Spiritual and Practical Tools That Help You Deal with Anxiety

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I’ve invited two people from my team to share their spiritual and practical tools for dealing with anxiety.

The first is my chief technology officer (and the host of a podcast about anxiety called Don’t Freak Out), Allison Micco. The second is my editorial director, Katie Karlson.

Alli and Katie are both very open about living with anxiety and skilled in dealing with it. And they offer different perspectives on it. Their spiritual and practical tools will help you deal with anxiety and feel better now!

I invite you to share in the comments about how you deal with anxiety. I hope this will be a really helpful post for everyone. There is no single “right” way to think about or deal with anxiety. I invite you to share your own experience if it feels safe to do so.

I also want to invite you to join my FREE online workshop: Spiritual Tools for Anxiety. I’m hosting it on Sunday, September 16th. There are three times you can watch it, and you’ll get the replay via email. Click here to see all the details and choose your time!

Important notes on this blog post

The suggestions we offer below are by no means the be-all, end-all for dealing with anxiety. If your symptoms are not manageable with these spiritual tips, we suggest you work closely with your doctor and/or therapist to create a protocol that works for you.

Another thing I want to mention is that Katie and Alli’s tips and tools are what they have found to work for them. These are spiritual and practical tips for general anxiety, and they may not resonate with everyone. There are different kinds of anxiety and it manifests in different ways, and we don’t cover everything here.  If you are struggling to deal with your anxiety or other mental health symptoms, we recommend you talk to a doctor to come up with a plan that works for you. (There are also more resources at the bottom of this post.)

Before I turn things over, I want to share some important resources. If you are having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, call 911 or go the nearest emergency room right away. You can also call 1-800-273-8255 to talk and find support 24/7.

If you need help with mental health or substance abuse, go to samhsa.gov or call 1-800-662-HELP for free and confidential help available in English or Spanish.

From Allison Micco: Loving your anxiety

don't freak out podcast allison micco|dealing with anxiety

Everything I say about the topic of anxiety is rooted in a spiritual perspective. When it comes to anxiety, so often we get caught in this trap: “Anxiety is something terrible that I have to fix. I’m broken, something is wrong and I need to search outside myself for the remedy.”

For most people, this way of thinking is automatically disempowering. I say that we have to love our anxiety and see it as a source of strength.

One of the foundational principles of A Course in Miracles that we are not separate from God, and God is love. Therefore, every single aspect of me has divinity to it and has that essence of love. So if I’m holding that perspective, then I have to look at anxiety as something that is divine.

If anxiety is love, what does it mean? It means there is wisdom, guidance and light in this thing that I have previously seen only as terrible.

Tweet: We can love our anxiety and see it as a source of strength. #spiritjunkie

If you have ever-present anxiety, it offers you a roadmap to healing. So when you have a panic attack on the subway, or your relationship is giving you anxiety, or you just feel crappy every day, holding this loving perspective helps you to see what in your life isn’t in balance and how to course correct.

Bring awareness to your anxiety by journaling

Bringing awareness to our perceived suffering is so empowering. So often we just get consumed by this feeling of fear without actually bringing attention to what makes up the experience.

Journaling made a big difference for me. When I was consumed with anxiety, I started keeping an anxiety diary. I wrote it in every day. Now I have so much information about what made up my experience and what anxiety looks like for me.

Keeping a journal allows you to see your patterns. As you go back through what you’ve written, you’ll notice certain things keep coming up. For example, maybe you keep getting stuck in a certain fearful thought. Or maybe you always have panic attacks on days when you have a lot of coffee.

Get to know your body and mind

For me, eliminating caffeine, sugar, alcohol and tobacco is one of the best things you can do. They are all stimulants (except alcohol) and they all affect our sense of peace.

If you can eliminate those things, even for 30 days, you will likely see a difference in your overall mood during that time. This space gives us time to re-evaluate our relationship to these things. We have the chance to get to know our body and mind. We learn to trust in the innate wisdom of our body.

Getting rid of sugar has made a big difference for me when it comes to anxiety. When I’m having sugar, I get brain fog. It makes me anxious because I feel disconnected from my body and my environment. The next day I feel like I’m hungover. My mood is unstable and I’m more likely to have a panic attack.

Getting to know your body can be really helpful in getting to the root of your anxiety. Genetic mutations, food allergies, and hormonal and thyroid problems can all trigger anxiety symptoms. Understanding your body’s natural tendencies can lead to freedom. You may want to work with a doctor to understand these potential causes.

