The Paradoxical Guide to Transforming Anxiety & Panic

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Do you deal with anxiety or panic symptoms?

It can be frustrating when you just want to relax but your body is instead tensing up, freaking out, sending you crazy sensations, and your mind is making you believe you’re going to die or fall into the abyss.

If your body is in a heightened state of arousal, it can be a challenge to even find small moments of release.

I’ve personally dealt with anxiety since I was younger and it has played a major role in lowering my quality of life and bringing on certain health issues. 

Some people are just genetically wired to be more sensitive than others and if something happens in their life or their brain and body get programmed in the wrong way it can cause anxiety problems.

In this guide, I want to compile a few of the methods I’ve found helpful as well as anything else I’ve learned that can help transform our relationship with anxiety so that we can enjoy life as much as possible.

Quick Note 

I wanted to start by saying that I’ve struggled a lot with anxiety and still do struggle with anxiety. 

Like most people working through anxiety, I am a work in progress and nothing in this guide is meant to be the end all be all.

My plan is to update this guide as I learn more and progress in my own journey.

I understand the frustration and suffering that anxiety and fear cause in the world and in individuals. It’s not easy and there are many people who struggle with this problem.

I don’t really believe anymore that we get rid of anxiety, but instead, we learn how to live life to the best of our ability despite our sensitivity and heightened nervous arousal and it eventually falls away when our fear of fear releases. 

I see the process more as a transformation of the way we view nervous arousal and an increased ability to feel and experience fear without being afraid of it or reacting in a negative way when it occurs.

What is Anxiety

A simple explanation of anxiety is that it’s a heightened state of nervous arousal that occurs from the fear of fear. 

It’s a quick subconscious reaction to situations, feelings, or other things that trigger your nervous system to get revved up. 

It can cause feelings of fear, dread, and uneasiness. It may cause someone to sweat, feel restless and tense, feel nauseous, have scary thoughts, and have a rapid heartbeat. 

It’s a useful nervous response when you need extra energy to fight, flee, freeze, or take action in present danger, but it’s not useful when it becomes out of control and is created from situations that are not presently dangerous.  

When anxiety becomes constant and created from situations that are not dangerous this is where people start to develop “anxiety disorders”. They start to develop a fear of anxiety and fear which perpetuates the problem.

The medical system classifies anxiety disorders into different types. Below are a few:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder: persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about normal everyday events which is out of proportion to the events.
  • Panic Disorder: repeated episodes of intense fear and anxiety which peak quickly and cause panic attacks in certain situations
  • Agoraphobia: where someone fears certain situations and events that may cause them to feel trapped, embarrassed, helpless, or cause panic
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: high levels of anxiety and fear in social situations due to the worry of being judged negatively by others, being embarrassed, or self-conscious
  • Phobias: Phobias are certain situations that cause intense fear and panic in some people such as flying, heights, insects, swimming, etc

In reality, anxiety is just anxiety and it’s all the same nervous arousal just in different situations and in different degrees of strength. 

It’s important to remember not to identify with these labels or as someone who has an anxiety disorder because in reality we are not our anxiety and it is a temporary problem if we can change the pattern.

Each person has unique psychology so certain things may provoke anxiety in someone and not in another person because of the way each person was wired by their past. 

How Does the Medical System Treat Anxiety Disorders 

The mainstream medical approach to treating people with anxiety disorders is by using medication and therapy. 

For people with severe anxiety, medication is often used while others with less severe anxiety can be prescribed just therapy and lifestyle modifications.

This really just depends on the individual and how severe their condition is as well as other physical issues that are present.

The downside to the conventional medical approach is that sometimes they are too quick to hand out medication and they don’t take into account the whole person and the circumstances they are in.

They also cause problems when they focus on assigning people labels because this can cause people to identify with their anxiety instead of seeing it just as anxiety that is passing through.

