I just came back from a plane trip across to the east coast of Australia (I live on the west coast), and I thought I'd write about the 3 ways I can think of dealing with anxiety and also quickly describe my experience.
The first thing I want to point out is that, before anyone thinks 'oh I wish I could go on a plane and be able to do what he has done' I need to point out that I have been dealing with my anxiety for about 13 years now. I have had major setbacks and some major accomplishments. I have found that on the whole, life has been very difficult as you can imagine but from time to time I get so sick of being controlled by fear and anxiety that I get angry and go and do something that normally would make me feel anxious just to feel like I am still alive and not a broken puppet on a string. I love my freedom and I despise being controlled and manipulated especially by things that don't make sense like anxiety, fear, agrophobia etc (all things that I suffer from).
This leads me to my 4 ways to deal with anxiety. This is only my opinion btw.
1/ CBT - Cognitive Behaviour Therapy : I got this type of therapy from an anxiety therapist and it works very very well. It is simple in that it is a way of planning out on paper and in your mind what could go wrong, how you feel about it, and when you finally do it, you write down what actually happened and you often find that you were over exaggerating and fearing an outcome that never arose. There is more to CBT as it can also branch into REM Rapid Eye Movement therapy and Event Emotion Analysis.
2/ Meditation : This is kickass. If you learn to meditate, you will not only increase your chance of controlling your anxiety by a huge amount, but the rest of your life will be a breeze too. I am really bad with routine, so I lapse from practicing meditation every morning but when I do it, that whole day is easy and calm and good things always come to me. If bad things arise, they just seem trivial and it seems easy to find a good solution. I believe meditation is always going to be the one thing that saves the world. If all the people in power practiced it, we would never have any problems. Daily meditation makes you think slowly and clearly and disolves the need for greed and ego inflation because it aligns you with the spirit and not the mind.
Meditation calms the mind which stops the immediate flow of adrenaline and anxiety that we normally feel as agoraphics. So, before I get on a plane or go into a crowd or whatever makes me panic, I do 5 mins of meditation and I can deal with any situation. I recomend learning it as the first way to combat anxiety. It will be the one skill you can rely on everytime to help you through. Meditation is not just crossing your legs awkardly and repeating strange mantras. That is the entertainment industry mocking the one thing that can stop you using your destructive mind and using your calming all-knowing spirit. If people used their instinct and spirit in their daily lives and not their minds, then there would be less mass consumers and ego and the whole economic structure would come tumbling down as people became self enpowering and free. Corporations and industries can't allow this, so they mock meditation by making it look unaccessible to average joes like me and you. They make it look like it is only for monks and rich people in white on the beach. NOT TRUE. It is as simple as quietening the mind for 20 mins every day. That's it !! So i recommend learning and also reading Eckhart Tolle's books on the power of now. It is spot on with how to quieten the mind (which is an anxiety ridden persons main problem).
3/ Doing it : This means, to get out there and do whatever scares you. Then you might think 'but it scares me and makes me feel wierd and I feel like I am going to die and my head is spinning etc etc'. Yes true, but at the end of the day, what are you scared of ? I reckon that it is the fear of dying that scares us. Becasue what is the end result? Death. So, for me, whenever I am on a plane or away from home and I start getting symptoms, I just replace my stupid questioning, scared, 100 miles and hour thinking bad thoughts mind, with nothing (by meditating or thinking of nothing) and then when I am not thinking, I think to myself 'I would rather be dead than to have to put up with being a slave to my anxiety anyway, so what is the worst that can happen? If I live in anxiety, then I am not living any sort of quality of life and if I go and do the things I fear, then I am atleast going to die with my boots on.
And you know what? You can't die from anxiety. It's impossible. No one ever has. Maybe they have from depression of it but never from an attack of anxiety. So, when I was on the East Coast and I felt my symptoms coming on, I stopped (i was in a car on a mountain drive), closed my eyes, relaxed (using meditation techniques) and everytime a thought came into my mind I put it on an elevator in my mind and sent it through the top of my head and out into the air so it can go away to a higher place to become love or whatever, then i did this for 30 seconds, then I thought "man, i am so far from home BUT this is only a fact, it doesn't need to be a stimulus for anxiety. so what if i am far from home. what is home?
if i move house i feel comfortable in the new home after a week or so and i forget that the other home that i left was my safe place. so that means that it is not the house that is my comfort zone, it is my mind. so in fact, my comfort place is where ever i am right now. it doesnt feel that way right now but neither did my new house until after about a few days or a week. i need time to settle into this new place. but i have been in my mind for 34 years. that is long enough to feel comfortable in. so i call my mind my safe place now." then i think, "so what if i feel uncomforatble and panicy right now.
it can't alst forever. even if i get the full blown effect of it and i feel flippn horrible for the next however long, it will be replaced by calmness soon as my mind gives my ceratonin." the brain can't endure long periods of anxiety at a high level, so i know that i will calm down naturally soon enough. then i think, "my main feeling is that i have to get somewhere comfortable but that pace is 3500 km's away west. how can i do that? oh no i'll never get there in the next few minutes. oh no panic i need to get to my safe place at home. but it is too far, oh no.......etc STOP ! wrong. the safe place is an illusion. a pysical place can't make you safe. it may FEEL that way, but it is ultimately your mind that is making you feel safe in that place due to association that you give it.
