for Panic Attacks

I wish you peace,

Jill G.

Resources for you:

To learn more about The Work, see this site (it is free): http://thework.com.

Highly recommended reading (this book is on my nightstand) : Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

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PS. If you loved this post, please Like and Share it on social media. Thank you!

Here are some popular articles from Panic Free Me that may help you today:

Self Treatment for Social Anxiety

Successfully Coping with Anxiety – The Basics

And here are some helpful resources I have put together for you:

Free Anxiety Tips & Help

Hypnosis Downloads for Anxiety & Phobias

Recommended Anxiety Products That Work

Recommended Anxiety Books

Posted in Panic Attacks, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How to Make Eye Contact When You Have Social Anxiety

Do you ever have trouble making eye contact?how to make eye contact

Humans are social animals. We have a want and need to be with others. And when that sense of connection is lacking or missing because of social anxiety, we feel bad. Social anxiety can make it very hard to feel that natural sense of belonging we were born with.

But don’t despair. Today we’re going to talk about how to take that first step to get you out of your social anxiety shell. I promise if you do this, it will really help you be more natural and relaxed around others.

I saw this posted on Facebook last weekend:
The young man feels awkward at a party he was at. So what does he do to help manage his discomfort? He focuses in on his phone and feels terrible about it afterwards.

In order to feel better, you have to focus outwards

Whether he realizes it or not, he is using his phone as a safety behavior (also known as an avoidance behavior). As he looks into the phone, he sends a message to those around him that he is otherwise engaged, and not available for socializing.

This keeps him “safe” or “off the hook” in the short term, but does nothing to help him going forward.

What I have learned over the years is that you have to practice initiating positive social contact. And one of the easiest and most natural ways to do this is to make eye contact.

This may sound small, but any socially anxious person will tell you it’s not. When you are socially anxious, you have a tendency to focus inwards on what you are thinking and how crappy you are feeling.

Part of the stories we tell ourselves is that others are watching and judging us. And one of the ways we unconsciously keep the anxiety going is that we stay focused inwards and we don’t look at others. For me I used to actually avoid making eye contact.

This reinforces that looking at others is unsafe, and the avoidance behavir will then continue.

It is much healthier and kinder (to yourself and to the world around you) to start making eye contact. If you haven’t done it in awhile you can Start by Doing it Afraid. Look at someone as you pass them by. Give a little smile.

Last fall I had a setback where I became very afraid to fly. I did a lot of work to help myself and the flight to Aruba was an overwhelming success. However, once I made it safely to my destination, I was scared the fear would come back on the return trip.

Because of this lingering doubt, I wanted to prove to myself that this is a friendly universe. Including all the people in it!

So while I was on my vacation I conducted a little experiment: Every morning as I walked along the beach, I made eye contact with and said hello to every stranger I passed.

It was such a wonderful exercise. Almost without exception, everyone with whom I made eye contact with and said hello or good morning to either smiled or smiled and said good morning back.

If I had to give percentages it would have been a 95% smile back rate.

I could never make this up. 🙂

Now of course I am sure everyone is a little happier on a Caribbean vacation, so I definitely took that into consideration.

But I have been deliberately putting myself out there, making eye contact and smiling as a daily practice.

TIP> Because when you make something good into a daily practice, it eventually becomes ingrained in you as a habit. <TIP!

I try to do it every day at work. ESPECIALLY on days that I don’t feel great emotionally. There is nothing that can pick me up better than to connect with my fellow man.

If you haven’t made eye contact in awhile, you may be a little nervous about how to do it. And you might notice that it doesn’t feel natural at first.

**But remember, making eye contact and smiling is the most natural thing in the world. We did this all the time when we were little! The only thing unnatural is we trained ourselves to stop doing it because of anxiety!**

The best thing you can do about this then, is to prepare yourself before you actually start. Before you leave your house, you can do some quick neuro-activation to help you become more relaxed and confident.

You might try the quick 2 minute Time Line technique I told you about in my last post. You could also review your favorite anxiety busting program, or you could do some hypnosis.