A lot of people can recover or transform their anxiety by working on a healthier response to anxiety (rewiring their brain and body response) and by increasing their ability to feel fear by exposing themselves to situations that provoke fear while working on the correct response. 

The DARE Response for Anxiety

The DARE response to anxiety is an approach that is a combination of mindfulness and psychology.

It works at the root of the problem for many people, which is the fear of fear, and not on blocking out or numbing anxiety and fear.

If we can become more comfortable with feeling fear and anxiety and less afraid of fear then it will paradoxically loosen up. 

This is much easier said than done and it takes a good amount of practice and courage to work on changing this response. 

It works in direct opposition to what a lot of people learn growing up (to be tough and strong fighters) and requires a lot of courage to retrain your nervous system to let go instead of fighting uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. 

To completely accept and allow anxious thoughts and feelings to be present instead of fighting them or avoiding them.

I’ve found it very helpful and use it in combination with meditation and Buddhist psychology methods as I work on transforming my relationship with anxiety. 

DARE Response Steps

Below are the steps of the DARE response for anxiety.

Step 1: Defuse

This step retrains how you immediately respond to anxiety. It’s the first point of contact when you recognize the anxiety energy starting and the what-if thoughts speeding up.

The reason anxiety starts to escalate is because you start to subconsciously resist the arousal and start to believe and identify with the what-if thoughts about what could happen.

  • What if my heart doesn’t stop pounding?
  • What if I make a fool out of myself around these people?
  • What if I have a panic attack here?
  • What if this doesn’t go away?
  • What if I lose control and fall?
  • What if I pass out or die?
  • What if I lose my job and can’t eat?

Since prehistoric times our minds have been wired to seek out potential threats and to avoid them. The what-ifs were a useful cognitive process when life was much more life and death.

Today it’s rare to encounter a life or death situation, so our minds have turned inwards instead, looking for those same life-threatening situations that are almost always imagined or exaggerated fears.

If these anxious what if thoughts are not responded to correctly and defused, they tend to spiral out of control into increased fear and adrenaline.

We can’t stop the initial waves of fear and anxiety, but we can control our response to them.

In order to defuse anxious what-ifs, we need to answer the question with the right attitude in order to limit the potential for anxiety to increase.

Some good responses:

  • So what! 
  • So fucking what!
  • Whatever! I’m tired of your bull shit anxiety
  • Whatever! This is just nervous arousal, it can’t harm me
  • Who cares! Bring it on anxiety, i’m tired of your false alarms
  • Who gives a fuck! Bring on all the thoughts and feelings you’ve got
  • What if my heart doesn’t stop pounding? So what! My heart’s an incredible strong muscle and it can handle it easily.
  • What if I faint in public? If I faint I faint. Someone will help me, and in two minutes i’ll be conscious again
  • What if I make a fool of myself and panic? So what! Someone will help me and it will pass away 
  • What if I have to throw up or need to shit? Whatever! I’ll excuse myself to the restroom and allow my body to do what it needs to do

The key to defusing the initial what if thoughts is to be aware of when they start happening and to see them for what they are.

Just fear and nervous arousal that causes no harm but makes you feel really uncomfortable. 

If the emotional energy is very strong the thoughts will seem like they could be true at the moment but it’s important to remember that they are just thoughts and feelings.

In reality, if there was present danger you would be taking action, not thinking about if these things could happen or not.

Step 2: Accept and Allow

After defusing the initial eruption of what-if thoughts and anxious sensations it’s crucial to keep going by releasing all resistance so that any anxiety that’s still present can flow and dissipate faster.

This is done by completely accepting, feeling, and allowing the anxiety and allowing it to manifest in whatever way it wishes.

If it wants to pound, let it pound. If it wants to shock, let it shock. If it wants to tighten, let it tighten. If it wants to send you crazy thoughts, let them flow. If it wants to make you feel nauseous, welcome nausea. If it wants to make you feel like you’re going to die, let it happen. 

