We are the cause of our anxiety. The most hated thing in our lives is something that we create. This concept is unacceptable to most of us, because the suffering is so great that we cannot even begin to imagine that we have any part in creating it. But we do – we “feed the monster” so to speak. Anxiety and panic attacks are something uncontrollable for us, but we light the fuse that make panic attacks flare. In our Panic Away review we explain how Panic Away works in helping you to eliminate anxiety from your life, but what causes Anxiety?
What do we feed Anxiety with?
We get into a pattern: after the first panic attack we know that at some point in our lives there will most likely be another. If we suffer from anxiety, we know there are situations or times of the year when we are likely to have more anxiety. We fear the fear, and keep building it up over days or weeks. Of course all this built up fear has to express itself at some point because we are “feeding the monster”. When it turns into anxiety or a panic attack we live an experience which reinforces our fear. This is a vicious circle which we have to break, and only we can break it.
We can overcome the “fear of fear” by totally accepting anxiety as part of our lives. Don’t cringe! We all want to heal, but healing implies doing the opposite of what we have been doing so far. We are like pigeons banging against a closed window without realizing there is an open door behind us! Accepting the anxiety IS the cure.
Another way in which we feed the monster is by constantly judging how we feel. When we judge we are actually creating the symptoms without even realizing it. Many people wake up in the morning and the first thing they do is ask themselves “How is my anxiety level today?” By doing that you are actually setting an anxiety level; you are starting it up! Try waking up in the morning and NOT thinking about your anxiety. If the thought pops into your head say to yourself “I refuse to make an assessment this morning, I’ve got better things to do.”
Judgement also brings a number of other emotions with it. We judge ourselves when are not getting better and feel helpless, we judge our anxiety level; “that is a level 8 crisis” and feel sorry for ourselves. Do not waste any more time and precious mental energy on judging your anxiety level.
This leads us into another way of feeding the monster. How much of our time and energy do we give to anxiety during the day? If the anxiety was a baby and we were tending to it at least 3-4 times an hour, would it grow into healthy and happy toddler? When you give your anxiety attention, you are feeding the monster.
By attention I mean anything that brings you to thinking about your anxiety; reading up on anxiety, speaking about anxiety to your friends, ruminating over the “whys and wherefores” of your latest panic attack. Anything that brings your mind there is risky. It may be helpful to participate in a support group, but make sure that that attention to anxiety starts and ends in the group. Don’t give it thought before and after.
How important is anxiety in your life? Is it perhaps one of the main pillars of your existence? Well of course it is, because it is something that totally conditions your reality and well-being! When anxiety becomes something totally unimportant to you, you will be healed. It is possible, I guarantee you. You look at this big monster and realize that it’s only a tiny bug seen through a magnifying glass.
If you are able to forgive yourself for having believed that it was a great big monster, you will be able to move on, but if you keep putting anxiety on a throne and feeding it with Fear, Judgment and Attention repeatedly each day, you will not be able to overcome it.
No one has ever fought with the monster and won. It’s impossible because whatever we do during the fight makes it stronger. The only way to win is to allow anxiety to become something totally unimportant to you; to take away the magnifying glass and see the bug for what it is; something which you can crush under your foot.
When we are under attack by the monster we cannot control it in any way. During a bout of anxiety we must just accept it and know that sooner or later it will pass. We must know that we are safe, that we will not die and that our bodies are healthy.
You find yourself in this horrible space, but instead of closing your eyes and running, sit down and look around. Get curious. The minute you learn to live here without fear, you will be healed. Think of “anxiety time” as hours of “flying time”. They are an opportunity – are you going to waste them? No ways! It’s time to put on your scientist cap and figure out “what’s so bad about this reality after all?”
Once you break the illusion, it’s all over.
When the anxiety subsides and all the energy has been released you can avoid feeding the monster again so it will have no energy to be able to attack you.