Or you could do a few minutes of EFT (also called Tapping). Here is a great video you can use to help with this:

Once you have taken some of that emotional charge out of the prospect of making eye contact, you’re ready to go out there and start.

Check in and make sure you’re breathing nice and regularly and not holding your breath.

Making eye contact- greeting someone with a smile- is a small kindness. Extending kindness out brings it back to you. So once you start doing this, you can’t help but feel uplifted and happier.

Remember, once you start looking outwards a little it becomes much easier. When you expand your awareness in this way, it helps knock the wind out of the sails of social anxiety.

How are you with making eye contact? Has social anxiety made it difficult or impossible for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment and let’s chat!

I wish you peace,

Jill G.

PS. If you loved this post, please Like and Share it on social media. Thank you!

Here are some popular articles from Panic Free Me that may help you today:

Self Treatment for Social Anxiety

Successfully Coping with Anxiety – The Basics

And here are some helpful resources I have put together for you:

Free Anxiety Tips & Help

Hypnosis Downloads for Anxiety & Phobias

Recommended Anxiety Products That Work

Recommended Anxiety Books

Posted in Social Anxiety Disorder | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

2 Minutes to Stop Anxiety Fast – LOVING this! :)

Yesterday at work we had an impromptu meeting and while I didn’t have a panic attack, I definitely could have. I had a level of agitation and social anxiety that was uncomfortable. So I just sat there all miserable waiting for it to end.

I didn’t like how I felt afterwards. I could tell during the meeting that I was in a contracted, fearful state. That if I was called on to speak, it would have been a real challenge. And when others were speaking, I was sad and envious of their ease of expressing themselves. 🙁

When I woke up this morning I vowed I would find something to help me. Something quick and effective. This morning I was looking at NLP videos on YouTube. I came upon this one that helped a lot:


Here are some notes taken from the video:

Think of your life as a timeline. Float out and above the event about which you were anxious. Look down as an observer.

Here’s the key:
Go 15 minutes out furhter. Turn and look back down onto your timeline. Turn and look back and see the event turn out better than you could have possibly imagined.
Now- now, where’s the anxiety?
If you’ve done this correctly, it’s either greatly reduced, or completely gone.

Yay! 🙂

I did this exercise using yesterday’s staff meeting as the anxious event, and wow. Almost as if by magic, the feelings and anxiety I had about it completely evaporated.

I could totally picture myself sitting in the next meeting ROCKING it with calmness and happy confidence. Thank you Lord!

I really LOVE this technique! 🙂

Remember last fall when I had that episode of being paralyzed with anxiety over my upcoming flight? Well, the therapist I worked with Christopher Paul Jones, included this NLP timeline technique as one of the ways to help me regain my confidence and emotional balance.

And in the Overcome Fear of Flying hypnosis download I purchased, they also effectively used this timeline technique as well.

Give it a whirl and let me know how you like it!

I love finding fast, effective ways for us anxious folk to get back to our calm selves! NLP rocks!

TIP: If this works great for you, bookmark it so you can have it on hand to refer to as needed!

I wish you peace,

Jill G.

PS. If you loved this post, please share it on social media. Thank you!

Here are some popular articles from Panic Free Me that may help you today:

Self Treatment for Social Anxiety

Successfully Coping with Anxiety – The Basics

And here are some helpful resources I have put together for you:

Free Anxiety Tips & Help

Hypnosis Downloads for Anxiety & Phobias

Recommended Anxiety Products That Work

Recommended Anxiety Books

Posted in Social Anxiety Disorder | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Gift of Silence – How it Helps Relieve Anxiety & Tension

Silence and inner stillness are blessings in my life. Today I want to talk about how being still and silent can help relieve tension and anxiety, and really just makes things better overall.silence is a source of great strength

The other night I could not fall asleep. I was tired when I went to bed, but wide awake once I turned the lights out. Sleep didn’t come till after 2 am. I was antsy and kept having a lot of negative thoughts.

After laying there for awhile I went to the bathroom. I looked out the window. It was a full moon and the light cast beautiful shadows off the trees. It looked absolutely heavenly.

