I was diagnosed with social anxiety in third grade. Our family doctor wrote a prescription for a therapy pet and offered medication, and then a psychiatrist taught me a few pressure techniques to help interrupt public anxiety attacks. Unfortunately, that was the extent of the coping education I was given in the traditional medical world.
20 years later, after what seems like a lifetime of avoiding life, rearranging, and having to ask for special considerations to simply become functional—I have developed a system of coping practices that interrupt anxious thought patterns. These daily practices help me keep anxiety in check and step back into the present whenever I am bombarded by fear or worry of future outcomes.
Many of these practices presented themselves during my yoga teacher training and are closely related to the niyamas or self-care principles found in the Eight Limb Path of yoga. If you wrestle with anxiety, consider participating in a yoga teacher training program—not necessarily to become a teacher—but to be led through an in-depth study of self in a safe environment, and to become aware of what anxiety is from an energetic perspective.
Grounding work is truly a remedy for anxiety. Being overcome or incapacitated by anxiety means that one has predicted the outcome of a particular moment, relationship, or life event in his or her anxious mind (ego), and then consciously or subconsciously reacted to those predictions at the physical or emotional level. To interrupt anxiety, we must lean into the present through grounding work.
Here are a few ways to do so: