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Anxiety Question

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by joseph32, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. joseph32

    joseph32 Peer Supporter

    I have accepted my TMS for about a month now. I have learned so much on this site and those involved are truly special people. I have been somewhat successful in my journey, and have returned to work recently. I still have some pain which had improved over the last month.

    My question is about anxiety. Lately, I have had some major anxiety issues and not really sure why. I am not sure if it was because of going back to work or just part of the TMS process. I try to turn it down with meditation and relaxing. This has been difficult of late. Any response would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Joseph. I'm glad you have learned from TMSWiki and the good people who post on it.
    It's great that you have returned to work and that your pain has improved over last month.

    Anxiety is typical TMS so you probably have more repressed emotions to deal with.
    We all have both anxiety and repressed emotions. Returning to work may well be causing your anxiety.

    Do you like the work? Do you have problems with it or those you work with, like your boss or bosses?

    Relaxation techniques are very helpful for reducing anxiety. Try deep breathing.
    Breathe in deeply to fill your stomach like a balloon, breathing in slowly through your nose to the count of 6.
    Hold the breath to the count of four. Then release it, letting the air out of your stomach balloon, breathing out
    through your mouth and saying an affirmative like "Peace."

    Another relaxation technique is to apply pressure to the "valley point" in your hand.
    It's an ancient Chinese form of relaxation to ease tension in the head.

    Using the thumb and index finger of your right hand, massage the soft fleshy part between your
    thumb and index finger of your left hand. Massage to the count of 25, then repeat in the other hand.
    Deep breathing while doing this is also helpful.

    You're doing great. We're all living in an age of anxiety. So much going on, so much to contend with.
    Be easy on yourself. Live in the present moment. Enjoy each hour of each day.

    With anxiety, you are not alone. You are in a very big boat crowded with others. We help each other.

    Count your blessings. Love those in your life. Forgive everyone who has caused you pain of any kind.
    Msunn likes this.
  3. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    I would like to contribute additional information to this breathing exercise ...

    When exhaling through the mouth, if not chanting a word, take care not to purse the lips as you would see smokers do. The mouth should be relaxed, and the tongue soft and broad. As Walt suggests, a word-chant can be chosen. Experiment with various words, as they change the shape of the mouth.

    While doing any breathing, on the inhale, be sure to note what your shoulders are doing. Very often, people will lift their shoulders as they inhale. This should be avoided. The shoulders and back should remain soft.

    I spent years trying this, and thought I had done just that. Instead, I was simply repressing it. I did not understand how to do what so many were telling me must be done. Over and over I would hear this advice, or read it. Perhaps you already understand what it takes. It is never amiss, however, to repeat information as reminders. To forgive ... to really forgive, it takes loving the person who caused you injury. Not the shallow, conditional love, but the Love that is inherent in all of us. To Love, and to feel compassion for their suffering. Without this, forgiveness cannot manifest.

    As always, this is a work-in-progress.

    Walt ... thank you for the reminders.

    with grace and gratitude,
    Msunn likes this.
  4. joseph32

    joseph32 Peer Supporter

  5. joseph32

    joseph32 Peer Supporter

    Thank you so much Walt and Lily Rose. Lily Rose, when you say forgive, do you mean actually tell the person or to understand and feel compassion for that person and love and forgive them without actually needing to do it face to face?
    I have have had much abuse as a child and I do want to forgive, but within myself. Thank you again
  6. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    To answer your question, I must first clarify more clearly between conditional love and Unconditional Love. People fall in and out of love all the time. We stop loving someone, stop being friends, stop associating, and all that. This is conditional love. There are always strings attached to conditional love.

    Accessing UNconditional Love, this is much different. It has nothing to do with a persons actions or lack-of actions. It has nothing to do with whether that person loves you or not.

    It stems from within you. It is always there, even if it seems like a tiny flame at first. When you give that flame oxygen, it grows. The more you feed it, the more it seems to expand. It isn't something you can ever extinguish, but it is something you can hide from yourself. Thus, you create your practice of compassion.

