I spent many years as a homeopath and worked with people around the world who were struggling from all sorts of diseases, pains and ailments. Do you know what I saw lurking inside most of these people?
Fear. Anxiety. Stress.
More specifically: Stuck fear. Stuck anxiety. Stuck stress.
For many of us, we can guess where some of our fear, anxiety and stress comes from: our job, our tumultuous marriage or our past.
We feel the weight of it. We stop doing things because of it. We make ourselves smaller and quieter to help buffer ourselves from the experiences and feelings that scare us.
And all the while we tell ourselves that all that shrinking and protecting is easier than facing our fears and anxieties head on.
I understand why, as a society, we’re all stressed out, anxious and terrified. We live in a scary time that—especially with this upcoming election—is only getting scarier. We work like crazy, don’t know how to properly take care of ourselves and, in most cases, don’t have the right resources in place to help us heal the places in ourselves that so desperately need healing.
So, today, I want to talk through how to recognize your fears, anxieties and stresses and learn to face them head on—from your smallest anxieties to your biggest, heaviest, doomiest terrors.
First, I want you to remain alert when you recognize yourself feeling anxious, afraid or stressed.
Depending on your level of discomfort, you may take anti-anxiety drugs to deal with these emotions. They work for a while, but when you emotionally bypass the things that trigger you, they’re only going to continue to trigger you until one day they’ll erupt like a volcano.
So, if you can, go through the fear and anxiety naturally. Be present to what you’re feeling.
Each time you feel the fear, anxiety or stress, take a look at what’s going on around you. What intensity are you feeling around it? Does the intensity feel equal(ish) to the experience?
You’re never going to eradicate fear, anxiety and stress completely. If your nanny gets sick on the same day you have a major meeting scheduled with your boss and an evening full of night classes, you’re going to feel a certain amount of stress.
What we want to understand is: What’s the intensity of what you’re feeling?
In situations where your response seems exaggerated, not appropriate to the situation, or you’re stuck for a long period of time, then follow these guidelines:
1. Move your body. It may sound silly, but our emotions are energy. The more we can move that energy around and change its vibration, the more we’ll learn to move through it. So dance, shake, stretch and remember to breathe.
2. Ask yourself: What is the fear or anxiety trying to tell me? We so often want to squash the fear inside of us, we don’t sit still long enough to listen to what it’s trying to tell us. So after you’ve moved: Is there are a message in the fear?
Sometimes, our fear brain is totally insane and makes zero sense. Sometimes, it’s carrying an important message for us. The more you listen, the more you’ll be able to recognize the difference between the two.
3. Create a daily practice. This is especially important for people looking to face deep rooted traumas and anxiety-provoking experiences and those who have anxiety that runs in the family.
Take a walk in nature. Meditate. Do yoga. Write in your journal.
These practices may sound overly simple for what feels enormously scary, but it’s these gentle, quiet practices that begin to coax out our fears and anxieties so we can see them, heal them and begin to move on.
And remember: sometimes moving on is hanging in there until the rough patch of life shifts!