On that note, I want to reiterate that if these tools don’t resonate with you, or if you are struggling to manage your anxiety symptoms, please reach out to your doctor.

Reframe your anxious thoughts

personal growth amid discomfort gabby bernstein card deck|dealing with anxietyOn my podcast about anxiety I interviewed Dr. David Carbonell. He wrote a book called The Worry Trick. This is a great book if you have “what-if” thinking, black-and-white thinking and other errors in thinking. This book teaches us how to recognize our errors in thinking and learn how to deal with them.

So much of anxiety is about feeling out of control with your thoughts. But you can actually stop that spiral of negative thinking.

Reframing our thoughts is empowering. I feel this way about my diagnoses, too. I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I am aware of my diagnoses but I’m not attached to them. Recognizing what OCD is, for example, helps me see when OCD comes up. When I’m in the behavior I can say, “Oh, this is OCD. How can I reframe this?” Just by not attaching, I gain so much power and clarity.

While I’m open about my diagnoses, it’s important to know that these are diagnoses I received from medical doctors. I work closely with my doctors to manage my own conditions. I want to encourage anyone who is struggling with symptoms to talk to their doctor as well.

Gradually increase your baseline mood

This is a process of gradually increasing your baseline mood. Once you’re out of the depths of anxiety, you’re so much better equipped to know what takes you out. When you’re just starting to become aware of your anxiety, everything takes you out. But slowly but surely, if you commit to loving your anxiety, you will have so much more information and you can begin healing.

Gabby talks a lot about how subtle shifts add up to radical change. I have found this to be true when it comes to anxiety. When you stick with this type of practice, you might see that your mood is entirely different six months or a year later.

When you choose to love your anxiety and see it as as a source of strength, a whole new world opens up to you.

From Katie Karlson: How can I accept my anxiety?

I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder in my twenties, but anxiety has been with me for as long as I can remember. When people ask me what I’m anxious about, I don’t really have an answer. Anxiety is just there. Sometimes it hangs around in the background. Sometimes it’s front and center.

Often my anxiety manifests as a sense of dread. Sometimes I can’t focus and I’m impatient. I also get a lot of physical symptoms, like this fluttery feeling in my chest. My breathing gets shallow. I get a knot in my stomach. Sometimes I start to feel like I’m lifting out of my body.

Before I had a diagnosis to help me understand my anxiety, I felt powerless over it. For a long time I fought my anxiety. I hated it and just wanted to get rid of it. I tried to control everything. I got mad at myself for being anxious. But all of that only manifested more anxiety.

Tweet: The moment we ask the Universe for help and let go, we feel so much relief. #spiritjunkie

Now I’m much more accepting of it. It might sound paradoxical, but I accept my anxiety while simultaneously not identifying with it so much. It’s something I have. It’s not who I am.

With that in mind, I want to share some amazing tools that help me release anxiety and remember my true nature. One note: In the interest of keeping this blog post readable, I didn’t include everything in my list below. Three things that have helped me a lot are psychotherapy, psychiatry and exercise.

I know that therapy can be difficult to access and expensive. I’ve had a hard time finding therapists in the past. But that struggle helped me to get creative in finding help. Before I had insurance and when money was super tight, I started seeing a therapist at a local social services center. She’s so amazing that I continue to see her four years later. So don’t dismiss community centers and nonprofits that provide free or low-cost care. There are many incredible and dedicated people who work there.

Note: Near the bottom of this post there are some links to check out along these lines.

While the things I offer below are amazing spiritual tools, please do not hesitate to talk to a doctor, therapist or other medical/mental health professional if you need more help.

Transcendental Meditation

I learned Transcendental Meditation in 2015 and I’ve never looked back! TM helps me let go of anxiety, stress, anger and anything else that is upsetting me. When I am meditating I feel so calm and connected to source energy. It’s become a daily habit that I can’t imagine living without.

TM was also the catalyst for a major spiritual awakening for me. I was led to know, with total conviction, that I am inextricably and beautifully connected to everyone and everything in the world. This knowing led me to make some significant changes, such as becoming vegan.

sasha farm animal sanctuary|dealing with anxietyLiving in accordance with my values has helped lessen my anxiety. I feel much more grounded in life. I feel aligned with bigger missions (both with animal activism and my work with Gabby), which helps me focus my energy on helping others. I’ve also gotten clear about my desires, which has helped me attract more of what I want — like the opportunity to volunteer at SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary, which is one of the most spiritual places in the world for me. (If you’re curious, this photo is a selfie I took with one of my favorite animals, June Carter Cash, who lives at SASHA.)

