Feeling anxious from past experiences? - Remember these 7 points
Without going into great detail, I want to tell you about this experience. Don’t worry its not traumatic or disturbing – although it did disturb me for a while. Before I tell you about this incident that disturbed me, I want to ask you a question – “Have you really moved on or have you pretended to move on, all the while still disturbed by it?”
Take your time to answer, no rush. But I only ask that you stay faithful to yourself when you ask yourself this question.
Let me help you narrow it down -
If you have more than one incident or unable to pinpoint, here’s what you can do – Close your eyes, take a deep breath and allow your mind to wander, whatever incident that was too strong and had an impact will surface and your mind will take you there.
Neat trick, right? Okay so, you have your incident, now ask yourself – “How do I feel about this right now?” Very honestly make a note of your response.
If you feel neutral or don’t have any intense feelings then perhaps, you’re good and have moved on from that incident but if your response is too intense or if you still have feelings that are – let’s say for lack of a better word – ‘negative’ then odds are you’re still stuck in that moment.
Now hold on to that and let me take you to my experience.
It was a lazy noon. I was alone at home and this noon was warm and comfortable. You know those long afternoons where the entire world seems to have paused and there’s a comfortable silence? Yea, it was that kind of a noon. Perfect for a nap or tuck in with a good book. I Chose the latter.
So, there I was tucked in with a good book, feeling relaxed and honestly, I felt as if nothing in the world could disturb me. A few pages in and I came across something that was otherwise perfectly normal but was very unsettling for me. This incident which was being described in the book was very similar to an incident that I had been through. It happens, sometimes some things are so universal and yet, they feel oddly personal. This was such an episode. An unsettling experience from reading a fiction book.
I tried to read further but somehow my eyes and mind were stuck in that familiar incident, not because it was so familiar, I understand how that works, but because I thought I had moved on from it.
I closed my eyes and there it was, a replay of that incident, still so fresh in my mind. My warm comfortable afternoon turned into a dark disturbing phase. To make things worse it started playing in my mind on a loop every time I closed my eyes. I thought I was over it. I really did. Then why was it bothering me so much?
Well, the answer was fairly simple – I wasn’t! I had convinced myself that I had moved on.
Obviously, I didn’t want to stay stuck there but I also knew I couldn’t push it down and suppress it any further. I had to deal with it. I had to face it, deal with the guilt and embarrassment that I felt each time I thought about it.
Seeing as there was no way out, I decided to deal with it in the way I possibly knew and a way I’m going to share with you too.
But before I delve into it, I should tell you that trying this method didn’t completely help me let go and move on in that moment. I had to repeatedly practice it, each time this incident came into my mind. With each repetition the intensity reduced and I felt lighter toward that incident. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how long that may take, a few weeks, months, years…
Even today when it surfaces, I touch the feeling of guilt and embarrassment but it no longer overwhelms me or overpowers me.
Here’s what you need to do –
Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Very gently go to that incident. Let it play. If you experience any anxiety focus on your breath, deepen it if it helps. Slowly and gently