I was overcome with gratitude to gaze upon such beauty and stillness. I just stood there looking out, taking slow, conscious breaths. This righted me. It was so pleasant. I felt the peace and stillness of that beautiful moonlit scene.

After that sign from the heavens that all is well,  I climbed back into bed, regrouped and read helpful things on my iPad until my lids got heavy.

I am grateful for the gifts of silence and stillness.

This past year, more than ever, I am experiencing the immense value of having the ability to hold my tongue- something I could never do in the past. However, I am doing it in a peaceful way, not in a bitchy ‘silent treatment’ kind of way.

Whether it’s someone irritating at work, or when my husband says something that triggers me, I can be silent and let the irritation or trigger just be. I don’t have to add to it with a reactive comment or giving someone ‘the look.’ I can give it some space.

The beauty of using silence is the situation quickly dissipates. It is so very helpful to act this way! 🙂

What follows are some recent examples where using Silence made things better…

Silence Takes the Wind out of a Potential Argument

Yesterday morning my husband and I were both up early. I wanted to show him an article online that I thought would be helpful for him for a project he is doing. His response was to get angry and scold me.

I didn’t say anything. I maintained my silence and didn’t argue back.

My pattern for years was to give it right back to him.

After all, here I am being all nice and showing him an article to help him and he becomes an angry jerk in response.

But is he really being a jerk to me?

Can I absolutely know that’s accurate?

No, I can’t.

Because of the grace of silence, I could understand that he was hurting. He is very nervous because he had a bad year at work and is worried of what the future holds for him at his company. The article I had him read was advice for a new project he is doing (his plan is to turn this project into his next career).

While my intention was good, he became overwhelmed because it hit that nerve in him where he is worried about his job. Anything related to work can set him off.

And in that space I could feel compassion for him. He lost his job 3 years ago, and now this one is looking dismal as well. As a man and provider I cannot fathom how hard it must be for him.

So I was able to realize he was lost in his own negative thoughts and I also recognized his reaction wasn’t personal. He wasn’t trying to be mean. He was scared.

I made a neutral comment to him, because I wanted to be clear. I said something along the lines of, Listen this is not important. I am not trying to tell you what to do. I just saw this and it came to me to share it with you. That’s all.

Silence.

And then a few minutes later he apologized. It was a heartfelt apology. You must know that he never apologizes. It is almost unheard of.

And over this past year, this kind of scene has played out more than a few times- where he is reactive at me with anger and I don’t defend back.

All because I am no longer arguing. I am doing my best to be still and as peaceful as I can. I am not engaging in reactive arguing. I cannot tell you what a gift and blessing this has been to me!

Silence On the Way to Work

One of the best little things I have incorporated into my morning routine is to sit for a few minutes in silent meditation.

Sometimes though – and thankfully not nearly as often as in years past-  I experience having anxiety before work. When I notice during my commute that I am anxious, I turn off the CD I am listening to and just drive in silence.

In the silent car, I take in all the sights and sounds of the beautiful drive in to work. I love looking at the sky and the trees and the early morning light. I will say a prayer of gratitude or do positive affirmations to get myself rooted back in the present.

It is very helpful in reducing anxiety! And so nice to walk into work after nipping anxiety in the bud!

Using Silence at Work- Staying out of the Crossfire

A few weeks ago we had an extremely busy day on our unit. There were a ton of surgeries and so in my post anesthesia unit, we had patient after patient coming in to us. We were slamming, and it was real intense.

My coworker Mary got overwhelmed. Which was completely understandable. All at once she became very irritable and short tempered.

I just kept my head down and took care of my patients without engaging her or feeding into her mood. I stayed focused on my patients and outside of the drama unfolding around me.

Once the day was over, her sweet personality came back. But she had made a few enemies that day, from being short tempered with other staff members.

By keeping to myself and not being a part of it, I was able to somehow rise above it. If that makes any sense.

