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Separating Emotions from Experiences to Heal Anxiety

Heal Anxiety

As beautiful and vibrant is the world we live in, it can also feel overwhelming and all-consuming at times. It seems like the factors of our environment are constantly changing, which is why most people (if not everyone, really), suffer from some sort of anxiety. It’s natural to feel anxious about things. Stressful situations–a big meeting, a final exam, finances, relationships–can cause acute anxiety. Anything can cause anxiety, even exciting and positive situations. We never know what may trigger us to feel anxious. This is why it’s helpful to have your own set of intentional tools to remedy and heal anxiety. As you read on, please know that this is advice pulled together based on personal experience and healing. I am not a licensed therapist or doctor. Please take what resonates and leave whatever doesn’t. We all heal, grow, and expand in different ways.

Two Types of Anxiety (I believe) we all have

I believe, in the Intentional Living conversation, there are two types of anxiety we may suffer from. One: we have anxiety about a past event or experience that makes us feel worried, scared, or in doubt in the present. Or two: we have anxiety about something that hasn’t happened yet, which also makes us feel worried, scared, or in doubt in the present. Either way, we have anxiety about something out of our control, and this is actually why we feel anxious. We often feel out of control when something from our past, like a trauma or core memory, still feels present. Or, we feel anxious about a situation that hasn’t happened yet, like failing a test you’ve studied for.

We do this by predicting a future we fear, and having anxiety about it manifesting. But here’s the thing, while the situation (future) or experience (past) is out of our control, our emotions, or the way we feel about them, is not.

Tuning Into Our Emotions to Heal Our Anxiety

I believe, feeling anxiety about things can be both a gift and a burden. When we’re able to heal and move beyond our anxiety, we’ve learned a lesson. This lesson can be a gift. We get to know ourselves better and gain the tools to heal any future anxiety. But, in the moments we experience anxiety, it feels overwhelming, like it may never end; our anxiety can be debilitating. In this week’s Do the Damn Thing Podcast, I share some of my personal experiences with handling (and healing) the worst anxiety I’ve experienced in my life. The methods for healing my anxiety went beyond the normal medication or therapy. I began tapping, living intentionally, and opening myself up to my spiritual awakening. For this journey, intentional self-care meant tuning into my emotions and pruning away at old neural pathways that no longer served my mental health.

How to Connect with “Anxious” Emotions

Most commonly, we feel anxiety about events that cause “anxious” emotions. These can be feelings of worry, fear, doubt, anger, etc. We often consider these anxious emotions as negative. But, are they truly negative? Without these emotions, we would be far less evolved. It’s because we know the counter-parts to positive emotions that we actually know when we’re feeling positive. So just as we fully and eagerly connect to positive emotions, we can connect to “negative” emotions. No emotion is truly negative. We prescribed to this idea that an emotion is negative because we associate said emotion with a difficult experience in our life. No emotion is truly negative. And when we can detach from this idea, we tune more deeply into our emotions.

When we’re able to connect with our emotions on a deeper level, we understand more of why we feel them. So when we feel anxious about something, and we’re anxious about feeling upset or scared, we’re not anxious because we’re upset. We’re anxious because we’re associating that emotion (one that feels anxious) with the situation or experience we fear. Once we’re able to identify what emotion is hinting at anxiety, we can pinpoint what it’s actually pointing to a situation (upcoming) or experience (past) that we actually feel anxious about, and we can heal that anxiety through tapping.

How our Emotions Point to Situations (Future) or Experiences (Past) & How to Heal Them

What does this actually mean? I believe we don’t actually experience anxiety because of our emotions, but because of our experiences. In the podcast this week, I share some personal examples of how I believe this to be true for me. But to broaden the scope, a real-life example may be someone who feels anxious about public speaking. We are not born with any sort of subconscious fear. At some point in our life, no matter how young, an experience established the fear. It can be a very obvious experience like someone laughing at you when you misspoke in your classroom in 5th grade. Or it can be much less obvious, like a parent losing a job because they didn’t prepare well for a presentation. Either way, a core belief is established that public speaking is “bad” and causes “fear.”

So this person doesn’t actually feel anxious about the fear of public speaking but the act itself. And not because public speaking is actually “fearful,” but because a core memory tells them it is. To heal this “anxiety” we must heal the beliefs around the core memory. Public speaking is not something to actually fear. And most people who fear it know that; they just personally have a link to believe so, therefore they do. Healing core beliefs starts with going back to the very first memory that began that neural pathway and tapping around it. If you don’t practice EFT tapping, you try numerous others forms of traditional or non-traditional therapy to heal. When you re-write the old belief, you heal the anxiety associated with it. And when we heal core memories, we practice a life without anxiety.

Xo,  lauren

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