Prayer and guided meditations

surrender to love through prayer gabby bernstein card deck|dealing with anxietyOne of the most powerful things I’ve learned when it comes to anxiety is that I have a lot more power than I think I do. I am not powerless over my anxious thoughts. I can stop that negative momentum. I have divine guidance on my side.

When my thoughts start spiraling into anxiety, I stop myself the moment I notice it. I will literally say, “These thoughts aren’t helpful. I’m done with them.” And then I turn it over. I say a prayer on the spot, asking for help and surrendering to the guidance I receive.

The moment I ask for help and let go, I feel so much relief. Knowing I’m being guided feels so good. I can surrender my worries and anxieties to the Universe. Gabby always says that when you ask for guidance, you get it fast. In my experience this is true 100% of the time.

Mantras to soothe anxiety

Mantras and affirmations really resonate with me, so when I can’t stop anxious thoughts I often turn to one and just keep repeating it to myself, over and over, until I’m calmer. “Sacred love, flow through me now” is one I learned from Dr. Wayne Dyer. That one works miracles for me. Find one that works for you or just make one up in the moment. This is a profoundly powerful way to stop the rush of negative thoughts.

Guided meditations for anxiety

I also practice other forms of meditation. I love Gabby’s guided Yoga Nidra meditation, which you can download free now as part of her four-track meditation album. It’s incredibly relaxing and energizing. This is a great practice to do after work or in the middle of a hectic day if you work from home like I do!

de-stress in 10 minutes a day gabby bernstein free meditations

I also like to chant along with “Aad Guray Nameh.” This Kundalini mantra for protection is very comforting and helps you feel centered.

You can also find this song and album on Amazon.

Another meditation to help with anxiety is the Meditation to Prevent Freaking Out. If you like breath work, then try this Kundalini practice. (If breath work tends to rev up your anxiety instead of calm it, then I suggest the “Peace begins with me” Kundalini technique that Gabby breaks down in the Beginner’s Guide to Meditation. It’s #5 in the list.)

Gabby breaks down the Meditation to Prevent Freaking in the video below. (There are also written instructions below.) This practice is in the book Miracles Now, which is a great book to have on hand for lots of tips that help reduce anxiety, stress and fear!

The Kundalini Meditation to Prevent Freaking Out

How to practice the Meditation to Prevent Freaking Out

Pose: Sit comfortably in Easy Pose (cross-legged) with your spine straight.

Hands: Interlace your fingers with your right thumb on top. Place your hands at the center of your diaphragm, lightly touching your body.

Eyes: Gently close your eyes.

Breath: Concentrate on your breath, bringing awareness to the tips of your nostrils. Notice which nostril is dominant right now. It may take a few moments to clarify the dominant nostril. Once you are aware of the dominant nostril, focus your attention on switching sides. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed. You can have pressure in your hands but none in your shoulders.

Continue changing the dominant nostril breath back and forth as long as you like.

Book recommendations for anxiety

Last thing: There have been some books that have helped me a lot when dealing with anxiety.

wayne dyer power of intentionThe Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. I recommend getting it both in paperback and audiobook, because Wayne’s voice is incredibly soothing.

Feeling Good by Dr. David Burns was a godsend when I was having a hard time finding a therapist. I’ve read it cover to cover a couple of times. It’s very powerful for depression, but it helped my anxiety as well. Pro tip: Don’t skip the writing exercises!

Judgment Detox! Step 1 alone helped me let go of judgments and resentments that compounded my anxiety. Every practice in the book has helped me to deepen my understanding of our interconnectedness and see others with so much love.

From Gabby: Removing shame from your path to healing

There’s been a lot more conversation around anxiety and mental health in recent years, and some of the old stigma is beginning to fade. These are beautiful developments. But I want to be cognizant of some hurdles many people still face.

The first is that it can be difficult to access mental health care. If you are struggling to find care, there is a really good roundup of resources by Men’s Health that I recommend checking out. You can also go to mentalhealth.gov, The National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

The second hurdle is that while stigma has decreased, it still exists. If you feel judged for struggling with anxiety or any other mental health issue, or if you feel shame around your healing path, I want to recognize that pain. I want to honor you for doing all you can to care for yourself. It takes courage and strength to find help and change habits.

If you struggle with shame or self-judgment around this topic, you may find some relief by practicing EFT. You can tap on judgment with me by watching the video in this blog post on Emotional Freedom Technique. Instead of talking about judging another person (as I do in the video), just substitute “myself.” If you have Judgment Detox then I also suggest following the script for tapping on shame.

