Anxiety can be a daunting emotional state to find yourself in, regardless of whether the driver of the emotion is significant or totally benign.
It’s that feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. It’s the fear of what might happen. It can even be marked by physiological signs such as sweating, tension, and an increased pulse.
With anxiety, your self-doubt seems to take over and you feel like you can’t cope with everyday situations. It can be the thing that prevents you from:
- Applying for the job you want
- Entering into a new relationship
- Attending social gatherings with friends
Whatever it looks like, you can probably agree that anxiety is something you would rather do without.
Anxiety is a future-based fear that you have projected out in front of you on your path. At some point, you likely had an experience that left some unresolved emotional toxicity behind, and that imprinting of emotional baggage has now turned into a fear of having to repeat the same (or similar) experience.
There may not even be a correlation between what happened in the past and what is happening now. Regardless, the residual emotional component from that past experience is still very much alive and is what perpetuates the nervousness in the future.
For example, if, as a young child, you raised your hand in class and the other children laughed at you because you said the wrong thing, you may have developed an insecurity around putting yourself out there socially or in work meetings.
If you were continuously overlooked during your adolescent years, it’s possible that you believe you will never get the job offer you dream of, so you don’t even bother trying.
As an adult, you might find yourself worrying about things like finances, health, and self-worth:
- How am I going to make my rent?
- What if I can’t afford to retire?
- I haven’t been feeling well. I wonder if I have (fill in the blank)?
- How much time do I have left?
You might be worrying about whether or not your relationships are going to go the distance or if that vivacious new employee is going to take your job. You might even be wondering if you are good enough or do enough.
You create anxiety and worry by making an assumption about something that may or may not be happening—either now or in the future. You construct elaborate stories about what you think is happening and then convince yourself that this story is true.
You construct your reality based on how you are perceiving other people, yourself and your experiences. And what you go looking for, you’re sure to find.
One of the most effective techniques for overcoming these day-to-day anxieties comes from Mental and Emotional Release® Therapy (MER®). Everyday anxieties include (but are not limited to):
- Concern about the future
- Political state of the world
- Being good enough (or doing enough)
- Health and well-being of yourself and family members
- Job interviews
- Conflict of any sort
Using the MER® technique, you travel into the future 15 minutes beyond the successful completion of the event producing anxiety.
When you turn and look backward, the previously perceived anxiety no longer exists. This is because anxiety is a future-based fear and fear is a negative emotion. The mind stores negative emotions and memories in the past, meaning fear cannot actually exist in the future.
This technique teaches you that there is no need for your anxiety.
Try the following meditation—based on the MER® technique—to overcome some of your everyday anxieties.
A Guided Meditation for Overcoming Everyday Anxiety
- Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
- Begin to connect to your breath, making each inhalation and exhalation slow and deliberate.
- Next, imagine which direction (in relation to your body) your future is in. Some people may imagine it is out in front of them, others may have an idea that it is off to the right or to the left. This is called your timeline and is how your unconscious mind envisions your past, present, and future.
- Imagine in your mind that you float up above your timeline.
- Now, float out into the future to 15 minutes after the successful completion of the event which you thought you were anxious about and stop there. (You can tailor this step based on suggestions below.)
- Turn and look back toward “Now” along your timeline.
- Ask yourself, “Where is the anxiety?” That's right, it's gone!
- Float back toward “Now” above your timeline, float down into “Now” and open your eyes.
- Now, test to make sure the anxiety released. Think about the thing that used to make you anxious and notice that there is no anxiety there anymore.
- Note: if the anxiety did not release, make sure you imagined the event completing successfully in step #5. Repeat if necessary.
The power in this technique is visualizing things ending in a successful way. Things may still not turn out the way you wanted, but you will increase the likelihood of success by doing this type of visualization.
*In some cases where a person may have had an extreme experience that created a limiting belief or conviction that things will always turn our in a certain way, this technique may need to be preceded with removal of limiting beliefs and past negative emotions using Mental and Emotional Release® techniques.
Here are a few of the most common causes of anxiety. You can tailor step #5 in the process above to whatever is troubling you. Remember to imagine the successful completion of the following events:
- Closing the sale
- Paying your mortgage
- Repairing your vehicle
- Signing the paperwork for your child’s college funding
Health and Safety (of self and others):
- Achieving your goal to lose weight
- Receiving positive results from a recent medical test
- Healthy delivery of a new baby
Confrontation (of any sort):
- Performance discussion with your boss
- Arguing with a spouse or family member
- Leaving a toxic relationship
- Resigning from a dead-end job
- Being alone at the end of your life
- Living a good life
This technique is a great tool to use for the things you find yourself being anxious about on a day-to-day basis. If you are struggling with more severe anxiety-related thoughts or tendencies, please seek guidance and/or treatment from a healthcare specialist.
There are also a number of things that can cause anxiety that are action-based and within your control. For example, if you struggle with time management (too much to do and too little time) you may need to design a schedule that lays out things based on:
- How long they can wait
You can also learn to re-frame your anxiety. The only difference between anxiety and excitement is the label or the meaning you give to it. The body doesn’t know the difference between the two. It’s the conscious mind that tells the body what the emotion is and how to respond to it.
A quick re-frame on a situation can be enough to change the way you’re perceiving the energy. For example, if you’re feeling anxious about giving a presentation, you might re-frame it by saying, “I’m so excited that I get to share my knowledge and expertise with this group today.”
In some cases, anxiety can be present when you don’t understand your purpose or lack direction in your life. In this case, it’s important to:
This can be done in a professional setting or in the form of a hobby.
Because anxiety is future-based fear, in some cases it may be necessary to first release the past negative emotion of fear and any limiting beliefs (I’m not good enough, I’m not doing enough) related to it before the anxiety will release.
To do this, you will need to find a Certified Practitioner of Mental and Emotional Release® to guide you safely and effectively through the process.
Having emotions is part of the human experience. They are absolutely normal and, in fact, even negative emotions are (up to a certain point) beneficial for you to have.
In many cases, negative emotions and limiting beliefs are your unconscious mind’s way of warning or protecting you. The goal is to be able to discern when something is there as a message from the unconscious and when it’s no longer serving your process of evolution.
When it’s the latter, it’s time to thank it for the purpose it served and then let it go.
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.
Find balance anywhere, anytime with the new Chopra App. Download it now for hundreds of personalized guided meditations at your fingertips.