As humans, we are meant to experience and feel our emotions. To block them out is counter intuitive to who we are and how our bodies operate. Our bodies want us to embrace our emotions. Doing so completes the experience and allows us to filter and export what we no longer need. Think of a cup spilling over. That’s why a good cry can feel like relief, as though a burden has been lifted.
Anxiety can be a result of avoiding feelings. We shelve yucky thoughts, images and emotions in our bodies and consciousness so we don’t have to deal with them. This is a coping skill; however, what happens over time, is our body says it’s not going to house these strong emotions anymore, so anxiety develops as a result of avoiding the discomfort. Sometimes, we aren’t aware we shelved certain emotions because of forgotten memories and experiences. Only through exploration do we discover why we feel the way we do.
Many unsettling feelings have to do with fear or shame from earlier childhood experiences. For example, if we grew up in a family that had a lot of tension or violence around confrontation, we’ll probably fear confrontation as an adult. We’ll go out of our way to avoid the person or situation in which there’s discord; even if it makes our life more challenging. Or if we have anxiety about driving on a freeway, we’ll take the long way home, adding an hour to the commute. As illogical as this sounds to someone without anxiety, this makes perfect sense to someone dealing with deep anxiety.
Research cannot pinpoint one reason for the cause of anxiety but there are several ideas as to why people develop it. Genetics is one – anxiety can be inherited to a degree. There’s research proving a correlation between parents with anxiety or Generalized Anxiety Disorder and children suffering from anxiety. Anxiety can be learned from our environment if it’s frequently modeled for us. Children can feel their world is unsafe as they witness their parents’ fears and distress. Thus, the child learns few distress tolerance mechanisms.
Another way one develops anxiety is from trauma. When one experiences trauma, they develop coping mechanisms to get through the difficult ordeal. Depending on the amount of trauma and the degree, will determine how often and how reliant they become on a coping skill. Coping mechanisms aren’t evil patterns; they’re lifesavers and usually effective in navigating through the landscape of trauma. But when the traumatic experience ends and time continues on, the body and mind recognize there’s no need to live on the traumatic battlefield anymore and coping mechanism begin to breakdown. As a result, the person is left with their thoughts and feelings, and because these feelings can be troubling, like shame, guilt or fear, avoidance begins and anxiety builds. The more one avoids, the more anxiety – usually. People deal with anxiety by taking medication, drugs, and alcohol or for many, they white knuckle their way through life, and that is not a very good way to live.
I believe in karmic debt. I believe some people had very traumatic past lives and they are born feeling unsafe. These people cannot pinpoint a solid reason for their anxiety and this can increase the grip it has on them. Knowing the root of an issue helps. I look at past lives and see if there’s traumatic residue, and if so, we work on releasing the beliefs associated with the residue. This is usually done via Thetahealing or EMDR or somatic emotional release.
We don’t always have to have trauma in our lives to feel anxiety. Sometimes it’s pertained to conditions we grow up with. If we feel a guardian’s love is conditional on certain behaviors that too can spark anxiety. If there’s a lot of on-going tension in the house, a lot of arguing or constantly moving, all can ignite a sense of anxiety or depression. What’s most important in dealing with depression and/or anxiety, I believe, is to understand why we have it, to release the stagnant bound energy in the body and to shift the cognitions/beliefs in the mind.
There are many ways to deal with anxiety in counseling. One is talk therapy, which can help with digging into the source of the problem. For some, understanding the source or root of the problem is healing in itself. Cognitive-Behavioral therapy can help in providing reasoning tools and behaviors as well as developing strategies, both internal and external, in coping with anxiety. This involves often talking to yourself, reasoning and providing logic to each situation that might cause stress. For example – “I am safe walking down the street. It’s light and it makes sense that I can walk all the way home and be fine.” This might help someone who has trouble walking alone across the street or in town.
EMDR is a very helpful tool in healing childhood or adults wounds that may be contributing to the overall feeling of insecurity or fear. Sometimes trauma contributes to the anxiety and EMDR helps the body continue its organic cycle of purging overwhelming feelings of fear, insecurity, stress, etc. EMDR is somatic in that it’s body centered and helps the body to release stored negative emotion and helps to shift negative cognitions. For example, if you are a person who suffers from work related anxiety and as a child you saw your father beat your mother, this experience, although years old, may be contributing to your work or overall anxiety. You may believe that you should have saved your mom when you were young, even though you were powerless to do so. EMDR will shift the cognition of “I should have done something” to “I did the best I could or It’s over and I’m safe now.” These old patterned cognitions and beliefs could be affecting other areas of your life but because there’s no obvious direct correlation, we don’t connect the two.
Trauma can also have an effect on people in creating depression. Clients come in and tell me they had a traumatic childhood but because they never think about it, it’s not the source of their depression. Sometimes that might be true, but more often than not, I find there’s a direct connection between adult depression and past trauma. And remember, trauma is relative. What might be traumatic to one person is not to another. It’s a very personal experience.
When we experience or witness violence, inappropriate sexy stuff, neglect or mental abuse, our bodies absorb all that energy, even if we don’t remember the incident(s). Our body stores all the visuals, smells, emotions and sensations from each experience and they don’t go away. Experience is energy and energy doesn’t disappear, it only shifts or stagnates. Trauma, depression, anxiety are all stagnant energy and unless you do something to shift that energy, it will remain stuck inside you creating internal havoc. EMDR can shift depressive energy just like it can shift anxiety or traumatic energy or all three. Energetic release whether it is through EMDR, Thetahealing, or hypnotherapy can help as it shifts and moves energy from it’s stuck festering position in the body and mind.
I no longer do EMDR or talk therapy, instead I’ve focused on healing anxiety, depression, PTSD with Earth’s energy. Out of my 18 years of healing experience, I’ve found Earth’s energy to be the most efficient long-lasting healing modality that I’ve come across, and the fastest. Like all protocols, it might not work on everyone but when it does, holy smoke, it’s fast and amazing. I’ve had people come in with suicidal ideation their entire life and after three sessions, it’s gone and stays gone. That’s unheard of in the mental health industry. In one to three group healing series, people are walking away with little or no anxiety, depression or PTSD. Their lives are changed. That is incredible. But after all, it is Earth. She knows us well.
Also, some people have imbalances in their biochemistry and medications can be helpful. When it comes to helping ourselves, it usually is a meandering quest until we find the right modality and/or healer. But when it works, it can really work and we feel much better. Remember—our wounds just don’t go away. They will still live with us through many lifetimes until we heal them. Why not start now? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information on my healing series. Also visit my website at www.vast-earth.com
Rachel Pfotenhauer holds an MA in Counseling,is a Licensed Professional Counselor, an Earth Channel and Healer, Theta Healer and Body Intuitive Practitioner. She holds her group healing series on Zoom