My lifelong struggle with anxiety has been well documented on this blog and Day 115 brings us full circle. It is a battle I am currently in control of but will never be free from.
Chet is right on Day 115 that the voice in your head that most modern psychologists and mystics would call “ego” is a significant source of anxiety. I had no awareness of this until BK introduced me to concept of meditation back in the day and I baby stepped into it. I now believe that getting separation from that voice is one of the secrets to a sustainable life.
The main objective of the ego is to take you out of the present moment and grip your attention relentlessly. The ego doesn’t care about you, just your attention. Negative thought patterns can turn into perpetual thinking patterns that lead to chronic anxiety and other strong emotional and psychological responses.
For those looking for separation from that voice, here is a list of healthy stuff that has helped me (I have tried plenty of unhealthy varieties but that is for another day). I will start with Chets recommendation first because it’s a valuable piece of the puzzle
- Writing – (any form of self-reflection/core work is huge)
- Any form of moderate to intense exercise for 30+ minutes (you must break a sweat)
- Meditation, especially one that connects you to your breath/body
- Sufficient sleep
- – Note that these top 4 accomplish 95% of my battle.
- Being outdoors for extended periods of time especially in sunlight (moving the body is a bonus)
- Talking with a builder/coach/therapist
- Being honest with someone you trust and love about what you are experiencing
- Being in flow professionally and personally
- Turning anxious thoughts into initiating productive actions
- A good wood burning fire – indoors or out (something primal/spiritual is trigged with a good fire)
There are other layers but that’s a damn good start.
I don’t believe anxiety can be eliminated entirely, but it can be managed.