I wrote this based on the Buddhist prayer for Metta (loving kindness), There is a lot of good research now that shows how, having good intentions for the well beings of others, can benefit our mental, emotional and physical health. Dr Elisha Goldstein points out in his book Uncovering Happiness how people with anxiety and depression feel so isolated with their conditions and also that humans, as a species, are no strangers to these feelings. In fact it is true that right now millions of people are suffering greatly with anxiety. This knowledge along with the intention that all those people be free from their suffering can support individuals to experience empathy, compassion and understanding for self and others.
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A colleague and I recently developed this simple and effective technique for handling intense levels of anxiety. This mental exercise focuses on addressing some of the main causes of panic and intense anxiety i.e. avoidance and control (a lack of it)....
- anxiety can often come hand in hand with not feeling in control
- anxiety also starts to escalate when we try to avoid experiencing it
So, I invite you to try this one....
1) when you start to feel some stirrings of anxiety/panic/fear etc ask you self the following question
"right now, what level from 1-10 am I willing to experience the feeling of anxiety/unsafe/fearful? etc"
2) name the number "Ok I am willing to experience 2/10"
3) Then allow youself to feel the 2/10 and just notice obectively what it is like for you.
4) Then have a moment to reflect and see what happens.
The practice of allowing yourself to experience of anxiety is hugely beneficial in reducing anxiety. Equally important is further increasing that your sense of control by choosing the number you are willing to experience right in the moment.
Depending how comfortable your outside environment is for you it is possible to safely experience higher and higher levels of anxiety which can increase your capacity to be ok with anxiety. Overtime it becomes less and less of a problem in your life.
This exercises as home combined with acupuncture treatments is a powerful way to overcome many anxiety based conditions.
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My favourite concept of how the brain works with emotions. Also the most useful educational tool, I have found, that helps develop the neural pathways that are required to resolve overwhelming anxiety and panic. I use this description to many anxiety acupuncture patients. Like any training it takes commitment, time and patients but this works. I have seen it many times.
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