I know if that day had happened even a year ago, I would have gotten into a verbal altercation with her. Reacting to another person’s anger has always fueled my own anger. I guess that’s what they mean when they say bad feelings are contagious.

But by maintaining some stillness within and silently going about my work, I was not pulled into the fray.

So to have made it through that day unscathed and without butting heads with Mary was a real win.

Letting the Loud Girl Have Her Say

There’s a girl I work with who is very LOUD. She talks loud and has something to say about everything. She used to irritate the hell out of me. But since becoming more still and silent, I find I can tolerated her better and feel much less reactive around her.

When we’re in the lunchroom and she is going on and on about what she thinks about this or that political figure, I am no longer compelled to chime in with my opinion. Or cringe inside and leave the room. I just let her talk. Pretty soon she runs out of air.

And I find I no longer dislike her. I actually do like her and can see that she is friendly and funny.

Pausing or taking time to respond lets us see clearly what’s happening, it gives us the opportunity to view the situation differently – from the other’s perspective or to think of the good in the other person. It lets compassion seep in. –Source

In closing, I am very grateful to have learned to be still, to be silent. That sometimes in the midst of chaos, I have the grace to be silent. To observe and listen and really take in what is going on around me. I am grateful for the compassion this has given me and the lessons I am learning from it.

Do you ever wish you didn’t react out loud when you feel provoked or irritated? Can you see how silence can help serve you in your life and in your relationships?

Leave a comment and let’s chat!

I wish you peace,

Jill G.

PS. If you loved this post, please share it on social media. Thank you!

Here are some popular articles from Panic Free Me that may help you today:

Self Treatment for Social Anxiety

Successfully Coping with Anxiety – The Basics

And here are some helpful resources I have put together for you:

Free Anxiety Tips & Help

Hypnosis Downloads for Anxiety & Phobias

Recommended Anxiety Products That Work

Recommended Anxiety Books

Posted in Stress Management, Healthy Lifestyle | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

How My (Bad) Marriage is Getting Better

I started meditating about 4 years ago. So many things have improved in my life since then, it is undeniable. Slowing down for those few minutes and connecting to my inner stillness has been a Godsend for me. And interestingly, my tumultuous, stressful, headed-for-divorce marriage even got better too.

Although I couldn’t put my finger on exactly how or why that was the case, I read an article this morning that explained it perfectly. My hope is that this can benefit you in your marriage or partnership too…

These are The Things That Make or Break a Relationship

He comes home from work exhausted again. After yet another frustrating meeting that could have been covered in an email, a tense conversation with a co-worker about the state of the break room refrigerator, and predictably awful traffic on the way home, he crashes onto the living room sofa, lets out a deep breath, and turns on his favorite show. All he wants to do is decompress in silence.

As if on cue, he hears the back door open. His wife is home — and somehow she’s more chipper than ever. As she enters the room and removes her coat, she takes a moment to pause at the front window, saying, “What beautiful weather — it’s just lovely today.”

What should he do next? The answer may matter more than you think.

John Gottman has spent his career studying what makes relationships work — and what he has discovered is as practical as it is important. Through his research, he has been able to identify what qualities and practices make a couple masters of their relationship, as well as what can make a relationship turn into a disaster. He found a subtle but significant difference between the masters and disasters that strongly predicts the future of their relationships: In the small, everyday moments of life together, relationship masters are much more responsive to their partner’s attempts to engage with them.

These attempts at engagement, or emotional bids, are any effort on the part of one partner to connect or get their partner’s attention. These bids can be as glaringly obvious as a direct request for cuddling at bedtime or as subtle as an indirect comment about the weather, addressed to no one in particular. Gottman found that partners who consistently responded positively — or turned toward — each other’s emotional bids were significantly more likely to feel satisfied and stay together over time than those who did not. In fact, in a six-year study of newlyweds, Gottman discovered that couples who stayed together turned toward each other’s emotional bids 86 percent of the time, while those who went on to divorce turned toward each other’s bids only 33 percent of the time.

