Anxiety and Depression
by Diane Linsley
This is a subject that is very touchy to write about. As a life coach, I
can't give medical advice, but I can tell you my own story and what
I do for myself.
With a history of childhood trauma, it's not surpising that I began having periodic bouts of depression and anxiety in my late teens. It worsened after I got married, contracted Epstein-Barr virus, and developed so-called autoimmune disease.
I say "so-called" because I learned in the Medical Medium books that anxiety, depression and brain fog are not true diseases. They are symptoms of physical illness and nutritional deficiencies. The only good thing I can say about suffering with anxiety and depression is that it compelled me to enter the spiritual path in search of answers. I took spiritual seeking to the max, experiencing everything from enlightenment to a kundalini vision. For the first three days after my kundalini awakening in 2013, I had severe energy sickness from the intensity of the experience. On the third day, I had an OBE in which I talked to my spirit guide. Speaking as my soul, I told him how frustrated I was with Diane's life. I was ready to leave that life and move on.
The spirit guide said there was more I could do as Diane, and he wanted me to go back. I replied, "But I can't go back to that body. It's dying." He said, "Don't worry. I'll take care of it." So I reluctantly returned to my body. When I woke up, the energy sickness was gone.
I took a six-month break from spiritual work to integrate the experience. I wanted a longer break, but Spirit had another plan. As I was waking up one morning, I distinctly heard my spirit guide's voice in my right ear saying, "It's time for you to be a teacher."
"What? You gotta be kidding!" I spent the next two weeks arguing with this plan. I had plenty of excuses for why I couldn't do it. But, as you can see, here I am - doing what I was called to do.
Shortly thereafter, I realized that I needed to get divorced. I was extremely anxious, but I moved forward one day at a time. Each day, as I faced new challenges, the inspiration for what to do and the courage to do it came as needed.
Moving Forward in Spite of Anxiety
In the book, Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, James Hollis says, "The daily confrontation with these gremlins of fear and lethargy obliges us to choose between anxiety and depression .... Anxiety will be our companion if we risk the next stage of our journey, and depression our companion if we do not. Psychological or spiritual development always requires a greater capacity in us for the toleration of anxiety and ambiguity .... Faced with such a choice, choose anxiety and ambiguity, for they are developmental, always, while depression is regressive." When I read that, I understood why I was torn between staying married (which was safe but depressing) or getting divorced and losing everything I'd ever known, including my house, property, and the people who didn't approve of my divorce. I gave it all up to follow the path that my soul had planned for me.
I lost everything I'd worked for during the first half of life in order to pursue meaning and purpose in the second half. It was a death and rebirth. When I was sent back to my body after the kundalini awakening, I wasn't sent back to be the old Diane. I was sent back for an entirely new life experience.
Progression is always accompanied by some degree of anxiety as we face our fears. James Hollis says, "Standing up to our fear is perhaps the most critical decision necessary in the governance of life and the recovery of the soul's agenda in the second half of life."
I was also going through the grieving process. I felt like I was on a roller coaster - swinging between intense anxiety and heartbreaking grief. I was crashing along the bottom of the emotional scale. I wan't just grieving over the ending of the marriage. It was the ending of my old life.
James Hollis says, "Grieving is an honest affirmation of the value of the original investment of energy. No grief, no true investment occurred."
I spent a year working through the grieving process with my life coach. Meanwhile, my ex-husband started shopping for a new McMansion just 3 weeks after I told him that I was considering a divorce. His behavior confirmed what I had experienced for 26 years but had been unable to admit to myself - that the marriage meant little to him beyond enhancing his ego facade in the world.
Changing the Map of Reality
My map of reality was going through a major overhaul. In the coaching academy, I was learning new ways of thinking and acting, which required me to change deeply ingrained patterns and a lifetime of unresourceful beliefs.
That's not easy to do at any time. But there's no better time to overhaul your map of reality than when you really need to :)
In spite of all the help I was receiving, I was still fearful. Could I trust my soul? Would following my soul's guidance be enough? What kind of life was I going to have now? My ego was terrified.
