Learn How to Live with Anxiety

Thanks @LloydS and @bette.bukrey for sharing.

This is hard, no doubt about it. Keep in mind that things will shift when you open up and feel what you’re experiencing. The hard part is that when you do that, it feels like you’re making it worse. But you’re not. If you feel your body openly, without judgment, throughout the day, after some time you will notice something has shifted. It may be small or big, it may take a week or a month, but the point is that things are shifting. You just need to trust that what you’re feeling is ok and that you can embrace it and let it go.

The other challenge is that it frequently feels like what you’re doing is not helping, since the pain doesn’t seem to go away and it’s overwhelming most of the day. We simply need to be ok with the fact that can take time. We have all developed patterns that are difficult to shift out of, and for you and I that pattern has likely involved pushing away the pain, disliking it and judging ourselves for it. We need to stop doing that, completely. However, when we do, the momentum that we have built up, the momentum that is prolonging our anxiety, depression and inner pain, needs time to slow down and change. It’s just the reality of where we are at.

Thanks for responding and your concern. I will keep putting the time. Bette

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Thank you so much for your reply and for the course. As I said, I’m doing much of it again. The pranayama sessions are particularly helpful I find.
Is there a follow up course or something you would recommend to keep up the momentum?

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You’re welcome!

The best thing you can do is figure out what works well for you, what you need to do to avoid shifting into the default state of mind that feeds the anxiety. Practice pranayama, do yoga, remain aware of how you are conditioned in your life and let go of the tension and worry that you can create throughout the day.

If you would like more guidance, you could try one of our programs, such as Beginner Yoga for Strength and Flexibility. It’s a 30-Day program with 3 classes per week, so it’s manageable and it’s designed to encourage relaxation and keep your energy levels well balanced.

Take care,

David

Yes today did class 8 or9. Feel the ocean waves and not so much numb and tingling and restless. Still hard to follow. Going back and forth. Anyway to get all classes together? get mixed up trying to get back to 1st part and sometimes skip 2ndm

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I see how I am conditioned to always be of service and deny myself. Caring for husband with end stage kidney disease I always think of him first. How do be of service without denying yourself? Thanks

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It’s great to see that and to honor your own needs. It’s kind of like putting the life jacket on yourself first - you need to be there to support them and the best way to do that is to make sure that you are able to take care of yourself.

Just did class 18. Is anyone Else still doing classes? I find hard to follow. Bodily pain and tingling cover up emotions maybe? When Jennifer says to feel both emotions, I just seem to think how my body still aches and not sure what she means? This comment is in her 5 minute meditation on day 18 or 19 Thanks

I just posted. It was class 17 on emotions. Sorry

Hi Bette. It sounds like you’re struggling with the pain and discomfort and tingling in your body. And you’re right, they can cover up emotions, absolutely. Try to think of the pain and discomfort as your body trying to get your attention, to encourage you to pay attention to those sensations. Try to feel them and stay with them without judging or reacting. You will realize (you may have already) that when you open up and feel sensation in your body, it is always changing. The more you can relax into it, the more the sensations are able to move through you. It becomes a constant process of letting go. And, you may feel pain for days, weeks, months… what’s important is that you stay open and aware of it, even it hurts. Remind yourself, ‘this too will pass’.

Thanks David Will stay with program. Bette

Joust finished 21 days. How do you keep motivated? What classes can I do. Your website is overwhelming. What would be something simple to try?

Is anyone still doing the 21 days?

Hi Bette. Go to our yoga classes page and under the style drop down choose yoga for anxiety. It will bring up a lot of classes that are suitable for you.

Dear David and community,
I feel terribly anxious and despair, there are constant nagging thoughts of telling me “this is not the life you want to live”, thoughts of wishing things were different and feelings of I’m not good enough. I want to make big changes, which I fear at the same time.
Thanks to your and others meditation guidings I was able to let go of this and feel more in the moment, while meditating. Though the request to let go feels again like a fight against myself.
I wish there would be a clear question I could pose, but I’m unable to do so. Probably because we know there is no simple answer. Nevertheless I want to reach out cause the burden feels too much, and I want to reach out here cause it feels like the programm has helped me a bit.
One direct question I have is: What do you mean with “stop resisting life”? (Though, I’m scared to hear the answer…)
Namaste, Shana

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Hi Shana.

Thank you for being so vulnerable. It takes a lot of courage open up like that. I know how it feels to want to give up.

It sounds to me like you are facing the experience of anxiety face on. Try not to be hard on yourself and remember that it will absolutely feel uncomfortable and maybe even painful when you give the anxiety the attention it needs. You are essentially opening up to it, rather than pushing it away or numbing it, so it makes sense that the intensity would increase.

This is the key… it’s important to feel with all your heart, with compassion, with love. I read this great quote by Rumi a few weeks ago that has stuck with me. “Go within. Fall in love. Stay.” I realize how hard this is, even to understand what it means, but try to fall in love with yourself, with the feelings inside of you, with the pain, the stuff you hate. Embrace it as a part of yourself, and the fact that it’s ok that it’s there.

So when I say ‘stop resisting life’ I’m asking you to stop pushing away the stuff that doesn’t feel good. In every moment, try to feel it all. As you do that, know that it will likely not feel like it’s beneficial, until some time later, when you suddenly realize that you feel lighter and less burdened by anxiety.

Conceptually this stuff is tricky because the way to heal is based in how you relate to the stuff you don’t like. It helps that you don’t think about it, but rather feel it and embrace it, avoid reacting.

I hope that helps, Shana.

All the best,

David

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Thank you a lot David for your heartfelt message! I can feel the intensity of it and it makes me cry cause it makes me feel “wow, is my anxiety really that bad?” I can relate to what you say, it does make sense, conceptually and I’ve felt it before (also during meditation) to not push it away - as everything is always changing and so it will disapear on it’s own after a while. At the moment it does not feel beneficial (and it feels I’m making everything worse) like you say, so I will focusing on trust, trusting that this is the way healing can happen.
Thank you also for showing that it’s ok to be vulnerable. I’ve allowed myself to be so more (espcially publicly) and it helped as I can see that people don’t run away and it feels more true to myself.

What I don’t yet understand yet fully is the difference between not reacting to fear (to alleviate suffering) versus allowing myself to feel good through changing things that don’t feel well (e.g. staying in a masters programm that feels too overwhelming, or looking for another place to live). Can one live in a state where there is no seeking or reacting at all?

Wishing you and the community lots of love and calm,
Shana

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I just finished the first week, it’s been really lovely so far. I am very grateful, David, that you have this series.

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Hi David,

Thank you so much for this program!
As a non-native English speaker I am having a hard time understanding the word ‘conditioned’ in the question ‘How am I conditioned?’ Could you please explain with different words what it means? And perhaps what an answer would look like. Many thanks, Christine

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Hi Christine. You’re welcome!

‘How am I conditioned’ is the same as asking ‘In what situations do I respond in an automatic, unconscious way?’. For example, there may be situations that always intensify your anxiety. The question helps you become more aware of those moments and encourages you to be mindful when they happen.

By the way, I’m about to launch a new 21-day program that is more intimate and interactive. We’re accepting emails from those interested and the first 20 submissions will have early, free access. Go here to check it out:

Take care,

David

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