Over time, all of the seemingly insignificant moments of daily life in a relationship turn into something of immense importance. Gottman identified four different responses that people typically utilize when their partner sends an emotional bid in their direction. Each can either support or tear down a relationship’s sense of togetherness and security. We can turn toward our partner; turn enthusiastically toward our partner; turn away from our partner; or turn against our partner. In the introductory example, a husband worn out from his day receives an emotional bid from his wife when she comments about the weather. He has a choice: He can turn toward his wife with a short and simple “Yes, it is,” acknowledging her bid; he can turn enthusiastically toward her by engaging her in a longer conversation about the day; turn away from her by ignoring the comment; or turn against her by gruffly asking for some peace and quiet.

Although an enthusiastic response to an emotional bid is almost always appreciated, more often than not a simple acknowledgement of your partner’s bid is enough to deepen your connection. You don’t have to deliver endless energy, attention, and focus to be a relationship master.

How is it that such small moments make such a big difference in our relationships? By consistently turning toward your partner when they reach for you in small ways, you fortify your relationship against the stresses and obstacles of life. Essentially, an emotional bid is a small way that we daily ask our partners, “Are you here with me?” or, “Do I matter to you?” The answer to these questions becomes even more important if there has been previous infidelity or if either partner has a history of trauma. By receiving a metaphorical “Yes!” to these questions consistently throughout your relationship, you strengthen your trust and connection to each other.

Pay attention to the small ways in which your partner reaches for you and attempts to connect — intentionally looking for ways to turn toward your partner will help you be more effective in connecting with them. Every time you turn toward your partner in response to an emotional bid, you invest in the health and security of your relationship. This sense of security, of feeling truly able to know and be known by your partner, created by intentionally and consistently turning toward your partner, deepens your shared sense of intimacy and is correlated with increased marriage satisfaction.

As John Gottman reminds us in his work, it’s the small things done often that make the biggest difference in relationships. By turning toward your partner’s emotional bids, you safeguard your relationship against disrepair and deepen the love you share.

Article Source: Psychology Today

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How to Beat Morning Anxiety So You Can Have a Good Day

Today’s topic is Morning Anxiety: why it happens, what it feels like, and some practical solutions to help you feel better FAST so you can get on with your day.

Kay said: “I found myself waking up today edgy and I so hate being in the agitated state. More edginess ….morning anxiety

I feel my mind is swirling. Going from one trial to another. Like you, my problems are all real. Very real.  It is not like past anxiety thoughts, “what if…..” NO! These issues I face are real, raw, in your face issues..

Worse, I do not want to feel and be this way. I do not like or want or these  problems in my life, health, family and things today, in this moment, I cannot do anything about.  So what can I do?”

Jill said: Hi Kay, I’m sorry you are suffering. Yes, life is sometimes full of problems. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming. And if you wake up with morning anxiety, you will not be able to think with a clear head, nor make thoughtful, productive decisions. Continue reading

Posted in Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Stress Management | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Social Anxiety at Thanksgiving- I Felt Weird Around My Cousin

I hope you all are doing well going into the holiday season! Last week here in the US was Thanksgiving.  I celebrated at my sister’s house in upstate NY. And I had a bout of social anxiety along with my turkey and gravy and stuffing. Boo 🙁setbacks are temporary

It kind of sucked. My cousin and her husband from Brooklyn joined us and I was unable to connect with her the way I wanted to, because I was feeling weird and anxious around her.

It was not horrible, I didn’t panic or anything, but I felt guarded and had low level anxiety around her for most of the time.

My cousin is someone I rarely see now, but I grew up with her and so have a lot of history there. I know social anxiety can be triggered by anything, and certainly a history with a cousin who knows me well qualifies.

It was uncomfortable and it made me sad the next day, because I love her and really hated how I felt. It felt as if I was role-playing– and I was!

I was covering up how I really felt (which was anxious) so she wouldn’t notice. But the result of me acting that way was we really didn’t connect the way I wanted to. And I felt bad.

I couldn’t give and take in the conversation because I was all hung up in my head wondering how she was feeling about me, what her husband thought of me, was I acting ok, etc.

