Do you have time to turn your anxiety into energy? Anxiety, just like depression is a form of time travel … that doesn’t actually work. It’s the mind trying to bypass time itself and control something that is not even happening. The body devotedly follows the mind and expends so much energy trying to do something in the future but it is stuck right here, now. That energy builds and builds and has no real time or place to expend, it just rattles around in our body, and often gets trapped in certain segments of the body (chest, stomach, etc).
I can often talk myself down from my mental anxiety with reminders such as “that’s not real, we are here now, I let this go, I give it to the universe, etc” (this is still a work in progress for me). But, even after I release the mental anxiety, I am still left with the physical anxiety, the physical energy that I conjured up (man it’s a lot sometimes) and it’s bouncing around making me feel quite uncomfortable. But here is the thing, this is just neutral energy and once I take off the edge of a mental charge, I get the opportunity to direct this energy to filling my whole body with a lovely uplifting and energizing experience. What begins as an overload of energy in my solar plexus and heart area (like having a sugared up toddler bouncing around my rib cage!) can now be spread and thereby softened throughout my body and put to positive use. Here is my exercise for transforming anxiety.
First I take off the mental charge; I realize I am future tripping and come back to the present moment. I give that “future control” back to its rightful owner, the universe. I come back to being a divine, present moment being.
Second (right now my hardest part) I contact the physical charge with my awareness. This means really be with that physical feeling of anxiety wherever it is for you; chest, solar plexus, belly, jaw. This is kind of like sitting with a tantrumming toddler, it’s very uncomfortable and I want to be in the next room with soundproofing headphones on, but alas he’s my baby so I sit with him as patiently as I can (can you tell where my life lessons come from). These feelings are loud and intense and often irrational. I’ve noticed that I tend to mentally hide from the actual bodily feelings of anxiety. I would take my mental cue of “let it go” and then look away and bear though the physical discomfort till it subsided (sometimes days).
It was my assumption that if I took the mental charge away what more is there for me to do? But I am a whole being not just a mind being, and the work goes beyond mind work. So one day I looked under the bed and the big monster I was afraid of, ashamed of and altogether wanting to disassociate from, was actually just concentrated energy trapped in my heart and solar plexus. The solar plexus is my seat of personal power, and for me anxiety conjures up so much personal power energy because I am trying so hard to do something. What I am trying to do is a time travel illusion, but the energy is real.
So lastly, I sit with that supernova of energy and begin to open the rest of the body with my awareness I bring the energy of anxiety out of its tight shell by drawing my inner awareness to my shoulders, my arms and then out my hands. I don’t rush, I feel the energy slowly moving, offloading some of that steam. I contact the energy center again and it has lessened and then I draw the rest down with my awareness to low belly, pelvis, sacrum, legs, ankles, and out my feet. Then up the neck, through mid brain and out the crown of the head. I let that supernova birth me into a new radiant star saying these mantras “My personal power resides ONLY in the present moment. I align my will with the universe and co-create my life.” This process is greatly helped with regular Savasana practice, learning to relax and release every muscle in the body, and also mindfulness meditation, learning to be with uncomfortable feelings and allow them to transform with the power of awareness.
I hope this helps you. I remember a time when I was so debilitated by anxiety that this article would seem laughable. The extreme discomfort and occasionally a feeling that I was dying would overwhelm me so much that it was all I could do to just breath and fight back and forth with myself about going to the emergency room, full on panic attack. If that is more your level of anxiety, know that it is possible and even probable for you to get here one day, today might even be that day. Years of counseling, yoga, somatic work, reading and writing have all helped to lift me out of that drowning sea. I still get anxiety but it is holding much less power over me. Never give up on yourself and the extraordinary being you are. The universe is waiting on you to co-create magic with.
For more info on being with your physical feeling of anxiety, you can read about “Felt Sense” in my Energy Doorway post.