I wonder if you can help me with something that has been happening to me. For no reason I know I’ve been very anxious. This started some four months ago, here in Bucerias. At first, I noticed just a few times when I felt anxious but didn’t know why. Now I’m anxious more or less continually. The symptoms have increased over time as well: sweating, heart racing and an upwelling of fear as if I expect the ground to give way under me. I’ve seen a doctor here and he has prescribed a calming drug. It does seem to help with the anxiety, but then I just feel numbed out. Are my only choices to go on between fearfulness and numbness?
Hola Nervous Wreck,
You are bringing up a very big topic here, one in which I can only say a few words. First, you share a common bond with everyone who experiences anxiety. Often, the causes are unknown and there is a fear as to when it next will “raise its ugly head.” A natural tendency is to want to get rid of the anxiety, to have it be done and over, and to not feel that sense of helplessness when it keeps arising.
Having experienced anxiety attacks myself, it took some time of therapeutic self-work to begin to relate with anxiety differently. Now I see anxiety and its symptoms as a message for change. Something deeply embedded in my psyche was coming to the surface and asking for attention. After a time, I realized the most direct response I had was not to try to get rid of anxiety, but to give it simple attention. I was amazed at the results: anxiety attacks stopped as I developed further insights into why anxiety had appeared in the first place.
Nervous, I can only give you my opinion here. Instead of struggling against anxiety, sit down and try to look directly at the particular symptom that seems the most prominent in the moment. In other words, just place your attention on that symptom without trying to get rid of it. Your attitude should be one of openness and acceptance, as if the symptom itself is a being for which you have great care, just as a parent has for a child. This simple, direct attention brings you “under the surface” of the ordinary thinking process where true communication with yourself can take place. The result is that the causes and symptoms of anxiety are being provided the spaciousness to change themselves. There is much more to say about this approach, best described as “mindfulness therapy,” than I can respond to here, but I would recommend that you visit online www.mindfulnessmeditationtherapy.com to learn more. It has been very helpful for me.
Nervous, I wish you the best of luck on your journey of self-discovery through working with the symptoms of anxiety. Please let me know how you are faring with your work.
You can do it!