In the previous part, I wrote about what anxiety states are, what to expect from them, and what we can do first. Today I will share with you something that helped me, and as a result of which I am creating (already created! Just waiting to be printed) a book – a comfort for people like… we.
Anxiety is accompanied by mental anxiety, which manifests itself in the body in various ways. And it is important not to focus on external symptoms (e.g. tremors, chills, bruxism…) but to strive for long-term changes, and these start in the head – with the right mindset.
It is the beliefs you hold about yourself that can work against you the most. Let’s try to disarm them:
Belief #1 – My situation is unique!
Your situation is certainly new to you, that’s why it’s difficult, uncontrollable, you don’t know what to expect, but believe me – it’s not unique. You are one of many suffering people, indeed! You’re probably not that bad after all!
For years I lived in the belief that my situation was unique and that no one else had experienced anything like it. For example, for years I had problems with breathing, I was breathing sometimes 1/3, sometimes ½ breath, and everyone around me – normally! Until last year I went to a physiotherapist with my problems. I mentioned breathing problems and what did I find out? That every second person who comes to him has such a problem!! That it is a blockage at the level of the thoracic vertebrae and it can be removed quite quickly and efficiently! He moved from words to deeds and you won’t believe it, but for over half a year, after 24 years of incomplete breathing and torment, I’ve been breathing so normally that sometimes I catch myself checking if it’s not a dream!
It was the same with the rest of my spine. I isolated my problem, took it to the highest shelf and there it gathered dust. I stopped believing that anyone, anything could help me. And it was a big mistake.
I was supposed to be like the biblical, intrusive widow, knocking on the door behind which there is help, but I was like a leper hidden somewhere in the wilderness, left alone.
Then I met a lot of people with problems either identical or worse than mine! There are thousands of these people!
My advice: Stop thinking of yourself as a special case. Believe me, if you are sick, medicine has known your case for a long time!
Yes, you are special, special to God. And He wants to find you in your place, in your dark valley (from Psalm 23) and take you by the arm and lead you there. Don’t be afraid – for Him your problem is very important and He wants to solve it.
Don’t lock yourself away in your own little world; look for Facebook groups bringing together people with problems like yours, look for advice and support there, meet others like you. Better together. Over time, you can be a support for someone and look for it, it will make you stronger.
Rather tell yourself: I’m not the only one in this, others suffer too, or even have it worse. My situation isn’t that bad yet.
And what happened to me: I’m not the first. So many people before me have already gone through this, are going through it now, and many more will go through it!
If you allow yourself to think about your uniqueness, you are close to belief number 2:
Belief #2 – No one understands what I’m going through.
Don’t you think that your suffering creates a window that separates you from the rest of society? Everyone around them is healthy, functioning at seemingly full speed, what can they understand? They don’t know what you’re going through.
And… don’t be surprised at them. It is not without reason that it is said that to understand what someone is going through, you have to walk in their shoes. Yes! Imagine that one of your loved ones is just experiencing their first crush, or a cold, or pregnancy – you have already gone through this in your life, right? And yet this experience seems so distant that sometimes you feel like downplaying it. It no longer applies to you, it is difficult for you to recall the emotions and well-being it causes. What about someone who has never suffered from what you suffer from now? It’s impossible and let’s not expect it from others. Let’s not expect understanding – but let’s ask for support, let’s share with someone what we are going through. Let’s not make others co-sufferers, but rather someone who can lift our spirits – because he is currently stronger. Maybe tomorrow we will lift it? Because
Belief #3 – It will never end!
Meanwhile: nothing lasts forever. Everything passes; and feelings of happiness, contentment and suffering. Isn’t that great?! Everything passes.
It seemed to me that it would only get worse as I was going down a slippery slope – but I kept looking for help and when I found myself in good hands, I slowly started to hit the bottom. Really slowly. Today, the difference between my situation a year ago and now is colossal!
It is important to do SOMETHING; look for help, answers, solutions, not to rest, not to lose yourself in your suffering! Are you sick? Seek both mental support and literal help. Change doctors, compare their diagnoses, don’t settle for one, because it can be misleading and therefore depressing. If your doctor says „it can’t be done”, look for another one.
What can you do for yourself – physically?
When everything around you forces you to react according to your factory settings, when you start to shake with fear or nervousness… Stand still. Just stop moving. Lower your arms along your body, relax your facial muscles, and breathe calmly and evenly. Wait. Reign over your body – you have this power.
Breathe! Take advantage of this, because breathing is very powerful – you can control your entire body with your breath. In a difficult moment, stop and start taking 10 deep breaths in succession; you can inhale through your mouth, exhale through your nose, or just through your nose, but these must be conscious, smooth breaths, this is important. Don’t rush them and just focus on your breathing. You’ll see, you’ll feel better.
I also recommend mindfulness meditation, audio version. How? Wherever you are, turn off (just put your eyes to sleep a bit) and focus only on the sounds. To make it easier for you, you can close your eyes – listen to all the sounds around you; a moving car, a working washing machine, singing birds, opening a drawer… I often use this meditation wherever I am; in a store, a cafe (although I admit, I prefer olfactory mindfulness meditation!), a garden, at a bus stop. Mindfulness meditation calms and balances the vegetative center (often too sensitive) and tones emotions.
Meditation can put you back into a place of balance.
What can you do for yourself – spiritually?
No matter what your idea of God is and where you are on your spiritual path – He is always unshakable and has a lot of love for you. And he never gets tired or discouraged. His house is open to you all the time, His „couch” is always waiting for you. Come to Him as you are, at any time, and cry out for help as best you can. Can you? Yes. Here is one of the (many) promises:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
(Jeremiah 29, 11-13)
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
those who hope in me will not be disappointed.
(Isaiah 49, 23)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
There is a good life for you, good health, because God only has good thoughts about you. Believe it and accept it 🙂
Bless you, be well!
If you want to share something with me, don’t hesitate to send me a private message or share it in a comment, e.g. on FB – check here too, as there will be more „consoling” content. If you need a prayer, let me know.