My panic attacks started in my early 20s, and for years, I was unable to heal my chronic anxiety.
As a child, I always felt like I had a heightened sense of sensitivity and empathy. Growing up, I could pick up on other people’s feelings — the anger of a teacher or the despair of a student being bullied. The world seemed like a scary and unpredictable place, and being hypersensitive made me feel especially vulnerable.
I kept trying to push anxiety away in an attempt to be “normal.” My greatest fear was having a panic attack in public, and despite my attempts to remain calm, I would sometimes have to run out of the movie theater or the mall because I was panicking.
My life got smaller and smaller as I hid and made excuses to stay home. It wasn’t until I began working to develop my intuition that I found workable practices that could help ease my anxiety. Tired of perceiving my sensitivity as a weakness, I wanted to see if I could use it to help others, which led me to seek training as a psychic.
By taking this journey into my intuitive side, I learned to listen to my feelings instead of ignoring or second-guessing them. I came to realize that feelings are just energies vibrating at different frequencies, and anxiety was a frequency that I could learn to recognize and shift.
Here are the three spiritual practices that have helped me control my panic and anxiety.
1. Visualize your anxiety in a new way.
Life is sometimes going to feel scary. If you have permission to be afraid, the fear can move through you rather than get stuck and escalate into terror.
The next time you find yourself feeling anxious or worried, instead of trying to get rid of the panic, imagine that it's a little 4-year-old child who has come running into your room after a nightmare. Sweep her up into your arms, and listen to her tell you what she’s afraid of. You can become the compassionate witness to the little kid inside who needs your love and acceptance.
This visualization does two things: It energetically separates your adult self from the one who’s panicking, and it puts you in the empowering position of being able to comfort your own fear. This was especially helpful to me whenever I had to travel or get on a plane. I would imagine I was holding my child in my arms, and whenever I felt her fear, I would tell her that she had me to lean on and I would never let her go. That small, scared part of me was free to be scared, and having the freedom to be afraid actually made her feel more at peace.
2. Recognize that sometimes the anxiety you’re feeling isn’t your own.
We are all made of energy, and we’re all connected. We'll often pick up on the feelings of others and carry them around without realizing it. If you’ve ever had a conversation with someone who was having a bad day and you came away feeling negative, it’s likely because you're holding on to some of their energy.
Next time you become aware that you’re anxious, set the intention to release anything that isn’t yours. In your mind, imagine a grounding cord that stretches from the base of your spine to the center of the earth. As you exhale, imagine that you’re letting go of anything that doesn't belong to you. Imagine it traveling down the grounding cord to the center of the earth. Just set the intention to release it, and you’ll feel your body begin to relax.
3. Consult with your Spirit Guides.
This practice is for a moment when you aren’t panicking, because it can be challenging to focus on your Spirit Guides when you’re in a state of extreme fear. I know the whole concept of Spirit Guides can seem really “woo-woo,” and I totally understand the tendency to see them as silly, but they've proven oh-so-helpful in my fight against panic and anxiety.
Spirit Guides use mind-to-mind communication to give us guidance. Although they’re invisible to human eyes, they're wise and loving beings who surround and support you. You can always ask them questions about how to move forward in your life. Close your eyes, and imagine that you're sitting in a chair in the middle of a beautiful room. Ask your guides to enter the room and stand in front of you. Ask them what you need to do to find more peace in your life, and listen to what you hear or take note of what you see. If you have trouble seeing or hearing anything at first, it’s okay. Just be open to receiving an answer.
You might suddenly get a picture in your mind of an activity that would help you feel more calm. Your answer might even come in the form of a book that your guides nudge you to pick up, or it might be in a conversation you overhear. Your guides will conspire to get the answers to you, somehow.
Having a spiritual practice that resonates with you will help you put difficult feelings like panic and anxiety into perspective. The more you embrace your feelings instead of pushing them away, the easier it will be to love and accept yourself just as you are.
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- 3 Things My Panic Attacks Taught Me About Happiness
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