You spend most of your time at home and all your things are there and you are not looked at by the public in there, so you naturally associate it as a home base or safety zone. i mean, to your mind, it is much more acceptable to die at home than in a town square with people watching you as you make funny faces and pee your pants. And that is what the mind fears believe it or not. So, anyway, I think to myself (while i am on the mountain drive) my safe place is in my head and if i die right here right now, then that is ok. it is not my fault if i die. i died trying to free myself from anxiety and that is honerable and human. and if i am too scared to get down from this mountain, then i will sleep here and live here til i feel comfortable enough to come down. and by the way, i would rather die than have to be a slave to my anxiety anyway, so lets do it.
Then i think about how it doesnt matter where i am on the planet anyway because if you look at the world from outter space the distance between my house on the west and where i am now is nothing compared to the distance from outter space to the earth. and if you look at the world from way way way outter space, then the world is a pin prick and you cant even distinguish the distance between my home on the west and where i am on the east anyway. so distance is relative. and relativity is a concept of the mind. so it all comes down to my mind and how i wish to use it.
4/ drugs: i dont use drugs and never have. i have my own valid reasons for not using them but they don't need to be discussed here. I won't comment on drugs as a medication because i know they help some people get by when all else fails. i would like to say, though, that meditation and just giving in to the fear and letting life do as it will to you without your resistance is the ultimate weapon against anxiety. non-resistance and acceptance and calmness and confrontation is a sure fire way to walk hand in hand with anxiety. If a person hates you and you hate them back, you will have an on going war with them for all of time. If someone hates you and you talk to them, work out what is the problem, relate to them, understand them, be compassionate for them and their response to hate, then you wil befriend them and form an awesome power together as a connected entity that went from evil to light and goodness.
Thats my comments on my vaction and I hope it helps someone. It helps me to write about it, so thank you for this forum.
We are all doing very well in our own way and anxiety is a massive burdon to carry. I feel for everyone with this condition and know that the only way through it is to have positive outcomes from success. so: give in to it and let it take you where it must. life is giving you anxiety to teach you about yourself in a way you never would have found. let it do it's job. it will NOT kill you, i promise. don't resisit. give up your life for it and be willing to let it take you whereever it wants. become its friend by giving in to it. it will lead you to a better place you never would have got to before.
Believe it or not we are given a gift that, when befriended and confronted, can make us more successful and alive than anyone without anxiety issues. Big burden if not dealt with, but a massive reward when accepted. Its like going to the casino. Most people are restricted to the small betting table. They bet and make 100 dollars at the end of the night. Us anxiety people are allowed to bet on the high stakes table (big burden) and at the end of the night, if we risk our money, we can walk away with 100,000 dollars (bigger reward). But if we donít risk and we stay a victim to the fear by not befriending it, we will never see the reward.
Hi I am new to the forums and I just wanted to say that I really liked your post and admire the way you are dealing with your anxiety. I also appreciate your honesty because many of us deal with situations in our lives differently. It would be a boring world if we were all the same. I have only been dealing with anxiety for about four years and that seems like such a short time compared to some, but anxiety and panic attacks can make you feel like you are living a lifetime with it. The part in your post about how anxiety can teach us about ourselves was something I never really thought about. I always just considered it an enemy that I wanted to go away. I know that fear is normal and our way to survive, so when I began experiencing fears that had no purpose, I just assumed that is was taking over my life. I realize now that I need to let it do its job and then turn it around for good in whatever way I can. Like you said, many of us can do it in different ways...some can face our fears straight on, some can be involved in some type of therapy, others can meditate, and even medication might be a way to handle it depending on the person and situation. That is why we are all here I guess, to come to a better place in our lives and support others along the way.Originally Posted by sameBoat
When I read back on my posts I always feel like they read a little full-on, and i chuckle because of their intensity. But when writing them, I get carried away with wanting to tell everyone everthing I know about anxiety and try to explain every detail so that someone might pick up a part of it and use that part to help themselves. I haven't completely overcome my anxiety yet, and I wish we could all form a big group and overcome it as a whole. I hate to think there are other people out there feeling miserable or restricted.
I think one day, I'd love to do a test where someone from either my country (Australia) or another country, meet me half way at a place in the world where we have a holiday and overcome the anxiety together as a team. I think that would be awesome. Kind of like 2 superheroes risking everything to stop anxiety once and for all. haha.
anyway, thanks for your reply SUZ.
p.s. My brother is a meditation teacher in Los Angeles. I can give you his contact if you want, if anyone is in that area and needs to learn from a young australian/american who understands my anxiety and is very compassionate and skilled.
James so agree with this, I am guilty of the same I think :roll:Originally Posted by sameBoat
How's everyone faring now. Life is going well for me and I'm still doing my Tea forms to keep my anxiety at bay. I hope everyone else is coping well too
sameboat,Originally Posted by sameBoat
I just joined this forum simply to respond to your post. I am 24 years old, and have been dealing with anxiety attacks and GAD on and off since I was a very young girl. I had my anxiety completely under control for a number of years after recieving psychological treatment as a child, but recently (for the past 2 years) my syptoms have reemerged, and have been hard to control. I was reading the posts on this forum, and I have to tell you that EVERYTHING you said in your post was completely true, it was like an epiphany, you are so right! Your way of thinking can no-doubt help others, I feel calmer already after just reading it-- in fact I printed it out, and plan to read it at home too, and I am excited to soon start practicing meditation! Your words are truly inspirational to me, thank you so much for sharing this part of your life with us.
That's great bear! I was never to the point of being agoraphobic but I did have horrible anxiety attacks and social and health anxiety. I finished a cbt group last summer and my life is so much better now. It's really cool how you can adjust how your brain processes things to eliminate anxiety. The TEA exercise is totally awesome and helps a lot. I hope you keep making progress.
Very inspiring posts Bear and beachgirl
Thanks Squirt :shock: