How Meditation Can Help with Anxiety: The Art of Self Comforting
Just as Humans are blessed with the ability to feel Love and Joy, we are also burdened with the more difficult emotions such as Anxiety and Fear. It is only natural. That is how we are hardwired. It is one of the challenges of being Human that we cannot avoid. Everyone feels anxiety and fear. Some more frequently and deeply than others.
For those of us prone to more prolonged Anxiety, a pattern emerges over time. An Anxious thought flies into our head (usually at 3:00 am) and we believe it, delve into it and spend hours lost in the misery and dark energy of the Story we allow to unfold. We feel heaviness and dread in our bellies and our hearts. Lumps of Fear in our throats and behind our eyes. Our emotions collide with each other as they crowd around the thought, throwing gas upon the flame. Our minds roil with endless negative possibilities and weave dramatic and awful consequences. And all because of one little blip of thought. One little snippet of energy that passes through our mind.
So, what we can do in these Anxious, Fear filled moments?
We can practice the Art of Self Soothing and Self Comforting.
For those times when we cannot rationalize or explain or even Meditate that Anxiety away. It is a great first step.
Here are some things that are NOT great self soothing techniques:
-Drinking too much to ease the thoughts and emotions that swirl darkly through us
-Overeating to forget, escape, numb and “stuff” down the Anxiety
-Overspending to avoid or put off what bothers us
-Using prescription or over the counter medication to escape momentarily
-Lashing out as a coping mechanism, avoiding what’s really going on
You get the idea
So, what CAN help?
Try one or more of the following:
-Admit that you are Sad or Anxious. No excuses or hiding. IT IS OK to be sad or anxious. Imagine that your child comes to you and admits that they have these feelings. What would you say to them? What would you do for them? Do that for yourself. Treat yourself with the same love and compassion and gentleness that you would offer a sad or anxious child.
-Put on your oldest, comfiest clothes.
-Find one of your kid’s old stuffed animals and hug it.
-Wrap your arms around yourself in a big old hug and gently tap your shoulders with your palms.
-Put on a song from your childhood that you loved. Listen or dance to the music with your eyes closed.
-Gently cleanse your face and soothe some lotion on your face and body.
-Call someone funny or calming. Someone who can tell a good story or make you laugh.
-Or, just laugh.
-Color, Paint, Write. Do these things without purpose or thought. Just allow yourself to express your feelings on paper. Throw it away afterwards if you want.
- If you can’t get yourself to walk or run or exercise outside, just step outside and stand in the air for a few minutes, noticing everything around you.
-Eat a little something yummy or cook a special meal
-Clean out and organize one drawer or anything in your house.
-Walk around your house and enjoy it. Take one spot and re-create it into a space of beauty and peace.
-Find a beaded bracelet or necklace and close your eyes and finger each bead individually. You can name a gratitude for each bead, or speak of each of your worries and fears as you touch each bead or simply lose yourself in the act of touching each bead and moving on to the next one.
-If you are open and so inclined, watch a video on EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Try it.
-Recall just one fun, sweet, magical or perfect moment in your day. Just one. If today wasn’t great, try yesterday or last week or last year. One Perfect Moment. Imagine that Moment in every detail. Feel what it felt like. Recapture that feeling.
-Breathe in for the count of four, hold for the count of four, breathe out for the count of four, hold for the count of four. Repeat.
Ah, there I am, finally back to Myself.