Develop the courage to flow with whatever thoughts and feelings erupt in your body.

The reason anxiety disorders are so exhausting is because we train ourselves to tighten, fight, and resist everything that feels uncomfortable instead of trusting our body to release this energy. 

What we resist persists.

You stop fighting and start allowing by dropping the resistance to feeling. You can tell yourself:

  • I accept and allow this anxious feeling to do whatever it wants

Repeating this to yourself and allowing your body to go wet noodle in the midst of uncomfortable feelings is the path to freedom.

Also, keep in mind that you have to get to the point where you really want to accept and allow the feelings and are not just saying that you accept them while being afraid to really allow them.

This is still resisting if you don’t 100% welcome and allow the feelings to do whatever they want.

This is much easier said than done because if the feelings are really strong it’s going to take a considerable amount of practice until your body starts to feel safe enough to trust letting go. 

We have trained ourselves to immediately resist discomfort so it takes time and trust to change this pattern.

We should start asking ourselves “What level of anxious and emotional discomfort am I willing to embrace today in order to heal?”

The goal is to reach the point where we completely accept and allow anxious feelings.

Where we don’t believe them or fight with them but welcome them and become friends with them allowing them to do what they want.

At the end of the day, it’s the fear of fear or the fear of what could happen if you let go that causes the problem.

Step 3: Run Towards 

The first two steps of defusing and allowing are the primary drivers of healing anxiety.

If however, the anxiety feels like it’s still escalating and threatening you, you need to shatter that illusion by running towards it.

You run towards anxiety by telling yourself you feel excited by your anxious thoughts and feelings and that you want more.

It’s important to remember that anxiety is just nervous energy flowing through the body and it can’t harm you. It’s our interpretation of the energy that causes the problem and traps you in the vicious cycle of fearing fear.

Fear and excitement are just different interpretations of the same high state of arousal.

When we flip our attitude toward these sensations from fear to excitement we end the illusion of threat.

Let the raw energy of your nervous system express itself fully. Let it excite rather than terrify. 

This is called “arousal reappraisal” in psychology. 

It’s not the bodily sensation we feel that triggers our emotional response, but rather our perception of those sensations that determines our reaction.

We can tell ourselves “I’m excited by this feeling, give me more”.

In the beginning, we will have to fake it until we actually mean it. The key is to keep practicing when it’s the hardest to do so.

Step 4: Engage

After you have applied the previous steps of the DARE response, the anxious mind will naturally look for ways to reel you back into a state of worry and fear.

In order to avoid this, we need to engage with something that takes up our attention.

We need to get back to our work, reading, activity, or other things that require focus and concentration while we allow for any anxiety that’s still present to be there without constantly worrying about it.

Too much idleness and constantly checking in on anxiety in fear is the enemy of recovery.

Become more present in the current day, activities, work, goals, and tasks at hand while trusting that if you dive into the present moment it will allow anxiety to flow.

There is a subtle but key difference between engagement and distraction. 

Engaging with something is not a form of distraction.  You’re not trying to distract yourself from the anxiety but engaging with life again while allowing the anxiety to be present while you’re engaged. 

You allow the anxiety to be present, simply noting it, and getting on with your life training your body that it is not danger and it can be there.

Summary of Dare Response

  1. As you become aware of anxiety, defuse it immediately with a “so fucking what/whatever” attitude.
  2. Drop all resistance and accept and allow the anxiety to just be. Try to get comfortable with the fear and anxiety and welcome it in. Flow with it.
  3. Remove the sense of threat by running toward the anxious feelings. Tell yourself “I’m excited by this feeling” and change your perception of the anxious feeling.
  4. Move your attention to an activity in the present moment that engages you fully and allows any anxiety to just be there with you.
  • Phrase to remember: “Whatever! I accept and allow this anxious feeling. I’m excited by it as I engage with what’s in front of me”
  • If you’re dealing with panic attacks the same steps apply but you need to get excited and call fear’s bluff by demanding that anxiety gives you everything it’s got when it starts to escalate. You need to be the hunter, not the fearful hunted.
  • For panic remember: “I’m excited by this feeling, bring it on”

Buddhist Psychology Approach to Anxiety & Panic

The mindfulness and Buddhist psychological approach to anxiety and panic is very similar to the DARE Response for anxiety and they work great together using meditation as support.

