Article by Vida Norris

A few years ago I was really struggling with anxiety and having panic attacks all the time and I wanted to see if I could get to the root of it with spiritual practices.

Awareness and Self-Observation Practices

The first thing I tried practicing was awareness. I tried paying attention to what was happening all around me instead of getting lost in a daydream or distracting myself with something to pass the time.

It was difficult to break out of the pattern of constantly wanting to multi-task or keep busy and instead try to just ‘be.’ The more I tried it though, the more I felt calmer. When I really got it working I felt more alive and more ‘myself,’ kind of like how I felt when I was a kid.

Then, I started to try self-observation exercises and I quickly noticed that I had so many thoughts, worries and emotions happening all throughout the day within myself. Not surprisingly, many of them were subtly feeding my feelings of anxiety, which would eventually end up in a full blown panic attack after a certain point.

It always felt like anxiety was something that happened to me and not from me so this was a big turning point for me.

I saw how these thoughts and feelings would come in and take me away from my efforts to explore the present moment. Sometimes I’d go for walks in nature to try to be aware and thoughts would come up about an unpleasant circumstance that I had to deal with later for example, and I would end up worrying about it the whole time instead of enjoying the beautiful scenery around me.

I kept trying to be aware and study myself and I began to find that if I caught the little thoughts or feelings early enough I could stop them in their tracks. I learned to do this with another spiritual practice Belsebuub taught which could get rid of the egos altogether.

Whenever I saw an emotion or thought coming up to take me away from being aware, I would pray and ask for them to be removed. This started to prevent my feelings of anxiety from escalating into full on panic attacks.

As I studied myself throughout the day I acquired more and more knowledge about where these egos were coming from which enabled me to break free of them as I saw them for what they were.

A Major Breakthrough

My biggest breakthrough in removing a large part of my anxiety was during a meditation on an ego practice that I learned from Belsebuub’s course. At the time, I was trying this practice consistently, looking to get to the bottom of this strong ego and praying sincerely for its permanent removal.

During these practices I would get into a relaxed state, clear my mind of thoughts and then look back over my whole life as if I was watching a film, to see where this ego came from. I looked back into my childhood where I could see manifestations of it everywhere. I saw how it had prevented me from applying myself in school or kept me from trying new activities or learning new skills because I was too afraid that I might fail or look silly doing it. I discovered how closely linked anxiety and pride were, and how they worked together to make me feel insecure in many ways.

I also discovered in that meditation that I had a fear of the unknown that was preventing me from living my life to the fullest. I saw how these fears and anxiety effected my relationships with other people in the past and up to the present. I was able to see it hiding in almost all areas of my life basically.

Young Woman Meditating on the Floor

Photo by Spirit-Fire and licensed under CC BY 2.0

At the end of one of these meditations, I came to the prayer to remove the ego from me permanently. When I had finished I sat up and I felt a kind of relief that I hadn’t really experienced before. As clichéd as it sounds it truly felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I knew at that moment that part of this ego was truly gone and there was a kind of joyful quietness in its place. I didn’t have anymore of those major panic attacks again after that practice.

I still had many fears and anxiety to work through of course, but I knew that the part of it that was really holding me back had been removed. I realized that if I could get rid of one aspect, I could certainly overcome others. I also now had the tools, knowledge and inner strength to investigate the rest of them and get rid of them for good. It was really liberating.