Additional resources for anxiety

gabby bernstein meditating|dealing with anxietyI hope these tips from Allison and Katie serve you. Remember to share your own tips below if you feel called to comment!

Here are some past blog posts that offer more ways to release anxiety:

On a final note, remember to talk to your doctor if you are struggling with anxiety or anything else related to mental health. Mental health, like many aspects of health, is highly personal.

We’re offering spiritual tips for general anxiety that we hope serve you greatly. But what’s best for you is what works for you. So don’t hesitate to work closely with your doctor or therapist to create a personal protocol.

Read or leave comments

44 COMMENTS

  1. Wow this is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. It feels so good to read it and hear myself say me-too!! From struggle to relieve it felt like a big recognition party while you give an overload of new resources too! Grateful for you spiritual rock stars, with love Dianta

  2. Depression is worrying about the past and anxiety is worrying about the future so stay in the realm of now/presence as in their you have choice. You can chose anything your like, but I recommend focusing on identifying the endless possibilities open to you, gratitude for the things that you have regardless of how small or big, set yourself free from judgement or criticism and choose to be the best possible you for the highest good for all. Gabrielle you are inspirational so keep up the good work. Love, energy and power come from within each individual, we are connected directly with the source of all life – god (whatever that is for you). Meditation helps your soul strengthen this connection with source. Exercise helps the body and mind. Enjoy the beautiful life all around you and connect with it. Thanks Gabby for you kindness.

  3. I am so excited for the workshop! Thank you for the tools in this post.
    I agree that seeing my anxiety as a gift has helped me identify when something is not right.

  4. I love listening to Aad Guray Nameh to feel protected, and am currently going through step 1 of the judgement detox! Looking forward to the anxiety workshop Gabby!
    xo Kimberley Wenya

    1. I’m so glad this is serving you. I’ll be sharing more spiritual tools for anxiety in my online workshop on 9/16. If you haven’t signed up, click here. I think you will really like what I’ll be sharing. xx

  5. I loved where Allison says: ” When I’m in the behavior I can say, “Oh, this is OCD. How can I reframe this?” Just by not attaching, I gain so much power and clarity.” – the idea of simply noticing being in the behaviour is very powerful and a reminder that anxiety is not me, just a behaviour I sometimes slip into to.

    I also find journalling/free writing helpful and more recently if I am trying to process something I’ve taken to speaking into the audio recorder app on my phone. There is something very powerful about verbalising what is going on for me to create space needed to process. Sometimes those notes end up turning into blog posts, other times they simply get deleted as the recording itself serves the purpose.

    1. I love the idea of speaking into your voice recorder – I actually mentioned this to Katie and she says she does the same thing! Thank you for sharing. I’m happy this is serving you. <3

    1. I’m so glad this is serving you. If you haven’t signed up for my free online workshop on 9/16 you can register here. I’ll be sharing more spiritual techniques and tools that you can use on these days when anxiety is trying to run the show. Love and light to you. xoxo

  6. Hi Gabby + ladies –

    Thank you so much for such a great post! As someone who deals with anxiety, I appreciate the tips, support, personal stories and general focus you’re putting on it with the webinar this weekend – I’ll be there! Quick question- I’ve done EMDR for a few years, would you suggest I try EFT or is there too much overlap? If there isn’t and you’d recommend it, what certifications should I look for in a therapist? I live in Portland, Maine and there are a number of them around here but I want to be sure I find one who is well-trained. Thank you!

    Chrissy

    1. I do both EMDR and EFT! Be sure to tune in for that workshop this weekend because you’ll really like something I share 🙂 As for finding EFT practitioners, you can check the directory on thetappingsolution.com. I searched Maine and there is one practitioner listed there, she is in Hollis ME. Here is another local practitioner near Portland who is listed on the AAMET website. A teacher should have professional EFT training and experience, and you should feel comfortable with them!

  7. I suffered from PTSD for about 27 years, and it showed itself primarily as anxiety. It wasn’t until I asked my therapist if I would ever go away, and she told me that the anxiety and trauma will probably always be there but that it may subside with time, that peace came. As soon as I accepted that this was part of my life experience instead of something for me to get rid of, it lost all of it’s power. I loved the reference to mantras, because “This Too Shall Pass” became a staple in helping the anxiety move through me.

