Anxiety is deadly in my opinion. I’d rather have depression than an anxiety any day of the week. This is because I used to have extreme anxiety of multiple types that ruled my life for many years. It got to the point where my body’s reactions to people and situations controlled me, I couldn’t manage my own physiology and this made me feel helpless, hopeless, humiliated and often deeply depressed. I would ultimately find unravelling my many years of severe depression far easier than the complex jig saw of anxiety and all that it entails.
These days I am almost always anxiety free (although I do very careful self care and do my best to always be aware). Here’s some of how I accomplished this amazing change:
Body work and medication
This was the first thing that really made a difference to me and intervened in my biochemical reactions to things. Advanced, late stage anxiety is when the body by-passes the brain and fires off certain reactions without the sufferer thinking certain thoughts first. Early stage anxiety is when we have a thought about something, followed by the physical repsonse. For me, locked into the late end stages of anxiety, there were two things that gave me relief. One was medication (anti anxiolytics) the other was body work.
I tried body work that didn’t help such as reiki and personally (even though I’m trained in it) I find it useless for nervous system stuff and deep trauma. The body work that unlocked me, was the Access Bars. The reason Access Bars made a powerful difference to me was because it works on trauma and heavily on the brain and neural pathways. (As well as the body and being).
You can read about my first experience of Access Bars here. The other thing I loved about this modality was the facilitation. It made total sense and the facilitator knew some things I wanted to discover. She had a attitude to life based in her teachings that exuded something authentic and different. I felt safe and unjudged in these sessions for the first time in years. I highly recommend a session of Bars with facilitation if anxiety has got you hurting.
You can read my other post for an explanation of how the Bars works, what it creates and affords you by way of change and why it is so valuable.
Adjusting my diet, exercise and sleep
It became important for me to not only eat well, but avoid ingesting chemicals, make sure I was getting advanced nutrition, plenty of rest and plenty of movement. I found certain supplements very helpful here. These are not just B6 and pharmacy magnesium like the Drs will tell you, but advanced supplements with critical functions in the body, brain and nervous system.
I became a runner and runner’s high became my friend. This afforded me true physical relaxation, clarity of mind and the opportunity to be properly oxygenated and a sense of control over my physiology that few other things afforded me at that point, this allowed me to have a sense of who I would be without the anxiety and the opportunity to begin creating new neural pathways. Plus I began to get the benefits of fitness.
I got curious, started to explore non-victim thinking around my anxiety and began to tap into it as a source of power and potency
After a few facilitation sessions where I would ask for help with my anxiety, the facilitator kept inviting me to explore what my anxiety wanted me to know. After a bit, I began to realize that my symptoms were letting me know any time a situation, place or person or group of people felt uncomfortable to me.
My facilitator helped me see my anxiety was a function of my power and potency, it’s just that I was all blocked up with old trauma and pain, so my awareness had no choice but to show up as distressing symptoms. I didn’t have band width available to receive it any other way. Very, very gradually, when I would go somewhere and feel tense, scared and uncomfortable in front of others, I gradually created the space to start to separate myself and my value from that reaction. What I learned among other things was that I was incredibly highly aware. I could tell when others didn’t like themselves, I could tell when I felt judged or unwelcome. I could tell when business owners were mean to their staff, I could feel the energies of a space or building. I was overwhelmed with feedback all the time. This was partly a form of hyper vigilence formed in childhood and partly who I am as a person.
I began to see this as a rightness of me instead of a wrongness and very, very slowly as I received tonnes of Access Bars processing and other body work including the Abuse hold, my life changed. It really was a combination of approaches over time and it involved constant work on my part. Of course I would experience constant setbacks and sometimes cry for days, when I would seize up in front of someone and the humiliation would arise. This was my body screaming at me to do more trauma release work and eventually I would also find EMDR. Something that would change me and the trajectory of my future forever.
I began to engage in practices to strengthen my nervous systems and balance them
Pranyama has been a major contribution to my recovery. This is breathing exercises I do daily for around 25 minutes. Basically holding the out breath strengthens the parasympathetic nervous system and holding the breath in the body strengths the sympathetic or stressed nervous system. Without a practice like breathwork, we can’t self regulate (if we have had anxiety and trauma or are very stressed). What this means is we can flip into fight, fright, freeze or fawning in response to many things. It also means we can’t rest easily and get locked into go, go go…We also may feel sluggish and not be able to get going when we most need to. Trust me, this one is powerful!
Practice Compassion and Allowance for self
If you are brave enough, you have an opportunity to go beyond what you know. Perhaps it may seem like anxiety is running and ruining your life, but what lies beyond this if you are courageous enough to take a look? By the time anxiety is well established, it really is running the show, so you have nothing to lose, when it comes to stepping outside of your suffering and looking at it from a vastly different narrative. Who knows? You might have a breakthrough.
If you have bad anxiety, I’d like to ask you: Is it possible with the life you’ve had that you could be anything other than deeply anxious as a result? Isn’t there are part of you just yearning to be seen, to be loved and receive love that feels too painful and out of reach? What if instead of judging you and hating your anxiety, you could contemplate that you are one of those chosen to develop a deeper understanding of yourself this time around and to develop some self mastery (that right now you don’t know how to create). What if rather than a curse, this is an opportunity to grow in ways you never thought you intended?
What if it’s okay to feel hurt, confused, angry, lost, paralysed, afraid and powerless and to admit that? And what if admitting it could be the start of starting something new for you? What if you could get past this and your future could be vastly different than your past. Would you be interested? What if you could learn to be kind to yourself and feel worthy of being loved? What if you could feel safe in your body and start to enjoy living again? You are more than capable of doing this…I promise I can help.
Heal your Trauma and inherited map of the world
One thing I’ve noticed increasingly so, is that teens and adults who are anxious almost always had a primary parent who was incredibly anxious. This is often hidden, so it seems like the one seeking help is the one with the problem (and of course they are), but the fact is they have formed their view of the world from someone who was extremely disregulated and also (unconsciously) learned to make sense of events in the same way.
Things like victim thinking and fears are passed down through families often through replication and observation as much as through inter generational trauma. Also, what infants do, is attune completely to their primary caregivers. If you as a new parent are riddled with insecurity, fear, unhealed trauma, anxiety or depression you will pass it straight on almost through osmosis if you will. And while you operate from that space your ability to be truly loving is also limited, because those frequencies are in direct opposition with peace, calm, confidence and holding space for another.
Anxiety is caused by trauma whether it’s passed on in the ways I’ve just mentioned or through feeling afraid, because your caregivers demonstrated the world was a scary place and couldn’t offer you a proper model of self regulation. If they were preoccupied with their own pain, your need for mirroring, attunement and guidance won’t have been met, therefore, you will likely be traumatized because that creates a sense of separation from self, which means we interpret subsequent events in our life through a sense of shame, not fitting in and upset.
Get help, see a holistic coach, trauma informed therapist or psychologist. It is the best move you will ever make. You are worth investing in. If this was the legacy you’ve been given, you don’t have to live with it. Yes, it takes time, effort, attention and money to fix, but money is just an energy and I can promise you, if you heal, you will have the energy to create a tonne more money, then you do now. I can help. I’ve been there and I am currently opening up some spaces to private mentoring clients, before I undertake my study commitments for this year. Even though it is scary asking for help, it’s a lot scarier living beneath our potential, missing our true calling and suffering endlessly. Being empowered with the right tools and skills to human effectively is the best investment you will ever make. Call or message me today, that bit of excitment or identification you are feeling right now is awareness. Trust your own knowing.