Why Anxiety is So Stubborn

In the past it was always so perplexing to me when I considered the polarity between my growing calmness and the persistence of my anxiety. The two sides of the coin didn’t always appear to be correlated and that disturbed me deeply. I would constantly ask myself “why is anxiety so stubborn.” Over a period of time after experiencing relaxation in my meditation then returning to my world and its anxiety triggers, I must have sub-consciously decided that it was impossible to control or rid myself of anxiety. In time I discovered that I was wrong.

The Discovery That Turned The Tables on My Anxiety

My first discovery was that just relaxing the body was insufficient in permanently reducing my stress and anxiety. As I explained in the previous blog, I began to supplement my meditations with working on the beliefs from my past and how they were still influencing my decisions and perceptions in the present (at that time.) When I met my wife, Rita, she introduced me to the concept of emotional clearing and it was then that the final piece of the puzzle began to reveal itself.

The Three Vortexes – Where Anxiety Resides

Stress is the accumulation of strains, and tensions that build up inside of us, if left un-regulated it leads to anxiety. Most approaches to anxiety either work on the level of relaxing the body, and/or setting mental intentions that lead us to a greater truth about the event and/or ourselves. That was my initial approach. The reason why these approaches did not create a lasting balance for me was due to the fact that I wasn’t addressing the third area where anxiety springs from; the realm of emotions. There are three distinct pathways, or what I have come to call “vortexes.” If we leave one of these vortexes out of the equation the other two will grow back like a weed just cut off above the roots.

Each vortex is established in one of the three main components of our human bio-system; they are the body, mind, and emotions. Each vortex is a process that responds to every stimuli of our life. The vortexes not only communicate with each other but most importantly they react to each other so that unless they are all regulated (healed or soothed) together the healing will not last; the vortex that is ignored will re-ignite the other two.

The Body Vortex

The Body vortex is usually the first vortex to identity an incoming stimulus. This is done through the senses i.e, sight, hearing, touch. When you have a stressful experience you feel it through the senses first and then it registers in the body. If some one shouts at you your ears hurt, or if you’re physically violated your body hurts, or if you see something terrible happen your body tenses with fear or sense of harm. At the core of this body vortex is the autonomic nervous system which distributes sensory stimuli to every part of the body, especially the brain.

The Mind Vortex

Once your body vortex is stimulated, because they are all connected in some unknown way, the mind vortex also kicks in. Your mind responds to the body’s stress with thoughts which are targeted to interpret and judge what has happened and why. Its job is to protect and prevent the assault from happening again. In its attempt to comprehend the what, why and how of the event it will interpret the events through the lens of past experiences, and possibly a traumatized past, so the mind’s evaluation may not be accurate. In fact the minds evaluation of the the incident can cause more fear by stimulating the emotional vortex and even make things worse.

The Emotional Vortex

Our emotional vortex also awakens to the Mind and body’s responses and will illicit a seminal emotion that will correspond with the previous two vortexes. Fear and love are the two foundational emotions. Anger usually follows as a protective emotion to the fear. Jealously can also be used to cover up fear. Of all the vortexes the emotional one is the most basic and primal.

Clearing the emotional vortex is by far the most challenging of all the vortexes. If I tried to feel the emotion I would hear my mind tell me what happened, this is what I call the story, and I would be drawn into the mind vortex instead, endless thinking with no emotional release. The same would happen if I tried to put my attention on the body, the mind would jump in with reason and divert me back to the mind’s vortex story. It appears that the mind vortex seems to have the upper hand in that it has the loudest voice.

What I learned

Years ago when I didn’t have this “map” of the vortexes and I found myself going in circles as my mind would not only bring me back to the incident but incite the body and emotional vortexes.

Emotions are powerful motivators that can act both consciously and unconsciously to stir the anxiety pot. In my own personal work I have found that when I could allow myself to just feel the emotion, without the story, the emotion would unwind within “all” the vortexes and leave me soothed and balanced. It was as if releasing the emotion emptied “the gas tank” of the other vortexes and a real healing would occur.

So if you are sensing that you are not making headway with your anxiety take a look at your vortexes and evaluate how you can soothe and heal them together or give me a call and I’ll help you.

Blessings & Love,
Ed

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2 thoughts on “Why Anxiety is So Stubborn

  1. Luca DiMatteo says:

    Ed’s explanation of the three vortexes is so on the money. I really resonated with the bouncing back and forth of the body and mind vortexes and then never getting to the emotional vortex, or getting distracted away from it. I know it’s a complex road but thanks Ed for laying it out in such a direct and understandable concept. I look forward to reading more.

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