I’m sure the truth was they weren’t thinking of me at all. But social anxiety makes you think you’re the focus of everyone around you.

So I felt bad and couldn’t remember what to do to make myself feel better in the moment. God I hate it when that happens. 😛

Looking back, of course now, I wish I had excused myself and gone into a bedroom or the bathroom for a few minutes to center myself and reconnect.

And going forward in this holiday season, this is what I am going to remind myself, should social anxiety strike again:

Stay in Gratitude

There is always so much to be grateful for! I was blessed to be able to be around my family this Thanksgiving, however it happened.

I have an aunt who didn’t want to join us for the holiday. My aunt has a lot of negativity and depression. So while it hurts my mother’s feelings (my aunt is her sister) that she doesn’t want to be around us, I understand. I remember a time when I was so anxious, I would avoid family functions.

And I have been feeling and doing so well lately in my life, something to celebrate and not to lose sight of!

I love my cousin and her husband, and even if I was anxious, I don’t regret a single moment spent with them.

Setbacks happen, it’s no big deal

Weird feelings and anxious times come and go. Such is the nature of life it seems. With maturity, I am learning to have an open mind about whatever comes up for me emotionally.

While I may temporarily feel bad or beat myself up, I quickly dust myself off and get back in the saddle and onto living my life.

I don’t wallow in self pity or regret. Well, I do it a little, but I don’t stay there, thank God. In fact, I can look back at the situation and ask myself What did I learn?

Well, first and foremost I need to continue to be kind and loving towards myself.

When I feel socially anxious, it’s because I perceive that others are judging me harshly. Judging my life, my person, my choices.

The truth is, I am judging myself harshly with a story in my head – and projecting that onto others. That’s what causes the separation and makes me feel anxious.

I “forgot” my connection to my cousin because I had a mental movie running in my head that she was judging me.

The truth is, my cousin loves me despite how I felt, despite me not being able to relax around her.

And I can forgive myself for this old anxiety habit, and not let it snowball into some big thing.

I said this before and I’ll say it again:

Setbacks are a normal part of anxiety recovery. So accept it as part of the process and be kind to yourself. Hug yourself. Tell yourself you’ll be fine, because you will. Being nice to yourself after you have had an anxiety filled day can really help set the stage for a better day tomorrow.

There are so many tools to help!

Anyone who is in my middle age group will remember a time when there was no internet. Young people have no idea. It really sucked!

There was so little information available about social anxiety.

Outside of going to the library and finding an old book or maybe talking to someone (which for me wasn’t always helpful), you just had to suck it up the best you could.

It was a pretty bewildering time in my life.

Today thankfully, there are so many wonderful tools and resources online to help us get back on track after a setback.

You literally can get help in minutes when you need it. It really is such a blessing!

When I was having a hard time a few months ago, I brushed myself off and dove into the things that always help me.

Specifically, I went back and reviewed the 60 Second Panic Solution. That’s the anxiety program that works like a charm for me.

I also had specific challenges, so I went and did some self hypnosis to help myself with that. Hypnosis is always helpful and can retrain faulty thinking and get you back on track.

I also found a very helpful person online and did an online Skype session with him. It was expensive, but worth it.

I also shared my struggles with friends and family in an appropriate way. Asking for and receiving help and support is incredibly liberating and healing.

Anxious people tend to hold everything inside. Letting it out can feel really good! 🙂

And more recently, I’ve been doing a 6 minute energy healing for anxiety routine. It feels so nice! It feels like coming home to myself.

Ok, well that’s it for today.

And you, how are you doing as the holidays are fast approaching? Will you be hosting or going to social gatherings? Does your social anxiety get triggered this time of year? I’d love to hear how you’re doing. Leave a comment and let’s chat!

I wish you peace,

Jill G.

Posted in Social Anxiety Disorder | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Energy Healing for Anxiety – How a 6 Minute Morning Routine is Helping Me Feel More Calm & Balanced

As a nurse, it’s easy for me to witness on a daily basis how our bodies heal themselves.It is something I don’t ever question. I know that bodies heal, even when conditions aren’t optimal.

energy healing

I’ve seen cases where patients weren’t expected to fare well, and they did. Healing is natural, it happens to all of us all the time- even if we aren’t aware of it.

