Welcome the fear, the anxiety and thus transform it

A first step [in remaining open] is to understand that a feeling of dread or psychological discomfort might just be a sign that old habits are getting liberated, that we are moving closer to the natural open state. Trungpa Rinpoche said that awakening warriors would find themselves in a constant state of anxiety. Personally, I’ve found this to be true. After a while I realized that since the shakiness wasn’t going away, I might as well get to know it. When our attitude toward fear becomes more welcoming and inquisitive, there’s a fundamental shift that occurs. Instead of spending our lives tensing up, as if we were in the dentist’s chair, we learn that we can connect with the freshness of the moment and relax.  –  Pema Chödrön

I’ve found this to be true too. And boy does protracted psych drug withdrawal open the floodgates of fear and terror. It’s not like anything natural that occurs before drug damage. But even with this sort of iatrogenic damage I’ve found that the best solution is to treat it like all the rest. I’ve decided that in the end, it’s the same thing as though on steroids. In this way I, too, find healing as Pema Chödrön prescribes.  For more info see: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

We must start with wee baby steps when the iatrogenic drug damage is at its worse. Be kind and gentle with yourselves. This is how I got started:  Life as a meditation: my contemplative adventure

Lots of Pema Chödrön on Beyond Meds here.

I’m cutting and pasting the fear collection below:

Fear and anxiety: coping, reframing, transforming…

Anxiety is basically a clinical term for fear which everyone at one time or another experiences with or without a diagnosis of some sort of anxiety “disorder.” Psychiatry pathologizes much of the normal human experience and in opposing fashion fear and/or anxiety is often referred to in Buddhism and other alternative philosophies as normal. A normal form of human suffering. Which is why many techniques to cope with anxiety have been inspired by Buddhism.  There are many methods to learn how to be with these normal feelings, whether they’re very intense or not. As individuals some of us may be more prone to more intensity than others. We can all work with whatever it is we experience.

In general this blog supports embracing and thus potentially transforming all our emotions. That is how we come to know who we are. The whole spectrum of our emotional lives are of value. It’s a shame that we learn to call many of our emotions negative and in keeping with that we try to numb them out in various ways, including with the use of both legal and illegal drugs. It is in resisting our shadow or difficult parts that those emotions we fear grow bigger! That is the paradox.

I’ve put together a page with some of the posts on fear and anxiety that have been posted on Beyond Meds in the last few years. I will add to it as is appropriate or when I remember other old pieces from the archives. This page will be part of the drop-down menus at the top of the page so that the archives might be accessed.

The Collection

Yoga: changing the brains stressful habits — “Yoga can supposedly improve depressive symptoms and immune function, as well as decrease chronic pain, reduce stress, and lower blood pressure.  These claims have all been made by yogis over the years, and it sounds like a lot of new age foolishness. Surprisingly, however, everything in that list is supported by scientific research.

It may sound like magic that posing like a proud warrior or a crow could have such extensive effects, but it’s not magic.  It’s neurobiology.  This next statement may sound to you either profound or extremely obvious, but it comes down to this: the things you do and the thoughts you have change the firing patterns and chemical composition of your brain.  Even actions as simple as changing your posture, relaxing the muscles on your face, or slowing your breathing rate, can affect the activity in your brain (beyond, of course, the required activity to make the action).  These changes are often transient, but can be long-lasting, particularly if they entail changing a habit.”

And this is a collection of links and commentary that looks at embracing whatever comes.Whatever we are experiencing including fear and anxiety:  the PRACTICE of embracing everything: The foundation of healing mental distress and of becoming a mature human adult.

Also of potential interest: ●●  Trauma and PTSD Info   ●●  Benzodiazepine Info

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Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters