I wake up and I lay there, scanning my body. Checking for the feelings. How does my heart feel? Is it pounding or racing? What about my breathing, can I breathe properly? Sometimes I jump up and cannot help trying to run but I am not sure where to or what from.
There must be something wrong with me, the doctor says not. There must be because these feelings are not normal. Are they there today? Can I find them, or will I have a day of peace?
I keep checking, am I shaking? I know it is bad when I am shaking. The feelings are not there but I am so used to them being there that it is worrying when they are not. What if they are and it is that I cannot find them right now. What if I get into work and they suddenly rush back leaving me completely unaware and unable to cope?
These are some of the questions that may run through your mind every day when you wake if you are battling anxiety.
When a client first said to me,
“Every morning I do a body scan”
I responded with glee because a body scan in hypnosis is a great way to reconnect the mind and body. Until I realised that the purpose of his body scan was to search for the feelings of anxiety. When you feel overruled by anxiety you become an anxiety specialist. You know the physical symptoms of anxiety better than anything else and your ability to focus on the feelings is greater than anything else. A lack of concentration is a symptom of anxiety, so the intensity of concentration on the signs of anxiety is surprising.
Become a wizard of feeling free
You can explain to me in fine detail the way your body feels on an ‘anxious day’. From the top of your head to the tip of your toes. You can tell me the thoughts that run through your mind continuously. You are the master of anxiety.
Yet when I ask, what do you feel like without anxiety you respond,
“I feel good, I feel great”
What does good feel like? What does great feel like?
And you look at me blankly. You do not really know. “It just feels like nothing,” you say.
I urge you to flip this so that you become a wizard of feeling free. It is easy to stumble here. We are a creation that tends to put familiarity before positivity. It is more comfortable to take the familiar path that may leave us with negativity than it is to take a new, unfamiliar route that helps us to find happiness. Therefore, whilst your constant focus on anxiety only heightens the feelings and leaves you feeling worse. It is easier to do this than to flip it, and consciously change what you do.
When you body scan, focus on the feelings of nothing. You always feel something, yet you only focus on it when it does not feel ok. As a result, you do not know what ordinary feels like.
Take a moment right now to close your eyes and see what you feel in the small parts of your body. Can you find a heaviness in your fingers that makes them feel as though they are lifting? You can feel your toes. Can you feel them as individuals or stuck together? When your eyelids are resting do they twitch or are they still? What do you notice about your eyebrows?
Travel through some parts of your body and notice that there are feelings there. If you are experiencing anxious feelings while you read this you can choose to listen to a meditation (sign up for the free one on my website, pop up in bottom right hand corner when you come onto it) and focus on the feelings within your body as you move out of the fight or flight response into the hypnotic state of mind. Perform this body scan regularly throughout the day – focusing on the parts of your body not affected by anxiety. When you have a calm day, focus on the whole of your body.
As you become an expert in yourself rather than anxiety you can return to the ordinary state whenever you need by imagining and creating in your mind.