    Expressing your forgiveness to the person would be a decision only you can make. It would be highly dependent upon whether they want forgiveness, or even whether they recognize forgiveness is needed. They may be clueless. Really.

    For healing, for your healing ... the forgiveness really means you recognize they made mistakes, and that you feel compassion for them as fellow human beings. They may have no idea of the damage they created, and they may never comprehend it. You cannot know what is inside of them.

    What you do know is your own heart.

    You were abused. This means you were victimized.
    Does this mean you are a victim?

    My girlfriend asked me that, many years ago. The darkness was consuming me. Her question forced me to make a choice. If I was going to live in this world, then how did I want to live? That was a turning point. I decided not to be a victim. I shed the label. Yes, those things happened. Yes, it nearly crippled me. It took me to my knees. It kept me there a long time. Until I made that choice. Then ... I visualized my sword, its tip in the ground, and I pulled myself up using that sword. In time, I got strong enough to lift the sword.

    Forgiveness does not mean condoning bad behavior of the abusers. It means that your life is not determined by it. It means you will use what has happened to you, and you will grow strong, so very strong, and you will hold out your hand to others who need extra strength. You will know what it means to be there, on your knees, but you will also know what it means to stand back up.

    Forgiveness means you can send blessings and love to people who simply do not know any better. They aren't strong enough to be what you can be. Not yet, anyway.

    I haven't forgiven everyone yet, but I am close. It is a work in progress. Years.

    Within is always the best place to start.

    with grace and gratitude,
    Msunn and Eric "Herbie" Watson like this.
  7. joseph32

    joseph32 Peer Supporter

    Lily Rose: Thank you for your response, the message really makes a lot of sense. I appreciate your help so much and will use it through my healing and recovery. Good health to you Lily Rose!
    Msunn and Eric "Herbie" Watson like this.
  8. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    One of my many teachers, Pema Chodron, says: We work on ourselves in order to help others. We help others, in order to work on ourselves.

    When I first read this, I took it quite literally. Over the days, weeks, months ... my vision expanded. I realized these words were part of a larger concept. Just as the Chaos Theory is part of the concept. The Chaos Theory, also known as the Butterfly Effect, is the idea of those delicate wings pulsing the air ... here, and across the world, a storm is created.

    I think we, on this forum, are pulsing our wings and creating a storm of healing.

    You give honor with your words, Joseph. Thank you.

    with grace and gratitude,

    joseph32 and Msunn like this.
  9. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    Hi Joseph. Wow lots of great wisdom here from Lily and Walt.

    I've had ongoing problems with what I would call free floating anxiety at different points in my life. I think for me, before I had physical symptoms anxiety has been a TMS equivalent.

    I had been relatively free from the anxiety for several years, but as my TMS symptoms started, the anxiety also came back, which of course caused me even more discomfort, like a short circuit amplifying the anxiety into panic at times.
    I've been working with a TMS therapist and her take is that I use anxiety to not feel other emotions. In my case it seems to be primarily anger. I grew up with a rage-aholic mother and have always been very uncomfortable with others and my anger, confrontations etc. So that's another angle you might want to look into. What emotions could you be suppressing by feeling anxious?

    I've found mindfulness meditation very helpful.

    Dr Emmett Miller a mind-body pioneer has a guided meditation and explanation of anxiety which has also been a great help.

    All the best
    Ellen and joseph32 like this.
  10. Redditor

    Redditor Peer Supporter

    I feel like I'm anxious all the time too. Not worrying about anything specifically though. Just feel my muscles tense up and all and being afraid in general, especially while driving. It's almost like the level of anxiety felt by a PTSD victim.

    I guess I can't feel sympathy, remorse, guilt, grief, rage, envy, or jealousy.
    Msunn likes this.
  11. Msunn

    Msunn Well known member

    Redditor, I relate to that anxiety you describe.

    That's a long list of emotions. Have you thought about seeing a therapist to work through where you are blocked?