    Gabby talks so much about the role resistance plays in keeping love away and allowing fear to run the show. The same absolutely goes for anxiety, too. The more fight put into it, the worse it gets in my mind and body. Acceptance is a beautiful thing. It then opens the door to hope of something different, and a willingness to choose again and rely upon a Power greater than ourselves. The role of the Universe in bringing healing cannot be emphasized enough. As soon as I was willing to believe there is someone beyond who loves me unconditionally and is in control, life changed and love began flooding in.

    1. YES! This is so important. I’m very glad you said this. When we resist, we block divine guidance. Our acceptance of Universal love makes a radical difference. I am so happy to hear that you have such beautiful tools in place for yourself.

  8. Bless you, Gabby, Allison, and Katie! Pregnancy has really done a number on my GAD, and I really, really needed this post today. Such divine timing—I’ll be sure to watch the workshop on Sunday! Thank you so much for all the resources.

    1. I can relate to this 🙂 I know the workshop will really serve you. Love and light to you on your pregnancy journey. xoxo

  9. Loved the team approach to this post. Thank you Katie, Allison and Gabby for sharing what has worked for you. I have found similar practices help me as well.

    Since anxiety is about worry out-there in the future, I sometimes look to my past for evidence of progress, love, connection and joy which supports me in calming down and surrendering to trust and faith that life is unfolding as it’s meant to. I have proof of being able to create incredible experiences, relationships, career opportunities etc… so I use that as support in coming back to center.

    I also believe the patterns of response in my body of anxiety are habits. Subconscious habits that are changeable when I bring consciousness to those habits. Habits of “feeling” that anxious feeling when it comes to xyz (trigger of anxiety) and changing my thoughts to create a new pattern of feeling in my body.

    Lastly, I’d like to add having spiritual running buddies, who are willing to talk openly about what’s really up in their life and support one another has helped tremendously – knowing I, nor they, are alone.

    We walk alongside one another.
    love,
    Stacy

    1. Thank you so much for this really thoughtful comment. I love your approach to collecting spiritual proof and reminding yourself of it. And yes 100% having spiritual running buddies makes a HUGE difference! It is a massive relief to know that you aren’t the only one going through something and knowing that you can talk openly about your experiences. Having a support system in place is so important. Thank you xx

  10. Thank you Gabby, Katie, and Allison for sharing your words of truth, guidance, and experience. Everyone’s journey is different so to have the collaboration for this topic is wonderful. This blog post couldn’t have shown up at a better time in my email inbox as today was day 1 of an IOP program. The books, tools, and resources provided are extremely valuable, and I look forward to joining you for the Anxiety workshop this weekend. Thank you!

  11. I have been struggling with severe anxiety and insomnia from the age of 9 years old. Little did I know, until recently, that being bullied by both my teachers, fellow students and even my own parent had resulted in PTSD which I had left to fester for over 21 years. What resists persists as the saying goes. Is never too late to start the healing process! I also discovered that the root of my anxiety is caused by an imbalance in my solar plexus chakra. Since this discovery I listen to affirmations to clear and strengthen this chakra everyday. I also love to put lavender in my pillow and my fragrance diffuser, and sip on chamomile tea. Passionflower tincture is a must in my home for whenever I’m having a particularly bad episode. Gratitude journaling and meditation are also key daily practices for me. I’ve also started reading How to Rewire your Anxious mind which has been very empowering.

    1. It’s so beautiful the way you have taken charge of your healing and are staying committed to your practices. Thank you so much for sharing. xoxox

  12. Thank you so much for this post! So much of it resonated with me. I have been struggling with anxiety for the past 2 years. I am ready to manage it and be more open about it, instead of hiding it and saying I am ok, when I am not. I cannot wait for the workshop on Sunday!! Deep love to all of you, my sisters!!

    1. Regina I am deeply proud of you for posting this comment. Your statement is a powerful and clear message to the Universe! I know the workshop will serve you greatly and I am so excited for you to join. xoxo

  13. AlohA and much gratitude.
    I had honestly never been had big anxiety issues, or an anxiety attack… until I was 29, had three children, had set down my career in Medical Lab and research, left the military, set down my creative art and dance outlets… and decided to homeschool my children full time, plus.. take on 13 other full time children and their mothers, to start a family care services business (providing child care and helping young mothers with adult and life skills). I grew up with all the doctors in the small town I had gone back to… so they knew me. It took us all awhile to figure out it was anxiety… not my heart. It took over and fed illness in my body and I seriously lost a few decades. I cannot begin to express the power of breathwork and the ways it has truly been the one way I can immediately pause, pivot and redirect myself. There are many other helpful tools of movement, art, journaling… that are all added help. Yet, the quickest, easiest, best way to stop the bs of the monkey mind mantras, for me, is to focus on my breath and get myself HEAVILY MEDITATED through focusing on my breath and life.
    Love On ☆♡

