In our chronically chaotic, success driven world, it’s no wonder anxiety disorders top the charts as the leading mental health disorder, while effecting over 40 million adults in the United States alone. With sayings like ‘go big or go home’, ‘no pain no gain’, and ‘work hard play hard’, our population has been conditioned to go full throttle and live life in overdrive, exhausting the adrenals and every other cell of the body in unquantifiable ways.
Instead of looking at the big picture and striving to attain balance, health and wellbeing, we continue to compromise our lives for the next big moment, never even taking the time to enjoy it once it comes our way. So is it any surprise that when we get our first moment of silence, as we are lying in bed, we start to think about all that we have to do tomorrow? Is it any surprise that our heart starts to beat a little faster, our chest starts to tighten, and anxiety-ridden thoughts and emotions start to surface, and runaway as they gather and gain momentum?
No. It’s not. But the good news is that we can change and create a whole new pattern for our mind, bodies and lives as a whole.
So how can you break the ice and transform anxiety into peace and presence?
THE FIRST STEP is to return to the present moment by speaking from your diaphragm and whole heartedly saying, “I choose to return to the present moment from the future.” Repeat this affirmation until you feel centered.
THE SECOND STEP is to become the observer not the victim and remember that without you, these anxiety-ridden thoughts and emotions would not even exist. You gave your power away and now it’s time to take it back. At this time, place your hand on your heart and stay with this thought until the currents transform and your power has returned. If you are a visual person, you can visualize placing these thoughts and emotions into a box and transforming them with a beautiful, bright colored light.
ONCE YOUR POWER HAS RETURNED, and you are back in the moment, keep your hand on your heart and simply say in your mind’s eye, “I am” on the inhale, pause, “at peace” on the exhale and just be.
After doing this exercise, you should feel a shift. Later on, the next morning or the next day, take the time to reflect on your experience and look at the big picture to identify the triggers and root of the anxiety as a whole. The answers may not come right away, but they will come when they are meant to, and you will be able to let go, manage, and eventually transform this pattern into peace and presence.
(article published in the August 2014: A Better You edition of the Orlando Sentinel)