    I'm finding that very helpful
  12. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello. I have had anxiety for a long time, but when I first started working on the TMS and the pain symptoms started to move around, my anxiety got much, much worse. I had a few nights of insomnia because of the anxiety and a few days I could not find a moments relief from the anxiety, even with all my old standbys that have always worked. What did end up helping me enormously is some videos posted on the site and then the work I have been doing with my Somatic Experiencing therapist. The idea with both is very similar, and that is to physically accept and feel into the anxiety. Anxiety is so uncomfortable and unsettling that it can make one want to flee and run away(panic). I may not be very good at describing exactly what to do but perhaps I can lead you in the right direction. When you notice you feel really anxious, try to physically assess how you know you are anxious, where do you feel it physically in your body. And then breathe into it, tell the sensation that it is okay to be. The Somatic Experiencing is hard for me to describe but you can do some research on it. It has been one of the things that has helped me the most with the anxiety and my other TMS symptoms. It is really about learning how to feel and accept the sensations and emotions that are physically happening in our bodies. The pain and anxiety were so mentally distracting and exhausting that it took some practice to even develop awareness of what was going on physically in my body.
    Msunn, Ellen and joseph32 like this.
  13. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm thinking that anxiety is in everyone, and it gets more intense as new stresses come along in us,
    and as we become more aware of the world's troubles.

    So lately, thanks to a post by Herbie about meditation and monks, I'm starting to imagine myself to be a monk,
    visualizing myself being in a peaceful, beautiful setting (for me that's a lake in Minnesota where I've gone canoeing).

    I simply sit in the warm sun and let its light filter inside me as I breathe deeply in and out, close my eyes,
    and listen to the sounds of water lapping against the shore, a gentle breeze in the pine trees, and loons calling
    to each other out on the lake.

    I meditate like a monk, repeating a calming mantra, and letting the Lord and nature visit me to soothe me.

    I've never seen a monk in person, but have in documentaries, and never have seen a monk who looked like he
    felt any anxiety. Do they know something we don't? I think so. They know how to slow down and find peace
    within themselves.

    We live in a modern, fast-paced, highly pressured world, not the tranquil life of monks in a monastery,
    but we can imagine ourselves in a monastery setting. If we just close our eyes, tune out the noises and stresses
    of our daily lives, we can be a monastery setting.

    A friend just came to the house with some Christmas gifts for me and Annie. He does that every year, and
    again said he was i n a hurry and couldn't even come in my house for a minute. He gave me the gifts,
    then left, wishing me Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I gave him some gifts for him and his wife,
    but felt sorry for him. He is always too busy, too much in a hurry. He never stops to smell the roses
    and didn't stop to smell the holly.

    He doesn't have a clue as to how to be a monk meditating. We know how. Let's do it!
    Msunn, Anne Walker and Lily Rose like this.
  14. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    In Alaska, I met a man who had been a monk, but left the order. I do not know enough about the topic to know what this means. I do know he was a guest in my studio, being hosted by my partner. He led a meditation class, and invited us to ask any questions. Oh my did I have questions. He sort of froze in place when I asked my first question (I did not realize it would be my last question, as well). Cautiously, he asked if I practiced vegetarianism. It was an interesting question, as I was not really practicing it, but I simply didn't eat alot of meat. He nodded, and said 'It isn't strictly necessary.' Hmm. He then stated firmly that my question was not appropriate in this 'beginning' group setting, and he suggested I find a specialized teacher to guide my through and help me understand what was happening to me during my meditations.

    I do not anger easily (unless someone is abusing people or animals). His response triggered anger. I love Yoga, and it has saved my sanity, but there are aspects and branches I do not love at all. Often there is an elitist attitude. He caused the other students to view me as someone more advanced, and that somehow I knew some secrets that they could not access. I dislike knowledge being withheld. If you know enough to ask the question, it means you are ready to hear some answers. I did not growl at him, but I am fairly certain he was aware of my withdrawal.

    A strange thing followed this ... I have never been able to eat meat since his words. While I have always leaned this way, his words somehow provoked my final severance from eating animals. It did improve my health, and my meditations went even further. My research into the particular question I had asked ... continues.

