Breathwork and Anxiety
Anxiety is the state of overestimating the threat of a problem and underestimating your capacity to deal with it. When you are in a state of anxiety, your perception of reality is colored by the surging feelings inside you, and the pressure to push down those feelings causes you to make choices you would never make when relaxed and happy. Welcome to the world of anxiety.
See anxiety as a symptom, not what is really going on. Work on your ability to allow feelings. This is where breathwork can be uniquely helpful. I personally found guided breathwork to be the most powerful and quickest route to my clarity. Breathwork and anxiety can be friends.
Why does breathwork help anxiety?
Breathwork helps anxiety because it is a safe way to come into contact with the energy of anxiety, and clear it. It also helps because it raises up the energy of courage and faith.
Your breath quite literally gives you life, therefore giving you energy to counter the forces of anxiety. Breathwork is your free tool that you can use at any moment day or night, 24/7. It is the simplest, quickest and most profound tool to put you in touch with your capacity to deal with the life you have.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety, at its core, is a program just like software programs I.E. Microsoft Word. It’s simple enough that whoever programmed Word wanted you to be able to write and store your ideas. At birth, we are programmed with an innate desire to fulfill our life’s purpose. What happens after birth through experiences, family and societal conditioning creates a new program telling you how to interpret the experiences of your life. We call these programs “beliefs”.
Programming happens so early in life that you are unaware that there is an invisible interpreting-layer over what is happening. The purpose being to protect you from accessing or removing the program.
Now, you may wonder how having these programs could be useful to us. Well, if you were unloved as a child and now you have a belief that you are not worthy to be loved, the program is actually designed so you will avoid pain in the future. When someone doesn’t love you, now you have a reason. Your program starts looking around to see who values you and who doesn’t. I know this sounds completely ridiculous and like it shouldn't work this way, but that’s what is so strange and mysterious about us humans; we do a lot of things that don’t work even when we can see they don’t.
How much time did you waste on your phone yesterday? How many times have you made choices that weren’t in your best interest?
My point is this: programs are designed to make sense of your unprocessed experience. They don’t work most of the time; we don’t see the invisible layer through which we are perceiving our life, yet the invisible layer is constantly creating a false assessment over what is really happening. Anxiety is one of those programs.
Clearing anxiety means we have to bring it up to our conscious mind and make a new choice. You want to change your programming so you can make healthy choices and be successful with your endeavors. This is where breathwork can be a useful tool.
For people with high levels of anxiety it can make it hard to even leave the house. For the majority of us there is always something that we feel anxious about. Having enough money, dealing with conflict, controlling our addictive tendencies, pleasing someone who is expecting something from you, being a good parent, being a good child. The list is as endless as there are experiences. What might be easy for one person might be hard for another.
When I was growing up I could sense and feel all the repressed emotion in the environment. I knew as early as five without having the understanding or words that adults felt one way and spoke another. This made me feel unsafe. Since the conditioning in my family was to keep the real feelings down, that’s what I did. As I got older when I wanted to succeed at something I was constantly anxious about what people would think and would hide the very thing that I wanted approval for. People then saw me as a fraud...And I was.
Anxiety can be complex and breathwork is a simple tool to help you
It’s a vicious circle, the belief around anxiety causes you to make choices that will only increase anxiety, until you are willing to consciously turn toward it and use it to help you. Anxiety is giving an opportunity to feel the feelings buried from the past so you can practice being more of who you are. This is what it means to heal. The word heal means to be whole. To be whole you must feel all of you, not just the easy parts.
Resisting your experiences and seeing others as the cause of your feelings is not a path to healing. This is not easy. In fact, to focus on ourselves when someone’s actions upset us is truly one of the most difficult things you can do in your life. I am not saying others aren’t at fault for how they behave but at first what you need is not their accountability but a healthy relationship with what arises in you; in other words, your accountability. Most of us avoid feeling. We blame others and also blame ourselves and ultimately the avoidance of owning our feelings is one of the reasons we have anxiety.
Breathwork is taking the mechanism that is automatic (your breath) and using it with awareness and intention to create a bridge between the mind that is controlling and the higher self which can accept and allow all experiences for the purpose of connecting you to God.