How to deal with my fears and anxiety?

I was reading Successful Blog today where Liz Strauss has this hilarious post about blogger fear. She did something similar to what a bunch of us did a few weeks ago, using reverse psychology to make her point. Great post, Liz. There are also some links to other post from the B5Media channel on fear that you will want to check out at the end of Liz’s article. But reading it got me to thinking about fear on a more serious level. I will be honest with you. I have been dealing with anxiety for many years. I used to have massive panic attacks.

But over the years I have educated myself in the art of meditation and biofeedback, I have read everything I could get my hands on about what causes panic attacks, read self help books on how to deal with it. And I have become much more spiritual, all of this helping tremendously in controlling the panic impulse.

One thing I have learned in my studies is that I am no alone. Did you know that the times we live in have been pegged “The Age of Anxiety?” But did you also know that half of the world’s population lives on $2.00 a day? Will you finally admit that the weird weather we have been experiencing is the result of global warming? Are you aware of the fact that the number of uninsured Americans rose 1.3 million between 2004 and 2005 and has increased by almost 7 million people since 2000? Add to this the tragedy of September 11, 2001 and the war in Iraq and you have a recipe for fear.

If you find yourself experiencing a pervasive sense of fear you might tell yourself that you are anxious over personal concerns, like job related issues or relationship trouble. And of course, these things do cause anxiety. But I believe that the deep sense of fear many of us feel stems from the state of the world we live in today.
So what can we do about it? The only real recourse we have to deal with fear comes on an individual level. We can’t change the world, but we can change ourselves. And the world can be changed, one person at a time.

If you are experiencing anxiety, I would like to make several suggestions that will help you. One is educate yourself about anxiety and its causes. The other is to start your day in quiet meditation. Meditation is not some pie in the sky guru stuff. It doesn’t require candles, chants, or any other of that hocus pocus. Just sit quietly and clear your mind of all the clutter and concentrate on your breathing. Take the time to count your blessings, think positive thoughts. Another thing to do is to learn to keep things in perspective. Though you may deal with disappointments, heartaches and troubles, these things are not the end of the world. Check your ego at the door and realize that you are not alone. Ego is one of the main obstacles to happiness. It tells you that you are separate, but you are not. We are all part of the whole, there is a oneness to the world and you belong in it. Practice kindness in all our your interactions. Love truly is the great healer.

I would also strongly suggest that you read this wonderful book, “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is Ms. Gilbert’s personal journey through fear and depression as she travels for one year, to Italy, India and Indonesia. I laughed out loud when I saw myself in this book. You don’t have to travel anywhere to relate to the things she experiences. This book has changed my life.

Fear is an obstacle to joy. But it doesn’t have to be your legacy, or the legacy of our world. Start changing the world today by improving your own quality of life and letting your light shine rather than hiding it under a bushel.