    This said, a darker period fell after leaving Alaska, and I have strayed from this. The tide is shifting, though ... and it urge to explore is returning.

    I love your visual, Walt ... your meditation sounds lovely.

    with grace and gratitude,
    Msunn likes this.
  15. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    That former monk did not show very good concern for you. But if it led to not eating meat, it was indirectly helpful.
    I love ducks and like turkeys a lot, so I feel guilty when I eat them (which rarely) but I don't seem to feel guilt about
    eating chickens. Good thing, because I eat a lot of chicken.
    Msunn likes this.
  16. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    My husband is so not a vegetarian. I still cook his dinners and deal with the meat. I've heard this is not exactly usual, but my take on it is simple: cooking is one of the things I do in our marriage, just as he handles other aspects. We have a natural division of labor, with some areas crossing over (the man insists on helping with dishes, what can I do?). In the area of beef, I have seen to our purchase of a locally, grass-fed raised cow. No antibiotics, no hormones, no stress at slaughter. I traded yoga and music lessons for a local raised pork. Chicken, on the other hand, I am seeking a local source. The knowledge of the mass-marketed chicken may be even worse than what happens to the cattle.

    There are some areas in life where deliberate suppression is engaged, and I employ it willfully in this area. And always, I thank the animals for their life and for providing food for my husband.

    Sometimes anxiety arises in this .. I am violating my core beliefs. This is a classic and perfect example of how we make compromises. We do not exist in a our own little bubble, no matter how much we may crave to do so. Needs and beliefs overlap. Hunters frighten me with their guns and willingness to kill. Yet they are more honest than the blind shopper that selects chemical enhanced and neatly packaged meats. How many people would stop eating meat if they had to do the killing themselves? This is not a criticism. This how our culture has been raised.

    I do feed my husband chicken. I feel sorrow in the act, and I offer my gratitude for the life-that-was. That is the best I can do. That is the best I will do, until I can find another option.

    That is all we can ask of ourselves .. just do our best with what we have, and when the opportunity arises, we can make adjustments.

    with grace and gratitude,
  17. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lily Rose, thank you for the concept of thanking chickens or cows for providing us with food.
    It relieves my guilt a little.

    Most good Christians I know never seem to even think of it.
  18. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    It is always a good idea to offer thanks for any of the food we eat. It is another practice of gratitude.

    I did want to add this bit of stark honesty .... while I would not kill an animal for myself, I most assuredly would kill to feed my dog. My dog cannot live without meat. I can, and do. Taking on the responsibility of a dog means I will provide for her by any means necessary. I do not like this truth, but I have chosen to live by it. Her needs outweigh my sensibilities.

    I am just so seriously hoping I never have to actually do that!

    with grace and gratitude,
  19. nancy

    nancy Well known member

    Lily Rose, will also give other things for our dogs.I feed them raw meat and eggs, they are doing just
    great on raw foods and vegies, all three of them. I also would NOT kill another animal but will
    feed my dogs with what they need, not dog food in a can!. Love you Lily Rose, Nancy
  20. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ohh? How long have you been doing this?
    Are you supplementing with additional nutrients?
    Where do you obtain the raw meat?
    What kind of meat? Some say beef is bad, some say good.
    What are the portions/weight of the amount of meat you feed, or do you just 'know'?
    Are they inside or outside dogs?
    How old are they?
    Did you start them on this as puppies, or convert them from the kibble?

    I have been researching this concept, and it is a very divided topic. Like the medical profession, I do not have trust in the nutritional wisdom of veterinarians. Pet food, like pharmaceuticals, is big business.

    I realize that was alot of questions in a string ... I have been doing a lot of contemplation on this, and trying to gather information. You are the first 'real' person who has spoken of this.

    Since our animals are part of our therapies, providing for them is very important to me.

    I would deeply appreciate the help and advice.

    with grace (love) and much gratitude,

    ps - the symbol ^_^ is happy doggy ears ....or kittie ;)

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