James Hollis says that the ego and the soul will always be at odds. Ultimately, we have to choose between the two. It took a few years to reach a level of development at which I was truly connected with my soul and able to trust it.
This takes practice. When I first wake up every morning, I review my dreams, and then I meditate to connect with my higher self, asking for guidance to know what to do. Then I do it.
Understanding the Soul's Journey
A turning point in my understanding of the soul came when I was diagnosed with Graves' disease in 2016. I was bedridden for the first month, so I used the time to catch up on some reading. This is when I encountered the amazing soul journey books by Michael Newton.
The timing couldn't have been better. I was finally able to piece together everything I had experienced. It was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle and seeing what the whole picture was going to be - even though it wasn't finished yet.
You'd think that having clarity would alleviate the anxiety once and for all, right? Well, it doesn't quite work that way. There's less ambiguity, but I still have to cope with human emotions. The good news is that I have a map of reality that puts it into perspective.
Anxiety and depression are normal reactions to life's challenges. If these feelings go on for too long, we may need help from a good therapist or alternative doctor (not a pharmaceutical drug dealer). But most of the time, these feelings are just barometers for how we are handling our challenges.
Am I avoiding growth and new opportunities? That leads to depression. Am I moving forward and challenging myself? Here comes anxiety!
Reframing these feelings as boredom or excitement can reduce fear. The biggest problem I see with clients is they are afraid of their own feelings. They have FOF (fear of fear). The coaching processes we do help them take control of their feelings and follow their intuition.
Anxiety and Goals
John Assaraf says, "Feel the fear, and do it anyway." Bill Harris says that if your goals don't scare you, they're not big enough.
This reminds me of a dream I had shortly after my divorce, which showed me where I was ultimately going in my coaching career.
At the beginning of the dream, I was sitting in my massage therapist's office, and she was consulting with an unfamiliar man about how to help me. They decided that I needed to "learn how to ski." I knew this was a metaphor for doing something I'd never done before, which seemed scary.
The man looked into my eyes, and I felt my brow chakra buzzing. The room went dark, and I heard his voice booming in my head, saying, "Are you afraid?" I replied, "Yes." I was terrified, but I was also determined. My third eye was activated, and my vision returned.
Then the massage therapist said, "Stand on my hands." As I did so, she activated my kundalini energy, which ascended through all my chakras to the crown of my head. I flew out of her office, and I went out into the world where I proceeded to perform my life's work.
I often think of the dreams that pointed to my path, and it gives me courage. I know I'm on the right path, but I still feel anxious sometimes because the path that my soul has chosen is very challenging.
Anxiety is normal, but too much is exhausting and damaging to your health. There's a fine line between challenging yourself and allowing the voice of the Pusher to run your life. I practice Voice Dialogue to get clear about my inner voices.
Here are my favorite ways to cope with anxiety. Keep in mind that this is not meant as medical advice for any person. It's what works for me.
Coping with Anxiety
1. I do lots of meditation: Holosync, chakra chants, guided meditation and tonglen. Research shows that people with anxiety disorder have brain lateralization, which is an imbalance between the left and right hemispheres. This can be corrected using Holosync technology, which synchronizes the hemispheres by balancing the brainwaves.
3. Regular, moderate exercise. Research shows that exercise may be the most effective treatment for depression. It also helps with anxiety.
4. Breathe through your nose. Mouth breathing has beeen associated with increased anxiety. Breathe down deeper into your lower belly. A good breathing program is the Wim Hof Method. 5. Anxiety and depression can be symptoms of an acute or chronic viral infection like Epstein-Barr. Hydrogen peroxide therapy kills viruses and bacteria, and it improves oxygenation. The first thing I noticed when I started doing it was improved mood and energy.
9. Take an afternoon nap. Laying down for 30-60 minutes (sleeping or not) renews the adrenals. This is a good time for meditation.
11. Prioritize healthy relationships. Our nervous systems are co-regulated by the people we are in close proximity to, especially our intimate partner. It's imperative to spend time with loving people.
12. Take time to enjoy fun hobbies :)
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