Below are some videos and my notes from one of my favorite meditation teachers.

In the above first video, Yongey talks about his story with anxiety and how it took him a while to make the change from fearing anxiety to using panic and anxiety as support for meditation instead of getting lost in it.

In the above second video, he talks about the 2 main ways we make anxiety worse: by believing it like it’s a bad boss or by hating and fighting it creating fear and resistance of it. Then he discusses the third way of treating anxiety, as a friend.

He also discusses how we can’t just say we want to be friends with our anxiety we have to actually learn and practice the right method of befriending our anxiety when it occurs on a body-mind level.

The 3 meditation techniques he discusses to work with panic are:

  1. Calm Abiding Meditation (shamatha)
  2. Loving Kindness and Compassion
  3. Vipassana

In this last video, he talks again about his story and gives a clear picture of how he was able to finally allow and befriend his panic instead of resisting it.

He was able to get to the point where he could maintain awareness when the panic arose and then used it as support for his meditation.

When he was able to completely allow his anxiety to surface treating it like a friend and allowing it to move in his meditations and life it dropped away because he wasn’t afraid of the panic anymore.

Anxiety and panic occur when we have fear of our thoughts and feelings.

What We Need to Give Up To Heal

When we experience a period of high anxiety and fear it can be easy to fall into the trap of believing things about ourselves that are not true.

These are the most important things that we need to give up in order to heal:

1. Thinking We Are Abnormal Or Something Is Wrong With Us 

Anxiety is not a mental illness, it is nervous arousal brought on by fear and high-stress hormone levels. 

When we are in this state of arousal our body is programmed to send us scary thoughts and feelings. When we are not in this state of arousal our body will naturally send us more pleasant thoughts and feelings. 

When you’re experiencing a lot of anxiety your body has just gotten stuck in the mode of fear and stress. It needs to be re-programmed to recognize feelings, sensations, and thoughts as just feelings, sensations, and thoughts and not be afraid of them.

When you’ve experienced anxiety for a long enough period of time it can make you think that you’re going crazy and something is wrong with you, but the reality is it’s just anxiety.

We need to normalize anxiety and get comfortable with it. We are not our anxiety. We need to love ourselves despite our anxious feelings and thoughts and give up our fear of shame and humiliation.

Lastly, it’s important not to buy into labels. Try not to use the word disorder or label yourself as someone with OCD or panic or whatever. Anxiety is a temporary problem and you are not anxiety.

You are much greater, more loving, more powerful, and more amazing than anxiety can ever make you feel. 

2. Saying No To Anxiety And Avoiding Life

Fear and anxiety will often make you feel that you can’t do something and gradually your life will start to get smaller and smaller because you learn to avoid things that make you feel uncomfortable.

One of the hardest things to do is to start saying yes to anxiety instead of no.

It takes time and practice.

We need to get to the point where we totally accept and allow fear and anxiety into our mind and body without resisting it.

We have to face the pain we have been running from for so long and look it straight in the eye, allowing it to transform us.

This is a whole-body experience, not just a mental recitation.

Anxiety leaves not because we try to get rid of it but because we are no longer fueling it with fear and resistance.

We need to learn to live life and bring fear and anxiety along with us. To become friends with them and do the best we can despite feeling uncomfortable.

Healing and recovery happen in the situations we fear most and in living our lives. 

It may take time and practice to start getting more involved in life situations that scare us but it’s important to take small steps in the right direction. 