And healing, as we’ve all perhaps witnessed firsthand or read about, can be miraculous. It’s just what nature does.

Recently I have been looking into healing energy, energy medicine, and tapping into that power for healing anxiety.

Becasue healing doesn’t just happen on a physical level, after all.

And I’ve been pleased and excited with these findings. Because for years I was trapped into thinking that being crippled with anxiety was outside of my control. That I was doomed to live constricted and in a fearful way forever.

What I’ve been learning is that we can block or impede our emotional healing and physical healing, by our negative thoughts and habits.

Clearly, my thinking was very negative with respect to my mind’s ability to heal. I wanted more than anything feel better. But the truth was I didn’t believe I could heal.

That was me blocking my own energy. Me being in a state of resistance. Getting in my own way.

And yet, even with my negativity, I was able to make great strides.

When I started this blog almost 10 years ago, I was in great pain. But I had hope. I knew somehow I could get better,

I’ve been learning to undo “my story” I created around being anxious. For the past few years, I have done this by listening to The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle on audio CD.

He has taught me that I am not my mind. That the story in my head is not who I am.

That when I have fear and anxiety, I can watch it, but not attach to it. I can witness and notice the sensations without getting sucked in and making a drama around it.

When I have nagging, persistent negative thoughts, I can undo them by doing a Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet from The Work of Byron Katie.

(I highly recommend both Byron Katie and Eckhart Tolle to anyone suffering from anxiety!)

But back to using Energy Healing for Anxiety…

The other day I stumbled across a book on Amazon called The Healing Code: 6 Minutes to Heal the Source of Your Health, Success, or Relationship Issue.

I noticed all the 5 star reviews and read a bunch of them.

Curious, I read what I could about the process and also found some great information on YouTube, which I will share with you below.

The Healing Code is basically a way to heal illnesses and whatever is wrong in the body or mind. It works with by moving energy at the cellular level- where we store trauma and illness.

This little process takes only 6 minutes to do. (You’re supposed to do it twice a day for optimal results.)

To do it, you start by saying a prayer. Then you perform a set of movements with fingers of both hands pointing to (but not touching):

1. The Third Eye area (Bridge of nose)
2. Adam’s apple (Throat Chakra)
3. Angle of the Jaw
4. Just above the Temples

Each position is held for 30 seconds and the sequence is repeated several times for a total of 6 minutes

I started doing it last week.

Last weekend was a great success for me. I felt well, and I wasn’t all reactionary with my husband, like I usually am on weekends and have been for years (in fact I ruined the Saturday before because I couldn’t stop my mouth. This lead to so much pain and suffering for me and him!)

So far I can say it is helping. I definitely believe that this is helping heal me. I feel calm and balanced.

I feel accepting, non-reactive, and peaceful. So nice!

Perhaps it is an amplified version of prayer, who knows?

There are definitely a lot of people who think this is nonsense, but I don’t care. There are more people who say that it helps them.

It it works, I do it. Period.

Here is the version of the prayer I use:

“I pray that all known and unknown negative images, unhealthy beliefs, destructive cellular memories and all physical issues related to this condition would be found, opened and healed by filling me with the life, light and love of the Divine. I also pray that the effectiveness of this healing be increased by 100 times or more.”

Here is a really helpful video I found that explains how to do The Healing Code 6 Minute Routine:

And this next video is also really helpful. It has a timer on it. You can just move your hand positions on queue every 30 seconds. You can look at the beautiful angel paintings and read along with the prayer:

So I am using this Healing Code healing energy exercise to help heal my anxiety and other ailments. If you have 6 minutes to spare, I hope you will check it out for yourself!

Here is the link to Amazon in case you want to check out the Healing Code book for yourself. I think you can do it just fine though, using these two videos.

I wish you peace,
Jill G.

Posted in Stress Management, Healthy Lifestyle | Tagged , , | Leave a comment