How to Meet Fear and Anxiety with Freedom

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How to Meet Fear and Anxiety with Freedom

Wildfires. Hurricanes. The pandemic. Job loss. School uncertainty. Racial hatred. Foreign intelligence hacking. The list goes on.

According to a study published just this week, nearly a quarter of people in the United States are experiencing symptoms of depression, That’s nearly three times the number before the COVID-19 pandemic began. These are anxious times no matter who we are and what we’ve experienced.

Anxiety is, perhaps, the most pervasive suffering in the world. Whether we’re chronically anxious and have some DSM diagnosis or whether we’re gripped periodically. Anxiety affects our health, our relationships, our work and our overall well-being.

Fear is embedded in our membranes. In order to survive millions of years ago, all beings had to be vigilant about danger. Rooted in all life forms is a mechanism that apprehends any sense of vulnerability or possible death. The brain senses that it needs to be in control at all times in order to keep the physical form in existence. It’s in our DNA that our nervous system is continually scanning for past unpleasant and future unpleasant sensations.

The challenge is that we get fixated on fear: what is going to go wrong or what is wrong right now. When we get hooked in this ongoing fear, we begin to identify ourselves with the fear. We become driven by fear. In fact, our very identity becomes defined by fear. When this happens, we suffer.

This fixation triggers the mind and body to respond in 1 of 3 ways – all of which create anxiety and stress. We freeze. We fight. Or we flee. When we react and find ourselves in one of these 3 states, we disconnect from our true nature and our innate creativity.

Aung San Suu Kyi, a pro-democracy activist, and leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma, who has spent time in prison for her activism, says

The only real prison is fear.

The only real freedom is freedom from fear.

 

The truth is that we create our own prisons by not opening up to the fear. Instead, we figure out ways not to feel the fear:

We speed up. We get busy. The to-do list spans pages.

We set out to prove ourselves. To achieve more.

We experience shame and in turn, blame others.

We build walls around us to protect ourselves, physically.

Internally, we build walls around the heart and contract the body/mind. We develop a permanent suit of armor, always on guard for what might happen next. This suit of armor creates our own prison, and many of us live here day in and day out. Especially now.

Just how do we free ourselves from our own prison of fear and anxiety?

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Here are a few tools that may prove helpful:

Noticing What’s Happening:

We begin simply by noticing what’s happening, what we’re feeling, what we’re thinking. In noticing, we give space to what is here, right now. If we recognize the feeling, the thought, the belief, we can name it, “Worrying. Projecting. Fearful.”

In naming what we observe, we become less identified with the feeling. It’s as if we are detached from the observation and simply noticing what’s happening right here, right now.

Welcome What’s Happening:

Once we can recognize what’s happening, we’re encouraged to give space to what’s right here. To breathe into the sensation and allow it to be there. We can even acknowledge the sensation, by silently saying, “Yes,” to whatever is right here. “I see you. I feel you. We’ve met before.”

Many practitioners encourage us to invite the feelings in for a cup of tea, as a way of welcoming the sensation. “Please come in. Sit down. How about a cup of tea with me?”

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What I am Believing?

When we’re able to pause long enough to notice and welcome what’s happening, we can then ask ourselves, “What am I believing in the moment?”

The beliefs may feel very real, but are they true?

We then may want to ask ourselves, “Who am I when I believe these beliefs?” Practitioners encourage us to put one hand on our heart and one hand on our belly as a gesture of attention and care to ourselves.

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We may ask ourselves, where do these beliefs lodge in my body? Are they constricting my breath? Do they make my heart beat faster? Is my belly tightening? Mindfulness practitioners have known for millennia that beliefs, thoughts and feelings lodge in the body. Science is catching up and proving them to have been correct all along.

Responding with Compassion

When we can determine where in the body the fear and fixation lie, we can then respond with lovingkindness and compassion. Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, encouraged his students to respond with, “There. There.” A gesture and acknowledgement of, “I know you suffer and I am here.”

When we can show up for ourselves with compassion and kindness, we allow space for what is happening right here, right now. We don’t need to argue with reality. We can accept what is with a sense of spaciousness and openness. We can relax and breathe into it, even welcome it for what it may teach us.

This spaciousness, in turn, becomes our freedom. In this moment, we can breathe in that spaciousness and know that no matter what, we don’t have to identify ourselves with fear. It is not who we are. Fear is a feeling that comes and goes. It doesn’t have to imprison us. We don’t have to live in ones we’ve erected for ourselves. We can breathe and let go.

There. There.

 

 

For additional Coaching Support 

Mindfulness

Breathing For Peace

 

Are You EnablingThe Addict In Your Life?

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We Help You Stop Enabling

Our professional interventionists work with your entire family to help stop enabling your loved one. Denial and enabling go hand-in-hand with addiction. Denial claims there is no disease. Enabling helps the addicted person maintains his/her behaviors.

Often, family members think they are helping their addicted loved one by not allowing them to experience the consequences of their addiction. This is called enabling. Many families and/or friends believe, that somehow if they protect their loved one from failing, their love and protection will be enough to save him/her.

