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Adventures In Energy

Easy Energy Recipes

Alleviating Anxiety

If you’ve read my book, The Path of Emotions (New Page books, 2013), you know that emotions provide essential information while generating the energy needed to respond. However, there are times when feelings are overwhelming and need to be released just to get through the moment. This recipe does that in four simple steps.

  1. Identify where in your body you feel the overwhelming emotion. Grief is commonly experienced in the chest (heart-breaking). Anxiety is also often felt in the chest (heart-stopping) or solar plexus (butterflies in the stomach). Fear can be manifested in the chest, solar plexus or lower abdomen (wetting oneself in fear).

  2. Notice your feet. The tendency when feeling an overwhelming emotion is to focus all of our attention on where we feel discomfort. However, outside of this area are many parts of the body that are not affected by the anxiety and feel perfectly fine, like the feet, which can also help establish grounding.

  3. Hold your attention on the area of anxiety and on your feet simultaneously. Split your awareness between the two and focus on both at the same time. If you have difficulty maintaining dual awareness, as you breathe, focus on the area of your anxiety, then on your feet in rapid succession. 

  4. Breathe. Your breath is the vehicle that carries your attention into the body. Hold your attention on the two areas and imagine your breath creating connection between them. Maintain this awareness while breathing until the feeling of anxiety has reduced to a level you can live with or has even disappeared. This can happen quite quickly, as soon as one to three minutes, or as long as five to fifteen.

Why this recipe works:

The challenge with difficult emotions such as anxiety is that they cause intense bodily discomfort while also overwhelming the mind (see Body Sounding). Since energy follows attention, focusing on the discomfort increases the energy in the area which increases the discomfort. This exercise works by linking your attention with the property of energy to move. As you hold dual attention, energy moves from the area of excess to the area of deficiency, your feet, where it can discharge into the Earth. The result is an easing of symptoms.

While enlarging an emotion is a great technique to use for processing, it isn’t helpful as a coping mechanism. On the other hand, denying what you feel by pushing it aside and not focusing on it doesn’t work either, since the emotion is suppressed using muscle tension which can cause physical pain and dysfunction. Holding dual attention on both the uncomfortable area and your feet is the solution for immediate relief.

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