Monday, November 05, 2007

Working skillfully with anxiety

I found a really marvelous little article called "Meditation for anxiety" by a Harvard Medical School doctor. Here are some tips for letting go rather than fighting or trying to supress unwanted thoughts and feelings:
· Think of your good feelings and your bad feelings as the players holding the white and black pieces in a chess game. Struggling against your bad feelings means joining a meaningless and futile contest with yourself.

· Imagine your situation as a tug-of-war in which you are pulling harder and harder against an opponent who is dragging you toward a pit. Instead you have to drop the rope.

· Sit and picture thoughts passing through your mind in the form of words on signs held by people in a parade you are watching from a reviewing stand. Eventually you may find that you can't keep your thoughts on that kind of helpful distance. Back up and try to recall what you were thinking when the shift occurred. Then try again.

· Imagine that you are connected to a device that infallibly detects anxiety. Would this help you avoid or control the anxiety, or would the effort simply create more discomfort?
I really recommend that you click through and read the whole article. It's good.

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