Thought Mastery versus Anxiety Barriers
Doctors and natural healers agree - stress reduces wellness and causes disease.
For discussion, we can separate your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual components. But all parts are always present. This discussion focuses on a mental aspect to save words. Keep in mind that you are one bodymind.
A common stress scenario is “creating barriers and then breaking through them”. It’s not productive because it’s a useless cycle. After a period of internal sound-and-fury, we return exhausted to where we started. Overall health is negatively affected. Muscular tension and stress hormones diminish your entire being.
Anxiety illnesses are examples of barriers. Consider agoraphobia. With this condition, a person is afraid to leave his/her home. An attempt to go outside is met with anxiety, which acts as a barrier. After an internal confrontation, he/she finally leaves (or not). Or consider someone who stutters. He/she gets ready to speak, but anxiety builds. An inner conflict takes over as a fight for control ensues. In a cruel twist, behavior reflects the problem being avoided.
Fear of failure leads to the same scenario. Fear of being wrong does too. You probably know people who don’t achieve their dreams for these reasons. Life became limited.
A basic principle of healing is: never use a second problem to cover up a first problem. You will simply end up with layered problems. In the above examples, the first problem is a buildup of anxiety; the second problem is a fight for control. The preferred solution is eliminating the anxiety. Then the control fight isn’t needed. No “cure” is involved. Instead, you return to the as-designed condition.
Thought mastery and mindfulness offer a solution. Introspection with a quiet mind allows you to change your thought patterns. If anxiety (or fear) is holding you back, decide to minimize the amount of time those thoughts get. With time and practice, curiosity and exploration will replace anxiety and fear. That’s easier said than done, but it is do-able.
Here are some suggestions:
Never suppress a negative thought. Suppression means not looking. It will only fester beneath the surface and come back stronger.
Look at anxiety thoughts. See them clearly. Stay detached; those thoughts are not you.
Accept that thoughts will arise randomly. You have no control over that.
You do have control over which thoughts you choose to follow. When anxiety thoughts appear, decide not to follow them. Release them as soon as you look at them.
Let time pass. Anxiety thoughts will decrease in frequency. Eventually, they will stop appearing.
Specifically, do not try to control them.
Resist making life decisions based on what you fear. Every decision based on fear leaves a carbon copy in the muscles.
You deserve internal peace. Anxiety barriers are paper dragons.