3. Fearing Sensations

Anxiety is fueled by a fear of feelings and sensations. In order to move out of an anxious state we need to stop obsessing about and fearing the thoughts and sensations that scare us.

Recovery is never about the absence of sensations. It occurs when you no longer fear the sensations that occur.

Anxiety is not in the sensations, thoughts, and feelings. It occurs from the resistance and fear of the sensations, thoughts, and feelings.

Your response to the sensations.

For example, we don’t get anxious about a pounding heart after we’ve been exercising because we know that it’s a normal bodily function during that activity.

The problem comes when we can’t identify a cause for the sensation and our brain defaults to a fear-based conclusion.

We need to normalize and change our response to common anxiety sensations:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Breathing anxiety
  • Feeling of fainting or passing out
  • Nausea and fear of vomiting
  • Choking and tight throat sensations
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Weak legs
  • Shaking and tremors
  • Tingling sensations
  • Feeling of losing control
  • Unreality or depersonalization
  • Disturbing thoughts
  • Depression
  • Fear of going crazy

If you’re an otherwise healthy person and have checked out medically as fine then these sensations and mental occurrences are just the result of anxiety and high-stress hormones due to fear. 

We need to change our response from fear to acceptance of these sensations and allow our body to do what it feels is best for us.

4. Fearing Situations

Often fear and anxiety can slowly start to decrease the number and types of situations you put yourself in because of some event that happened in the past that made you feel scared.

Usually what happens is you have a panic attack or higher state of anxiety in a certain situation then your body starts to associate that and similar situations as dangerous and brings on the same heightened state of arousal and fear over and over again.

This results in avoiding those situations because you are scared to deal with your body’s response.

In order to change that response we need to put ourselves back in those situations and teach our body a new response that shows it there is no present danger in those situations. 

The more we avoid these situations the more they will cause fear and anxiety. 

We need to slowly allow ourselves to face these fearful situations with a new response and be nice to ourselves when we experience that higher state of arousal doing the best we can to work our way back into them.

Common Anxiety Producing Situations:

  • Driving
  • Socially trapped situations
  • Fear of flying 
  • Morning anxiety
  • Eating out
  • Toilet phobia
  • Public speaking
  • Doctor’s appointment
  • Insomnia
  • Enclosed places

5. Fearing Anxious Thoughts

Worrying about what could happen or what if scenarios is one of the main drivers of anxiety.

When stress hormones are released and your body is in a higher state of nervous arousal your mind naturally defaults to producing thoughts that are designed to help save you from the danger it perceives. 

95% of the time, unless you are in a situation where there is present danger, the thoughts are illusions. 

We need to give up being afraid of the thoughts that fear produces in our mind whether they are images of situations that scare us or thoughts about what could happen.

The goal is to go from being the victim of our thoughts and feelings (believing everything they try to make us believe) to recognizing them and deciding how we want to interpret them.

We need to take back our power and put the mind in its correct place, as our servant and tool, instead of the other way around.

This only happens when we see thoughts and images for what they are. Just thoughts and images that our mind is producing based on what it learned and the energy state it is currently in. 

We can retrain our mind to learn the correct response over time.

When we resist thoughts and images we are telling our body that we are scared of them and that they are dangerous so it helps us out by giving us more nervous energy to fight them off.

The key here is to allow the scary thoughts and images into our mind to do whatever they want while not believing them.

If we give up fearing thoughts then we show our bodies that there is nothing dangerous about them and they start to lose their power over time.

6. Safe Zones

Fear and anxiety cause people to get stuck in their safe zones where they feel like they are safe. 

In reality, most places are pretty safe in today’s modern world. We live in a world where people on average are more friendly and society is more advanced technologically than ever before.

The key to recovering vitality from anxiety and fear is to start moving out from your safe zones. This is where real progress happens as we learn to allow uncomfortable sensations.

If a panic attack or extreme anxiety occurred in the middle of nowhere and you were all alone it would pass and you would be fine. 

