Part 1: Identify (Identify Anxiety)

Is your life not going how you planned it? If you are feeling anxious frequently with the overwhelming fear and worry there is a  very big chance that you have tried distracting from the feeling. When any feeling such as stress, frustration, depression, or anxiety gets out of control and into extreme proportions, many times we fall into a rut of drinking, smoking, and engaging in some version of screen addiction as a means of distraction. In order to not fall into a maladaptive habit, coping skill, or addiction: we want to first  identify what is the feeling that is exacerbating our behavior, whether it is anger, frustration, stress, anxiety, or depression (just to name a few emotions/feelings). In this case, since we are focusing on anxiety, lets define the 5 simple ways to heal anxiety naturally.

 

To Identify Anxiety we must firs realize that what we will be looking for is a feeling of worry or fear. The steps in Identifying Anxiety are as follows:

  1. Stop– Stopping involves practicing thought stopping by physically practicing saying ‘stop’ out loud. This serves as an interruption between you and your subconscious mind, and makes it easier to draw boundaries without placing much thought into this task. Saying ‘stop’ out loud also grounds you to the present moment, especially when combined and followed with the mechanics of deep breathing.

 

  1. Breath- When you become anxious, your brain releases cortisol, the “stress hormone.” By taking deep breaths (all the way down to your stomach), your heart rate slows, more oxygen enters our blood stream and ultimately communicates with the brain to relax. Deep breathing also ups your endorphins, the “feel good” chemical. 2) Relieves painDecreases anxiety, and allows you to feel more serene. When you become anxious, your brain releases cortisol, the “stress hormone.” By breathing deeply into your stomach, your heart rate slows, more oxygen enters your blood stream and tells your brain to relax. Deep breathing increases endorphins, the feel good hormone.

 

  1. Identify- To recognize anxiety we search for the feeling of worry and fear. Many times Anxiety usually calls much attention to itself, but since the worry and fear are only a byproduct of ‘control’, we might even want to ask ourselves, what is it we feel like we are not in control of? then rationalize if it is something we should or even have the capability to take control of. If it’s a matter or situation that is beyond our control, then refocusing your breathing and letting it go will be the satisfying step. Any step ever implemented in order to change, delete, or accept a behavior takes practice. Practice  is simply a repetition of a sequence, and with practice, eventually your subconscious will do that sequence for you.

 

Part 2: Presence (Present Essence)

The way Anxiety comes to life is by directing your mind’s focus to worry about the future, by worrying about the future you are not grounded or focused in what is happening in the present moment, in the ‘here and now’. What brings you to at times fixate and even obsess about the future? Not feeling prepared is your answer. By not feeling prepared gives an open pathway for you to worry and fear the future. In most cases, not feeling prepared happens because of stress, which defines as  trying to control too many things all at once, while trying to do so all to well. Stress relates more towards the past because attempting to control too many things all at once relates to  what you subconsciously perceive it could have or should have done in the past.

Accessing the present moment requires you to redirect your mind to use its five senses, to what is happening around you now. This is why in therapy we use what’s called grounding techniques, which are based on identifying with present moment speech, what do you see now? What do you hear now?, what do you smell now?, what do you feel now? What do you taste now? When you are new to practicing the present moment, you will probably be using your inner voice while doing everything you do but as you practice the present moment, you will notice that your inner voice at times will be gone, when the voice is gone and you are focused only on what is happening now, you will know you finally came into presence, or what we call present essence.

The present moment will be most accessible when we address stress in the first place. Stress is addressed by practicing doing one thing at a time. If we are having trouble doing one thing at a time it will probably relate not prioritizing correctly. The best way to prioritize is to write down all the tasks you have to complete for today or tomorrow preferably on a scheduler or planner. Once you write them down in whatever order comes to mind, you can then proceed to choose which task needs to be addressed now, which tasks can be addressed later in the day, and which tasks can be delegated to a different day.

Once your task  have been written down and planned, it will be much easier for you to stop fearing and worrying about the future. Being in the present moment builds up with practice. For many, practicing something they love subconsciously taps them int the present moment, some examples many people experience is: getting lost in a really good book, walking in nature, deeply listening a song, playing basketball, enjoying a cup of tea, and praying/meditating. If you have not identified your present moment activity, something that can be done is simply doing nothing for 10-15 minutes. Go to a peaceful silent place and concentrate on what  you see, what you hear, what you smell, what you feel physically, and what you currently taste now. If for some reason your mind diverts to the past or future simply redirect it with a queue technique, such as: slapping the rubber band against your wrist to redirect it to the present moment.

