Anxiety is often reported on in relation to its effects on our mental health, but how often do we consider that anxiety could be a precursor to illness and chronic disease?
According to health practitioners, anxiousness is the ‘canary in the coalmine’ for many of our health conditions.
Lismore Naturopath Zoe Sherrin said that she is seeing an increasing number of people with various complex conditions who are reporting a similar issue: “Anxiety is usually a common factor. I see all types of presentations in clinic such as adrenal exhaustion, thyroid conditions, high cholesterol, osteoporosis and so on. More often than not the person has been operating in a consistent state of anxiousness in the years leading up to the ill condition. The anxiousness may not be necessarily overt, but a consistent low-grade stimulation of the nervous system.”
Anxiety has many faces; one aspect of anxiety can be the stress caused from expectations one does not feel equipped to meet – eg. students under exam pressure, relationship issues, work stress, financial pressure, the pressure to provide for a family. Many women suffer a constant low-level anxiety as they try to fill the many roles they have taken on – being the good mother, working woman and friend. Negative self-talk can be a big factor.
Yet most of us ignore or override the low-grade anxiety we operate with, or if we do acknowledge it, we might go and get a massage to alleviate it (or drink coffee or alcohol to numb it), but do we look at why we are feeling so tense all the time, so tight in the shoulders, jumpy or even grumpy?
"Anxiousness comes from lack of presence.Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations Volume I, ed 1, p 303
When you rush the body, it checks out – it is designed to move in moments.
Understand this and you will heal anxiousness and exhaustion."
Serge expands; “Anxiousness, along with exhaustion, is another one of our undiagnosed worldwide plagues. Anxiousness comes from the knowing that you are not equipped to deal with what is ahead of you. And you cannot deal with what is ahead of you if you are not with you."
In the raciness and demands of modern life, how many of us find ourselves bound up in our thoughts and our to-do’s rather than being present, in our bodies and in each moment?
When we are not being present, we push through using nervous energy instead, our physiology actually working much harder than it should. Not only is this exhausting, but as Zoe Sherrin notes, “if prolonged this leads to dis-order or even dis-ease as the body attempts to cope with the constantly over-stimulated nervous system.”
So how do we overcome the anxiousness that can potentially lead to physical illness?
“Making moments in your day to check in and be with you is a start,” says Serge Benhayon. “Being aware of your physicality, your fingers as they rest on the keys, your gait as you walk down the street. Making sure you breathe your own breath and not the busyness around you is also key. The Gentle Breath Meditation is a tool that I teach people to support them to reconnect to their stillness.”
So what is it that lies beneath the anxiety? What precedes it?
Writer Robyn Jones had suffered anxiety for most of her life before finding support with various Universal Medicine practitioners to look deeply into the primary cause.
“I was supported by my practitioners to understand that the anxiety I was experiencing was actually a choice. I was choosing to go into anxiousness in order to mask something I didn’t want to feel. I began to understand how I was going into the raciness of anxiousness to distract and numb myself from feeling or being aware of what was going on around me. Tracing back and locating what triggered the choice to go into the anxiety, and then dealing with that (instead of battling the anxiety itself), allowed me to no longer feel like a victim to it. This understanding has completely changed my life.”
Free meditations can be accessed online to support anyone who wants to find ways to check in with themselves and understand anxiety more.