It’s important to start digging deep, determining why you want to overcome anxiety, and start pushing yourself outside your safe zones step by step.

We have to feel the fear and do it anyway.

The best way to start doing this is to make a list of the places that cause fear and anxiety and to slowly start exposing yourself to these situations in steps as you start to get more comfortable feeling uncomfortable.

It’s important to keep in mind why you are willing to go through this pain. You are fighting for your freedom to live a joyful life and be the person you were meant to be. Full of love, joy, presence, energy, intelligence, and positivity.

7. Being Hard On Yourself

People who struggle with anxiety tend to be really hard on themselves. This is because most of the time they have trained themselves to resist feeling afraid for fear of looking weak or being vulnerable. 

There is usually a lot of shame and humiliation which goes along with their fears.

They get frustrated and angry when they miss the mark or they don’t live up to false expectations.

They give up their own personal power because of the fear of being rejected or being different than other people.

If you’re going to heal from anxiety you need to drop this self-criticism. You need to start standing up for yourself and loving yourself no matter how scared or weak you “feel”.

No matter how weird or fragile you think you are. 

If you challenge yourself and you fail, be nice to yourself, get some rest, and try again later. 

Give yourself a pat on the back and a hug for even trying!

You need to nurture and love your body back into strength and safety, not force it or be so hard to it.

The only way a person, plant, or animal can flourish into what it’s meant to be is to give it love, nourishment, and freedom to act in the way it sees best.

The key here is developing true self-love. 

Tell yourself you love yourself every day no matter what happens. And offer this love to other people around you as well, wishing that they would truly be happy.

It takes time to reprogram the false mental patterns of self-doubt, self-criticism, and anger towards ourselves and our bodies, but it’s a necessary shift that needs to happen for healing to occur.

8. Fearing It Will Last Forever

When in the depths of extreme fear, anxiety, depression, and other emotions the hardest thing is that it makes you believe at the time that this will never end.

All the thoughts you are having and the emotions you are experiencing in these states are delusional and not truly who you are. 

Learn to use the phrase “this too shall pass” or notice the impermanence of thoughts, feeling, and sensations at other times and keep that in mind when you are going through a rough patch.

Get some sleep, move your body, and do something that gets you out of your mental loop when things go south for a little bit.

We need to give up the fear that anxiety will be this way forever and just allow it to be with us however long it wants to visit.

If we can totally allow it as well as the fear then it will flow in exactly the right way at the right time.

9. Seeing It As A Curse

“The wound is the place where the light enters you”. -Rumi

We need to give up seeing this as a curse or a horrible thing. Sure, when in the midst of anxiety or depression it’s hard to see it this way but we have to find faith and hope in something greater and more beautiful than our small ego self.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths of darkness. 

These people have an appreciation, sensitivity, and understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” 

-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

We need to focus on three things: Forgiveness, meaning, and gratitude.

  • We need to forgive our anxiety, ourselves, and other people we think contributed to it
  • We need to find the meaning in our struggle because there always is a meaning to the suffering we experience if we can learn from it
  • We need to get to the point where we are grateful for our anxiety and emotions seeing them as our guide in life and our teacher of what we need to learn

10. Your Crutches

Lastly, when we are strong enough we need to give up our crutches. 

Crutches are necessary and useful at the beginning of anyone’s healing journey but when we get stronger and more confident we need to let them go.

Crutches could be things such as:

  • Reassurance from friends or doctors
  • Always having a safe person with you
  • Never leaving without a certain tool
  • Numbing the pain with substances
  • Distracting yourself when you feel very anxious
  • Having the same medical exams performed over and over

They are anything external that provides comfort and relief from facing your true feelings.

Dealing With Setbacks

When working on recovering your life and body from anxiety or any health issue it’s normal to go through cycles.

This means that as you progress you will improve but then fall down a bit again. This process will happen over and over again until your lows are far greater than your highs from before.