 

Part 3: Observe (Becoming the observer)

In order to acquire and later enhance the skill of being able to observe our mind,  it first requires for you to realize that you are not your mind, your mind is 95% subconscious, therefore your mind does not define the true ‘being’ that you are, otherwise you would be able to directly control your feelings, emotions, just by deciding it.  See your mind, just the same way you see your muscles, nerves, skin, and skeleton. The mind is simply a part of your body, and the mind has it’s own persona which is separated from you (Again, that 95% percent defined as your subconscious). Have you ever driven home lost in thought and then realize you got home, but don’t recall taking the exits in the highway or making the turns at the stoplights? Have you ever got so upset that you then told the person who you were angry at, offensive things you wouldn’t when you are calm? Have you ever cried during a movie knowing fully well that the movie is complete fiction? Good, then you realize that your subconscious holds much of your behavior, feeling, and even thoughts, and many times, it does this without your consent.

Think of your subconscious as this 5 year old child, with an immense capability but still very childish when it comes to feelings and the behavior executed by these feelings. Your subconscious is an embodiment of what thoughts, emotions, and behavior you have repeated whether good or bad. Your subconscious also reinforces anything that may have protected you once before, which usually transform into  defense mechanisms. You cannot directly control your mind/subconscious, you can, however, influence your mind through repetition of  though, emotion, behavior and/or ‘being’ in the ‘present moment’.

Let’s suppose you start feeling anxious, the first step you want to do is to tell yourself to stop, this stop is meant to separate you from your mind as you execute the next step which is deep breathing. When you stop and deep breath you are preparing to be in a much better position to not give in to your subconscious mind’s automatic pattern. Do not dismiss the feeling, let it be there and embrace it as a momentum your subconscious is going through, because ultimately, feelings do come from your subconscious. As you continue to take deep breaths, all you are doing now is simply paying attention to the here and now while just noticing the automatic thoughts and emotions, without the need to execute any behavior. In other words, you are not taking actual action, all you are doing is surrendering to the fact that your mind is currently going through its own thing, and as you observe it, it will eventually realize that you  are looking at it, and you will see that the automatic thoughts, and emotions will disperse in due time. This may be difficult at first, since we humans are used to either canceling feeling this way and then distracting with anything that takes our attention from the feelings. Resistance does not work when it comes to our feelings, because the feelings are there for a specific reason and they serve a purpose to guide us to what needs attention, we can then rationalize later, in a calm state, and conclude if what we are experiencing is indeed reality, or if it is just the mind’s creation to probably attempt to defend us from a menacing experience.

 

Part 4: Control (Prepare and take control)

Once you reach a level of calmness and a clear mind. You can now execute taking control of the things you can, meaning the things that are in your power to control, but then surrendering the things that you cannot. For this reason we highly encourage anyone to practice their spirituality. By spirituality we do not mean religion. What we mean by spirituality is: How you came to exist, what your purpose here on earth is, and where you are going afterwards. It is totally normal not to know the answer to these questions but it is important for you to question them on a daily, because this allows you to come to terms with your mortality.

For example If you are Christian, do your devotional in the morning for at least 10-15 minutes. As you pray and meditate this prepares your subconscious to accept and absorb your  personal definition of reality. Practicing your spirituality allows you to rehearse increasing awareness that this may be your last day on earth, and that you cannot control this. Practicing spirituality goes beyond the realms of believing in a higher power or not, it is an idea that points to your beliefs are about existence, duty on earth, and life after death  takes place.

This allows you to draw  a clear boundary between the things you can control in life and the things you cannot. If you practice trying to control everything and anything, you will suffer from stress first  and then transition into anxiety, as they are both control issues. We live in a planet which could get hit by asteroids at any time according to science, but look! we are still here. Our point is, most of our life we have to live by faith and we can’t guarantee anything for the future, with this being said, this allows you to naturally start taking control of what you can an what you can’t.

For example, you cannot truly prevent your own death or someone else’s death, you can prepare up to certain point, however, if anxiety is left uncheck, allowing you to over-prepare each time, for each situation, you will get better and reinforce in over-preparing, this is what the subconscious does.  You will be able to know, on a conscious level, the things you cannot control. Most humans cling to control due to the benefit of pushing ourselves to get exactly what we want, but this also makes you a lave to anxiety.

