Focusing Tip: My anxiety won’t let me do Focusing

Focusing Tip: My anxiety won’t let me do Focusing
May 24, 2018 Ann Weiser Cornell

Focusing Tip #610 – “My anxiety won’t let me do Focusing”


Jackie writes:

I sometimes suffer with anxiety that just won’t let me go through the relaxation techniques (like Focusing) that are supposed to help with anxiety! I just want to escape. What’s going on here?

Dear Jackie:

It actually sounds like a lot is going on!

I’m going to give you a series of tips that will probably give you some relief from that anxiety.

But first let me assure you that I will not be suggesting that you relax!

Although Focusing usually results in greater calm and relaxation, we don’t get there by trying to relax.

This might seem paradoxical – but anything we have to TRY to do is actually harder to do!

So the good news is that you will not be trying to relax!

Start instead by saying, “I am sensing that something in me is anxious.”

Say it slowly, and see what happens to the anxious feeling.

You might feel a bit more space, a bit more distance. You might be able to feel that there is more of you that isn’t anxious.

You might even feel some curiosity about the “something” that is anxious.

If you feel it in your body (maybe your heart is pounding, or your stomach is clenching)… then let a gentle hand go there. As if with your hand you are saying, “I am with you.”

It isn’t relaxation… it is a gentle inner relationship that can bring powerful change.


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