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From our experience, just the opposite happens. As long as a family and/or friends enable their addicted loved one, he or she will never recover.

Some of these enabling behaviors are:

→Giving an addicted loved one a place to stay

→Funding rent and/or bills

→Stocking the pantry and refrigerator

→Calling in sick for their addicted loved one when he/she is too sick to go to work

→Driving the addicted person to buy drugs or alcohol or providing access to a vehicle for this purpose

We Help You Love Differently

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By the time families reach out to us as professional interventionists, they are often emotionally spent. They have experienced one too many broken promises, broken relationships, broken attempts to save their loved- one.

Our intervention services provide an opportunity for your whole family to come together and rally around each other. It provides a safe space to tell your addicted loved one that you want him or her to be able to live a happy, sober life. And it provides an opportunity for members to encourage each other on your personal journeys toward health and healing.

We Help You Set Boundaries and Love Each Other Differently

Throughout the U.S. our professional interventionists support your whole family in taking back control of your lives and focusing on your own health and wellbeing. It is not about loving your addicted loved one less. It’s about loving him or her differently. With boundaries and set expectations.

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The process may take a bit of time, but it is critical for the wellbeing of the entire family, including your loved one. We support you in maintaining these boundaries no matter what your loved ones decide about treatment. Once your loved one decides to accept treatment, we stay with your family throughout the program is completed, supporting you in your own recovery so that you don’t regress into old behaviors.

Your whole family will need to shift in order to support your addicted loved one and each of you on your own path toward healing. With Whole Families Intervention & Services, we are ready to set you and your family free of addiction.

Addiction Doesn’t Rest

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Dear Friends.

During this time of real danger and uncertainty, many of us are experiencing stress in mind, body, and spirit.
Mental health issues and substance use disease often accelerate in the midst of fear.

We at Whole Families are to support you and those you love. Whether you’re feeling isolated and/or lonely
or overwhelmed with pent-up energy in the house, we know that this is not an easy time for many folks.

We are offering all new clients a reduced rate for recovery coaching to support you and those whom you love
while we cope in these uncertain times.

Reach out and call us. We’re here. While we may not be hugging you with open arms, our hearts are open and
eager to hold yours.

Be well

Life Will Intervene

Do a Safe Intervention before Life Intervenes

Click Here To Learn More

Stop the madness now

Whether it’s medical, legal, or financial, life will intervene at some point in your loved one’s life. We are here to help you help your loved one find freedom.

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We offer this short quiz. It can assist you to determine if it is time to orchestrate a professional intervention.

Many of us wait to plan an intervention. The timing is never convenient.

Compassion doesn’t mean waiting. Calling us today can be one of the most important calls you make.

Our Professional Intervention services team with design an intervention based specifically on your family’s needs.

Why Use A Professional

7 Common Misconceptions About Addiction Interventions

Source:

7 Common Misconceptions About Addiction InterventionsWhen alcohol or drugs have taken over a loved one’s life, and they seem reluctant to face the facts about their addiction, sometimes we turn to an “intervention” to help them see that they need help. An intervention is when a group of loved ones — family, friends and concerned others — gather together to try and help the person see that they need treatment for their addiction.

For those who have never been involved in an intervention, the process may seem daunting and full of unanswered questions. Many people have only seen drug interventions on television or in movies, and are not sure what to expect at an actual intervention.

Here are seven common misconceptions about drug and alcohol interventions.

  1. You should wait until a person has hit rock bottom.“Rock bottom” is a often-used phrase when discussing addicts and addictive behavior. Many believe that an addict cannot bounce back into sobriety until they have hit this extremely low point. The reality is that rock bottom can be difficult to pinpoint. Rather than wait for this vaguely defined time, try to get help for your loved one before things progress that far.
  2. Sobriety is possible if an addict is strong enough.Addiction is a disease rooted in a number of causes. Chemical dependency takes over an addict’s brain and changes his or her entire neurological makeup. Addicts need more than just willpower to get sober. Convince them to get help now.
  3. Rehab won’t work if an addict has already failed it.Just because an addict has relapsed in the past does not mean treatment will not work. He or she simply has to try again.
  4. Addicts lack strong morals.Anyone can become an addict. People who are genetically predisposed to addiction are even more likely to become addicts themselves, regardless of the character they possess.
  5. Addicts will sever ties with those staging an intervention.It is difficult to predict an addict’s response to an intervention. Drug and alcohol abuse can make a person unstable, which is why it is always necessary to seek the help of a professional interventionist. Just because an addict gets upset, however, does not mean they will sever ties. They will, at some point, realize that their friends and family are only trying to help.
  6. Interventions should be staged when the addict is under the influence.

    This is never a good idea. When planning an intervention, all possible steps should be made to ensure that an addict is sober when confronted. A person who is under the influence may be very volatile and will not fully process what is being said to them.

  7. Interventions should be staged by friends and family only.

    A professional interventionist is a vital part of making sure the intervention is safe and effective. It can be dangerous and very counterproductive to attempt to intervene with an addict without professional help. Always contact a professional interventionist, who will help you devise a plan to make the intervention as productive and healthy as possible.