After going through some traumatic experiences and lastly with a serious injury to the head, I have found it in me to learn more how the mind works and how things impact our memories, the healing process and how we respond to situations. For me, much memory loss, short-term created stress and many forms of anxiety and worry that disabled my life.
With much meditation and spiritual forms of healing, I wanted to learn more about these issues and find/share practical applications that can be used in daily life. For in the end, things are all connected and as much as we are spirits with a human experience, we must find a way to exist in this life. So balancing between, Mind, Body and Spirit are ways to create a more positive experience.
With that being said, what are practical ways that are effective with managing stress, worry or anxiety? What are the symptoms and how we can effectively use forms of meditation and stay away from medication to have a healthier, happier lifestyle?
First lets identify one culprit. Anxiety.
Anxiety is a part of your body’s response to stress, whether post traumatic or daily. What happens is that the emotional memories that are stored in the amygdala (an almond-shaped structure deep in the brain), triggers your response to fight or flight. Essentially where fear is stored. As a result, when this is activated your neurons signals and floods your system with norephiniphrine and cortisol. These two things are designed to boost you perception and reflexes in dangerous situations.
You may recognize this with body signals such as increased heart rate, heightened sense of awareness, racing thoughts and much more that overall makes you feel uncomfortable. Most often than none the thought patterns achieved from this are in fact negative. It provides all the warnings to signal to the brain on something you do not want to do. Thus creating, irrational thought patterns, that in some cases debilitate a person from movement and in some cases leading to forms of depression. Basically, fear gone wild.
Factors that trigger this are ones that cause undesirable emotions such as fear, frustration or even doubt. It is not something that will go away, however, it is something that can be managed to live a healthier happier lifestyle.
Worry is a disease that robs you of your present. It consists of patterned thoughts that are focused on the future. It is debilitating for in the mind, the problem-solving and analysis has one fooled that they are doing the right thing by preventing things based on past experiences. Most often times than none, they are negative moods that fuel the worry from fatigue or even pain. The solution would be to lift your mood. Take a walk, rest or shift gears to raise your levels and release more Serotonin. Seratonin is a chemical that is created by the body and works as a neurotransmitter, in essence balancing one’s mood. So the more pleasurable actions you do for yourself, the more you release by sending the positive signals throughout your body.
Creating the worse case scenarios in your mind. Ever have a time where the weather may have been bad and you knew a friend was on the road and you were waiting for that call when they arrived home and you did not receive it in the timeframe you thought they would have arrived? Try calling and not get them? and then again and again? Instantly, one’s mind can start thinking some things, car accident, death, etc… Not once, maybe the phone died. This is an example of of exaggerated uncertainty.
When you start to rush in your mind when something should get done or feel that you are out of time is also a form of anxiety. In this era where we want things now, we have the internet, smart phones and receiving/processing information much more quickly, this is more prevalent in society. As a result, we miss much of the now and are multi-tasking and rushing ourselves to where? Exactly. This excess pressure is creating an imbalance within our bodies and thus experiencing the various sense of heightened awareness – anxiety/stress.
Jumping to Conclusions
This prevents a person from actually solving a problem and asking the right questions. What happens when experiencing anxiety the person tends to provide an acceptable conclusion instead of seeking the truth and asking the right questions.
Freezing Up with Decision Making
This is a result an unfocused mind. As a result, the mind now is distracted in random thoughts that are not pertaining to the topic at hand. In conversation, they miss what the person is saying while the mind has run off to a new place creating ideals that are far based and misconstrued. When forced to return to a conversation or to make a decision on something, the answers are inconclusive or far off based from the topic at hand. Another experience with this is thinking of things that need to be done. An anxious mind can add in much more to the list. Before you know it, one is frozen from doing anything with feelings of being overwhelmed and retracting in action and moving forward.
Ways to Manage or Cope
Identify the Triggers by tracking your mood to Identify Patterns
Stay in the now. Start your day with gratitude and reminding yourself of the positives. As you go through your day, be attentive to yours moods as it shifts from happy or content. By being aware, you can be focused on what is at hand. In essence, moving away from any of the above scenarios. When you do this, you will be aware of the anxiety and the symptoms that you are experiencing. Through consistent effort, you will begin to manage this and have greater control of the fear fleeting thoughts that have been controlling your mind.
Relaxation Techniques: Meditation, Music, Exercise or Personal Rituals
Meditation will be my first answer to get guidance. But if you are just starting, then clearing your mind may be a difficult task. Other things that I would recommend when facing the symptoms, would be to release this negative energy by doing something that pleases you and brings stress levels down. For some it may be Music, Exercise, Drawing or something therapeutic that can calm the heightened awareness and go back to the state of gratitude in which the day started.
What I am learning from this whole experience, I have learned that I am not alone. That many have or are going through this. Unfortunately, many are not aware of exactly how anxiety works the triggers and have become so normalized to it, that it has been dismissed as stress or become a part of life. From what I have seen, many view Anxiety as an “attack” or a once in a while experience. What I have realized and learned is that this can be a lifestyle and habitual form of thinking created through experiences and lack of rest.
I was told that I had anxiety for the first time after a near fatal accident. I spent a year, not believing it and more importantly not understanding it. Not a doctor, friend or family member knew what exactly this was or to affirm that yes, you do have this. However, they did recognize symptoms and in points helped me when acknowledged. Thus driving me to find out more, understand and now share with you.
I write about spirituality and growth, now is time to make those connections with some practical applications to bridge the worlds together. For after all, it/we are truly all connected.