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Dealing with anxiety through spiritual practice

abracad, · Categories: externally authored, spirituality, stress, depression, anxiety

by Ryan Rivera

What is spirituality, if not the process of learning how to see life in perspective? What is a spiritual seeker, if not a person who aims for detachment from his lower self? Most people don’t realize this, but following a consistent spiritual practice can be a highly effective way to deal with anxiousness; in the same way, certain methods of anxiety management can be described as being almost spiritual in nature.

Anxiety is another word for “having a nagging sense of self”, whereas spirituality equates with “aiming to let go of self”. When people suffer from anxiety disorders, they are always too focused on their individuality. Anxiety sufferers are so deeply haunted by their own fears and worries they unwillingly become agents of their own demise. This pervading condition unfolds in vicious cycles that progressively make the affected person feel incapable of coping with life. Someone who experiences serious anxiety issues will gradually lose perspective of the big picture; they will feel so hopelessly out of control that lethargy might become their commonest state of being.

By contrast, a person who strives to develop their spirituality will gradually learn to let go of their individualism… and without a deep-rooted sense of self, there will be nothing left for anxiety to subvert and strangle. When someone is void of the urge to control life they won’t be easily controlled, even by their own thoughts and emotions. Spiritual seekers learn to observe the grand scheme of things, and they overcome their problems by focusing in their causes, rather than the effects.

There’s a simple explanation why dealing with anxiety can be so challenging. When someone has developed anxiety disorders, they unknowingly become their own worst enemy… as though they have developed a gruesome personal demon that keeps whispering scary thoughts and stealing their vital energy. This isn’t something that can just be turned off. It’s not something that can be fixed overnight. But it’s a condition that can be gradually reverted, with persistence and commitment. By focusing on your spirituality, you will learn how to stop empowering your inner demons, and by doing so they will eventually fade.

There is much in common between a healthy spiritual practice and a natural anxiety management program; seekers who have cultivated their spirituality will naturally learn how to weed out anxiety as well, in the process.

When someone feels overwhelmed with anxiety, it’s usually the expression of wrong lifestyle choices. It’s not just about too much pressure at work, or too many problems at home; anxiety is the combination of several factors, including biological, behavioral and nutritional aspects.  As such, dealing with anxiety calls for several lifestyle adjustments, which in are aligned with a healthy spiritual practice

Rather than fighting against your anxiety, I would like to invite anyone who feels bothered with excessive and persistent anxiousness to take action to minimize its causes, by making some important lifestyle changes:

a)      Avoid stimulants such as coffee, refined sugars, and nicotine:  this will do wonders in stabilizing your emotional states.

b)      Keep tension from building up in your body: regular exercise and physical activity will be immensely helpful as an outlet for stress.

c)       Learn how to cope with pressure: this is something you can achieve through regular meditation.

You can gradually overcome your anxiety issues if you take better care of your body, your mind as well as you emotions. In other words, you can progress in terms of anxiety management using the same techniques you use to advance in your spiritual practice. After all, spirituality is about developing a sense of purpose in life and learning how to nourish the best in you. If you adopt these fundamental lifestyle improvements, it will be a huge help towards improving your overall sense of happiness and contentment.

You can’t just fight anxiety off your life, in the same way that you can’t just snap your fingers and become a spiritual person. To succeed in such goal you have to be committed to changing your ways, and learn how to take better care of yourself. Think of your well-being as a garden, which you must attend to for years and months before it shows its true splendor. Keep in mind that as you stay focused in your spirituality that will ensure your focus is removed from your anxiety.

Don’t expect fast-acting miracles, or you’ll likely be disappointed; the best things in life seldom are quick or effortless. Blissfulness is a construction, and it’s something that you can (and should) strive towards each and every day. If you’ve been feeling troubled with on-going anxiety and you feel the need to deepen your spiritual side, I urge you to take this chance to do both things at once.

A wonderful journey lies ahead, and it will take you deeper inside yourself than you ever imagined possible; once you commit to this journey, each day in your life will feel like a stepping stone that will take you closer to happiness. Are you ready to begin this quest towards a new you?

Ryan Rivera has helped a lot of people overcome their anxiety issues, through the Calm Clinic website. Anyone who feels they might benefit from proper guidance should begin by taking the free anxiety management test available at Calm Clinic.


Filed in: externally authored, spirituality, stress, depression, anxiety

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