The most important thing to understand when you are experiencing a setback is that the setback is going to try to convince you that all your hard work was for nothing and that you haven’t really gotten any better.

This couldn’t be further from the truth but it’s because you are stuck in the current negative energy states of fear, anxiety, and depression that it is making you believe this way. 

Once the energy moves in your body you will then begin to think and see things clearly again so it’s crucial to give it time when you experience a setback and remind yourself that it will pass.

It’s important to expect setbacks to happen and to welcome them using them as tools for growth.

Often with anything in life things are darkest just before the dawn. It’s usually before things start to get better that you are tested with hard times. 

Flipping Identification

At the root of the anxiety, fear, and negative emotions problem is the identity we hold onto.

Our ego-mind identity creates most of the self-criticism, negative thoughts, fears, sensations, and feelings that we start to believe.

The reason we believe them is because when they occur they become so strong and all-encompassing that we lose space between them and our natural state of awareness. 

We forget that thoughts, emotions, and sensations are changing energy patterns in the body. 

They come and they eventually pass, but when they are strong we forget that they are not who we really are and we start to believe the fearful stories they produce. 

They literally color the way we see the world.

One way to start gradually seeing this relationship differently is to ask yourself who recognizes the thoughts and sensations?

Another way is to practice noting gone. When you are experiencing anxiety, fear, an itch, or some other bodily symptom try to note when it dissipates.

You don’t even need to do this all the time but just doing it a few times can allow you to have the realization that you are not your thoughts, emotions, or bodily sensations.

You cannot be something that is constantly changing.

When we stop identifying as the fear, anxiety, sensations, and thoughts that occur in our bodies and allow them to flow through our awareness it will help release the resistance and suffering.

Part of the process of healing from any mental or emotional issue is putting the correct relationship between your true self and the mind back in place.

Our true self is a loving awareness that is expansive, radiant, powerful, and loving while our mind is a brilliant tool that was given to us in our body to be used in order to express our creative capacity as human beings.  

The correct relationship is that you are the governing power of your mind and the mind is your tool. 

Most of the time when things go wrong it works the opposite way where our mind controls us and works as a ruler over our lives. 

In reality, when the correct relationship is established, we get to decide how to use our mind to the best of our ability and it isn’t a ruthless dictator. 

Remembering Your Why & Deeper Meaning

As I’ve progressed in my healing journey one thing I’ve noticed is that there is always a brief moment when fear and anxiety start to escalate where you have the decision to surrender and let go of the feelings that are erupting or tighten and fight them to cause suffering.

Honestly, I still have a hard time completely surrendering and allowing the feelings to flow.

It’s something I’m working on as I practice.

I’m starting to learn that when things start to escalate and they get really strong you really have to believe in something greater than yourself (God, a higher power, spirit, love) and have faith that you will be ok if you let go.

In the moment of extreme arousal, it literally makes you feel like you might die and you have to believe in something outside of your limited self at that moment.

This is where deeper meaning and purpose in life come into play.

I think it’s really important to determine why you want to recover and visualize what you want your life to look like on the other side of fear.

The things you want to do, the adventures you want to take, the relationships you want to cultivate, the person you want to become, the service and love to others you want to contribute.

Your desire to get better and live the life of your dreams has to be greater than your fear or else the fear will continue to knock you down in those critical moments and demolish your confidence and motivation.

This is where it’s important to allow emotion to flow and to kindle the burning desire to become the person you were meant to be.

You have to reach the point where you’ve had enough. Enough of your own delusional bull shit, enough of the reassurance, enough of the victimization, enough of the endless worry, enough of constant health checks, enough of the avoidance and intellectualization of concepts instead of facing your feelings.  

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Josh is a writer and entrepreneur who runs a small digital content publishing business. His main interests are in topics related to developing personal and financial freedom. When not working he enjoys reading, yoga, surfing, being outdoors, meditating, exploring, and hanging with friends.