Cultivating the safety needed to turn towards sensations of anxiety

Healing from anxiety is ultimately about developing the courage to feel unpleasant sensations, thoughts, and emotions.  It’s our inability to be present with these experiences that leads to unskillful behaviors like obsessing and emotional eating.  However, it’s not always easy to turn towards these sensations.  Often they are incredibly strong and can seem downright scary.  … Continue reading Cultivating the safety needed to turn towards sensations of anxiety

How rewards drive anxious cravings for more rewards

or Why scratching an itch feels good until you’re itching all over the place.... Our minds want to move towards pleasurable experiences and away from painful ones.  This creates feelings of anxiety in the body.  These feelings show up as either anxious excitement(moving towards) or anxious fear( moving away).  Interestingly, they both feel similar in … Continue reading How rewards drive anxious cravings for more rewards

The endless search for information: interest vs. deprivation curiosity

Over the years, one of my biggest struggles has been how to balance the curious love of learning new things with the anxious need to consume more and more information that often came with it.  I had no idea how to make sense of my love for learning with this anxious, contracted feeling that I … Continue reading The endless search for information: interest vs. deprivation curiosity

Why we must make friends with OCD(and anxiety)- a little story

The less we truly know OCD (or anxiety in general),  the more we struggle with it.  The more we get to know OCD, the less of a struggle we have.  Below is a little story to illustrate this:  In it I'll touch upon the 4 steps of RAIN (Recognize, Accept/allow, Investigate, Nurture).  This is the … Continue reading Why we must make friends with OCD(and anxiety)- a little story

How embodied connection can help us face our social fears

Embodied connection can help us move closer to our social values and face our social fears. When we are not acting according to our social values, we are often unaware of what’s happening in the moment. Despite our best intentions, we end up acting in the same ways we have always acted.  There have been … Continue reading How embodied connection can help us face our social fears

A model for social freedom

Social Connection model or “What am I unwilling to feel socially?” Connection-Benefits us and others (we all want connection) Connection (with ourselves and others)requires contacting the direct felt sense of what we experience in our bodies and making friends with it.  Our bodies move towards pleasant sensations and away from unpleasant sensationsOur fears around connection are … Continue reading A model for social freedom

Performance vs. Vulnerability and internal vs external rewards

In earlier posts I have mapped out some habit loops and explained how our brains seek to do the behaviors that give us the biggest rewards.  This reward based learning model becomes a problem when we are always seeking external rewards to feel better.  The problem with external rewards is that they are not dependable … Continue reading Performance vs. Vulnerability and internal vs external rewards

Social connection and social habit loops (my story)

Recognizing Social Habit loops In previous posts, I have talked about how the first step in befriending anxiety is to become aware of how the mind works by mapping out our habit loops around anxiety.  If we are not aware of what’s happening, it will be impossible to change.  The following article talks about some … Continue reading Social connection and social habit loops (my story)

Healing OCD and anxiety-my story(the long version)

Healing OCD and Anxiety- My story (the long version) While certainly not always a pleasant path(what treatment for OCD is though?!), my experience has shown me that there is astonishing healing possible when combining exposure therapy with mindfulness practices and training.  In the long run, and with practice, it’s the mindfulness practice itself that becomes … Continue reading Healing OCD and anxiety-my story(the long version)

Out of the anxiety habit loop- Recognize and Allow with RAIN

Mindfulness and Compassion offer us a way out of the anxiety habit loop because upon investigation they turn out to be more rewarding than our previous anxiety behaviors.  In this article I want to introduce a tool for dealing with anxiety and difficult emotions called RAIN or the RAIN of self compassion.  This acronym has … Continue reading Out of the anxiety habit loop- Recognize and Allow with RAIN

The anxiety habit loop isn’t really that rewarding!

After we get a better understanding of how our minds work by mapping out our habit loops, the next step to befriending our anxiety and finding some degree of freedom is to start to get really curious about what we are getting from our anxious habit loops.  We can use mindfulness to investigate the rewards … Continue reading The anxiety habit loop isn’t really that rewarding!

Mindfulness, how it can help with anxiety, and resourcing revisited (with practices)

So what is mindfulness and how can it help if you are suffering with anxiety?  Mindfulness is really about coming back to the present moment; back to our senses.  It’s a present moment awareness that can befriend life’s varied experiences without judgement.  We can become aware of sights, smells, sounds, tastes, body sensations, emotions, and … Continue reading Mindfulness, how it can help with anxiety, and resourcing revisited (with practices)

A simple mindfulness practice and the mental stories that keep us from practicing

In order to be able to investigate and get curious about our thoughts and emotions, we must feel a sense of safety.  In my last post I discussed two resource anchors (grounding and self-compassion) that help us to feel safe in the body.  In this post I want to talk about another challenge to befriending … Continue reading A simple mindfulness practice and the mental stories that keep us from practicing

Befriending OCD with mindfulness and compassion training-(my healing journey)

My experience has shown me that healing from anxiety/OCD is possible when combining exposure therapy with mindfulness practices and training.  In the long run, and with practice, it’s the mindfulness practice itself that becomes the exposure therapy.  I learned to turn towards the difficult sensations of OCD, anxiety, and panic and get curious about their … Continue reading Befriending OCD with mindfulness and compassion training-(my healing journey)