Focusing Tip #693 – “Can Focusing help with anxiety if you don’t know the cause?”

Focusing Tip #693 – “Can Focusing help with anxiety if you don’t know the cause?”
February 26, 2020 Ann Weiser Cornell
How do you work with your anxiety when the cause of it isn't clear? Read on...

Focusing Tip #693 – “Can Focusing help with anxiety if you don’t know the cause?”

How do you work with your anxiety when the cause of it isn’t clear? Read on…

Jim writes:

Can Focusing help with anxiety?

What if the cause of the anxiety isn’t immediately clear? I might be able to “figure it out,” but I don’t feel a direct connection.

Dear Jim:

It’s not much fun to feel anxiety, I know from my own experience.

But one good thing about anxiety is: You definitely feel it in your body! Whether it’s a rapid heartbeat, or clenching in the stomach, or tension all over… it’s there.

So what helps?

Well, I’m glad you put the words “figure it out” in quotation marks, because “figuring out” your anxiety is like standing across the room from someone in distress and trying to think of what’s wrong with them. Instead of going up to them and asking them!

And I love it that you said, “but I don’t feel a direct connection.”

See, you already know what would be needed — a direct connection — but probably you’re not sure how to get one.

Here’s what I suggest:

  1. Start with what you are aware of right now… your body feelings and your thoughts. (The anxious ones.)
  2. Acknowledge them. “I am sensing something in me feels….” or “I am sensing something in me says…” (The latter is for the thoughts.)
  3. Imagine you are sitting down with the “something” you are feeling in your body. Like you would sit with a friend. Be curious. You don’t already know what it’s about. (That’s why you’re curious!)
  4. From that calm place of sensing, slowly you will be aware of more than you’ve put into words so far. Like: “This anxious feels has a grabbing and holding on quality.” Or: “It feels young, like a scared kid.” Acknowledge that and keep going. Each small step leads to the next one.

Creating an inner relationship with what you feel enables it to reveal itself more. Barbara McGavin and I created Inner Relationship Focusing because we realized that relationship is the key to inner knowing and life change.

You are sitting down with this feeling to get to know it better. That knowing doesn’t happen instantly, but be patient. Something is happening.

And over time, as trust is built, shifts happen.

Need more help with Anxiety?

  • Focusing and anxiety

    Working Through Anxiety

    In this first seminar on Focusing in Daily Life, I cover how to use fast, “first-aid” Focusing at the times when you feel overtaken by anxiety in the midst of life. You’ll come away with powerful and practical moves you can use immediately to feel more at ease, more balanced, more clear. 90-minute pre-recorded seminar Unlimited, lifetime access Includes download of presentation slides


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