    1. Heavily mediTATED – love this! Our breath is our most vital force. Thank you for sharing your story. It is such an honor to read these comments today and see all the unique and powerful ways that Spirit Junkies have found to shift the way they think about and deal with anxiety. Love and light to you…

  14. Thank you so much! I love hearing your stories. I’ve suffered with anxiety my whole life, but I only became aware of what it was about three years ago. It was a big breakthrough in learning to accept myself as a person as it had made me dislike myself. Accepting it also helped me deal with it. I have also had trauma in my life the past few years which has resulted in some PTSD, which hasn’t helped my anxiety. Yet, in a way, I’m stronger than ever. The things that have helped are: daily meditation and Reiki on myself, exercise, and connecting with nature. (I spend time outside, grounding myself and communing with a tree in my garden.) My spiritual practices help me immensely. Also self-love.

    1. Self love… we can’t understate the power of it. Thank you so much for sharing. I love that you go into your garden and get grounded. xx

  15. Feeling so grateful for being on the other side of anxiety/panic. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life. It was also the best thing as it was the beginning of my spiritual awakening. No turning back. Living the light. God is so good and uses all for good.❤️

    1. Your post made me happy as I am digging into my healing of anxiety right now and sometimes question if I can come out the other side… some days I clearly see that side. Other days I feel discouraged. I keep telling myself there is strength and courage in just being able to dig deeper into what really happened each time I fall into the anxiety trap. Usually it’s an old script that is replaying itself out behind the scenes making me feel wound up… I keep praying for the day when I catch the script staring before it grabs me and works it’s demonic magic… baby steps and patience… thanks for sharing and helping me see that the other side is really there…

  16. Hi Gabby and friends. Just to add, healthy sleep is a vital component of your mental health. Interrupted sleep and sleep deprivation can really trigger anxious feelings and thoughts. Getting restorative sleep — however you can (and yes I am talking to you, parents of little ones) — makes a big difference in your mood. Anxiety also tends to manifest in body symptoms. But like anything, what you dwell on will grow. I encourage people to cultivate feelings of empathy and love toward themselves instead. Also, when you’re future-tripping with worry, you’re out there trying to control things that haven’t happened yet. Instead, hang out in the here-and-now, where everything is actually ok.

    Thank you for taking on this important topic 🙂

  17. I have pretty intense anxiety and Panic Disorder. Some of these tips resonated with me and others did not. But what I absolutely loved was that you acknowledged that everyone experiences anxiety and mental health issues in different ways and that different things work for different people. Far too often, I find that when spiritual teachers (or others) talk about mental health they say/imply that their tips work for everyone. We need to be able to be open about our own issues and history with mental health, while not trying to project our way onto others. So, thank you so much for providing tips with openness and compassion. I was a little nervous when you said you were going to talk about anxiety, but now I’m glad that you did.

  18. I have been battling GAD and OCD. I would like to share some tips in hope that it might help someone out there.

    a.) In stressful times, I tell myself – “It is the fear due to thought that is the problem, and never the thought.” This helps me feel better immediately by removing any discomfort associated with the thought, and moves the focus away from the thought.

    b.) As important as the intention to get better is, it is the consistency in our responses that leads to real betterment. Always strive to be consistent in your response to anxiety spells. You might have developed a habit of feeling sorry for yourself during these times. Beware of it! The actual positive response itself that which makes you feel better, might differ from person to person. But make sure you pull yourself out of the pity party that has started, and give a consistent and strong positive response EVERY single time. This consistency in response is what will increase your power over anxiety day by day. Inconsistency in response will add to your guilt and will further fuel anxiety.

    c.) Try to fix things that you have been thinking of fixing for a long time, to make yourself feel more in control. Like, exercising every day or trying to practice good habits like making your bed every day after you wake up. Do more and more things to make yourself feel good. Prioritize feeling good.

    c.) Do not procrastinate. At work or in personal life. Procrastination increases guilt, which fuels anxiety.

    e.) In times of unexpected anxiety, check if you are under any mild physical discomfort. Such as a mild headache or mild gastric pain due to some unhealthy food intake. Tell yourself, “Aha, here may be the reason”. This physical body awareness will clear the anxiety out for the time being.

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