Continuation of my previous post on anxiety…
We established how we can convert “anxiety” into “fear” by our “meditative awareness”
There are many ways to cultivate this. Let’s consider sports and meditation.
While playing a sport, whatever disharmony exist between mind and body becomes “amplified” and this amplification can help us see “how anxiety makes us miss the ball”. While playing tennis, I have noticed umpteen times ,that “when I am thinking about hitting a ball in “this” and not “that way”-in other words when I am “anxious about hitting it right -I always hit it wrong.Contrarily, if I simply “follow the ball”- and let my mind trust my body, I hit it right.
What I am trying to examine here, is how can we operationalize “hand to hand combat” to deal with anxiety in our day-to-day life.
The first and foremost tool we have is our awareness into how we feel. Anxiety is so “painful” that we want to get rid of it as soon as possible- at times we don’t even care about the heavy price we pay for these escapes – drugs, distractions, obsessions, or addictions.
What if we turn it around – rather than “numbing ourselves to this pain” we become aware of this “pain”.
Let’s try to do this exercise- next time we are plagued by anxiety -we try to find out how does it translate into the “body’s discomfort” – like pounding heart, sweaty palms, butterflies in the stomach and so on and the circular thoughts “like a snake chasing its own tail” or in other words “obsessive rumination”.
The “key word is awareness”.
The next step is “acceptance of this state of affairs – both mind’s and body’s without any fight or resistance” Just like in the martial art Judo they teach you to “accept the blow as if you were a soft pillow” – don’t be a rock when the blow of anxiety lands on you – become a pillow