The reality is, we cannot control most of the happenings in our lives because they take place by forces of life which are much bigger than our will. When you embrace that no matter what happens, we will be secure, safe, loved, and lovable, we open ourselves to a stronger and more sustainable, peaceful happiness.  For this reason, letting go of control will not only release us from stress and anxiety, but will also  provide a better room for peace, tranquility, joy, and freedom. This leads us to the next practice of how to let go of the things we cannot control.

 

Part 5: Surrendering (Surrendering to overcome)

Due to how surrender is portrayed in its popular existence, many of us have installed negative implications  and association to the word such as: Failure, Defeat, and/or giving up.  The true meaning of Surrender is the act of yielding  to overcome, because when you yield you are choosing to ride with the flow of existence rather than conflicting yourself against it.

 

If you want to teach the mind of how to yield to the adversities of life in order to overcome them, knowing so is not enough, practicing on a daily will serve as filter and a detox of negativity that my reside in your subconscious mind. The previous 4 steps in overcoming anxiety  (Identify, Presence, Observe, Control) places you on a much better position to exacerbate the act and the practice of surrender.

This is not to say that if you are one day drowning at sea you wouldn’t take action to get yourself out of there. This simply connects to the notion of realizing that you are really drowning at the moment and that you do indeed desire to come up to the surface and breath. Knowing this, you now free yourself from judging the obstacles, such as the water or how you came to be in this chaotic situation, and you do everything in your power to swim up to the surface until you reach your goal and freely breath again.

Practicing or repeating such a sequence, motivates and trains the subconscious into taking positive action without having to rely on anxiety, stress, anger despair, or frustration. In other words you are freeing yourself from judging and categorizing the present moment.

 

Let’s go ahead and Review the previous steps including the final one, surrender:

 

  1. Identify – To recognize anxiety we search for the feeling of worry and fear. Many times Anxiety usually calls much attention to itself, but since the worry and fear are only a byproduct of ‘control’, we might even want to ask ourselves, what is it we feel like we are not in control of? then rationalize if it is something we should or even have the capability to take control of. If it’s a matter or situation that is beyond our control, then refocusing your breathing and letting it go will be the satisfying step. Any step ever implemented in order to change, delete, or accept a behavior takes practice. Practice is simply a repetition of a sequence, and with practice, eventually your subconscious will do that sequence for you.

 

  1. Presence – Accessing the present moment requires you to redirect your mind to use its five senses, to what is happening around you now. This is why in therapy we use what’s called grounding techniques, which are based on identifying with present moment speech, what do you see now? What do you hear now?, what do you smell now?, what do you feel now? What do you taste now? When you are new to practicing the present moment, you will probably be using your inner voice while doing everything you do but as you practice the present moment, you will notice that your inner voice at times will be gone, when the voice is gone and you are focused only on what is happening now, you will know you finally came into presence, or what we call ‘present essence’.

 

  1. Observe – Do not dismiss the feeling, let it be there and embrace it as a momentum your subconscious is going through, because ultimately, feelings do come from your subconscious. As you continue to take deep breaths, all you are doing now is simply paying attention to the here and now while just noticing the automatic thoughts and emotions, without the need to execute any behavior. In other words, you are not taking actual action, all you are doing is surrendering to the fact that your mind is currently going through its own thing, and as you observe it, it will eventually realize that you are looking at it, and you will see that the automatic thoughts, and emotions will disperse in due time.

 

  1. Control –The reality is, we cannot control most of the happenings in our lives because they take place by forces of life which are much bigger than our will. When you embrace that no matter what happens, we will be secure, safe, loved, and lovable, we open ourselves to a stronger and more sustainable, peaceful happiness. For this reason, letting go of control will not only release us from stress and anxiety, but will also  provide a better room for peace, tranquility, joy, and freedom. This leads us to the next practice of how to let go of the things we cannot control

 

  1. Surrender – The true meaning of Surrender is the act of yielding to overcome, because when you yield you are choosing to ride with the flow of existence rather than conflicting yourself against it. Practicing or repeating such a sequence, motivates and trains the subconscious into taking positive action without having to rely on anxiety, stress, anger despair, or frustration. In other words you are freeing yourself from judging and categorizing the present moment.