Free From Anxiety in one Simple Step
So last night I was pondering what exactly causes anxiety and instances where I haven’t felt anxious in a situation I usually would. Particularly I was thinking back to last summer when I went volunteering with my best friend to Laos, South East Asia for two weeks and was wondering how on Earth I got through it considering how anxious I’ve felt lately.
And all of a sudden it hit me. I wasn’t thinking. I mean obviously I was thinking but we were so busy I didn’t have time to worry. And I believe that’s 100% the cause of anxiety, over-thinking. We’re so concerned with what could happen, that we create all these terrible scenarios, that in reality, aren’t going to happen.
Side note: admittedly at the start of the experience I was extremely anxious but I put this down to not sleeping for like 36 hours or something stupid because of time zones and what not. So I highly recommend if you’re going to a place with a massive time zone difference, bloody sleep on the plane!!! Being in a new place can be turned into something exhilarating rather than anxiety-ridden if you just allow your body to rest and recuperate, definitely a lesson learnt on my part.
So back to it, the reason I didn’t feel anxious at all over there (bar the sleep-deprived state) was because our days were so action-packed there simply wasn’t any time for me to worry. I was so focused on what was happening in the now, the time it would take me to decide to worry just didn’t exist. Because anxiety is a decision, it’s you deciding to let your thoughts stray to the future, about what could happen, rather than focusing on the right now where there is no room for worry, there’s simply just the now.
Anxiety is created when we mostly focus on the future, and I say mostly because it also involves the past, in that we choose to avoid situations that happened to us for fear of them repeating (I’m guilty of this and I’m working on it).
So that must mean when you’re fully present and in the moment, there is no room for anxiety? Correct. There aren’t any problems in the now, we’re focused on just being, completely involved with whatever activity we’re doing.
Notice how when you’re feeling stressed you turn to an activity that leaves you feeling calm? You feel that way as a result of being present, you’re immersed in what you’re doing, you’re free from your “problems.” An example could be singers or actors or dancers. They say they’re taken to another place. This is because they’re fully in the now, they’re focusing completely on being in the moment, they’re not worrying or over-thinking, they’re simply being. You could be like that too.
Be free from anxiety by living in the now, try taking notice of everything you’re doing, fully immersing yourself in the moment and see if you feel any anxiety.
I also recommend meditation to make it easier to to be present, something I definitely need to take up.
For more on this see Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now chapter 3.
So when you’re feeling anxious, simply choose not to think (easier said than done, but with practice it can be done), don’t conjure up horrific scenarios, recognise the feeling but don’t give it ammunition. Don’t give your mind the power to wander, try to stay as present as possible, stay in the now. When you’re in the now, the future doesn’t exist, there’s no room for worrying.
So just try it and know that I’m on this journey with you. Everything I’m learning, I’m sharing with you. You may have a lot of questions, so do I. I’ve still a lot to learn, but I’m determined to share every golden nugget of helpful knowledge I possess. So yea, I don’t pretend to know everything, far from it, I’m just sharing what I’ve learnt in the hopes that it can help someone.
We’re in this together (so tempted to change that to we’re ALL in this together to placate my High School Musical loving heart).
Be in the now.
All my light and love,