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Overcoming My Anxiety with Spiritual Practices

vida
Article by Vida Narovski

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.

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18 comments
  • I can relate to this anxiety and how it can form myself and my daily life.

    Watching also my body how reacts to this anxiety, all these unintentional movements while been anxious, it made me wonder if there could be a correlation between all these unintentional movements while been anxious, and the development of neurological symptoms in old age like tremble or such.

    Like you Vida, I found Belsebuub’s techniques very effective in those cases and was a great relief and I relaxed a bit instead of been so stressed. Making a step back and watching things from a bit distance makes a new perspective and go even further like you said through meditation makes things even more clear.
    It’s great hearing you had that breakthrough I wish you go further.
    Thank you for sharing it!

  • Great account Vida, anxiety is very crippling and in its full state as a panic attack its debilitating, as I used to suffer them too but I don’t anymore thanks to learning those techniques you described. It was interesting to see from where that intense fear began and I think that understanding helped me a great deal as well as learning to have my foundation in the awareness of reality rather than being undermined by the fear.

    I hope many people find your account, its very inspiring and helpful.

  • Thanks so much for sharing this Vida. I found it really helpful, like it inspires me to look at all those tiny thoughts and feelings of anxiety, and not just the big ones. To keep going.

  • Thank so much for writing about this change and understanding Vida, I found it very moving. Meditation on an ego can be such a great tool for really uncovering an ego – I’ve also had practises that made me feel like ‘things will be different from now’, though I can’t recall such a powerful example as your not suffering with panic attacks again. Still, seeing how a state has emerged, developed, and become entwined in our psych in a myriad of ways can be such a therapeutic experience (in the real meaning of the word, not like a trip to the spa!).
    I’ve never had a panic attack, though surely milder occurrences, and can relate to harrying myself with busyness to drown out miserable states. As a kid actually felt pretty fearless I remember – though as I hit teenage years pride and anxiety started to work their cruel ways. That’s why reading about how you “felt more alive and more ‘myself,’ kind of like how I felt when I was a kid”, was a real reminder of how we are often just returning to a natural way of being, and if we work with the right forces, that we can have all the accumulated muck removed. Reading this has also acted as a good reminder of what can be achieved with this amazing practise!

  • “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 think that in itself is such a huge breakthrough Vida, and ultimately breaks down the chain of being the victim, to finally being able to take charge and responsibility for our lives, actions, feelings and thoughts.

    Like many others, I have also suffered from a lot of anxiety, and I think its only from the view point that these horrible low states are born and chosen within us that we have a chance to stop them. Its in our hands. One honest observation at a time.

  • Thanks Vida for sharing your personal experience with overcoming anxiety and panic attacks, something I too have had to struggle with since my childhood. It’s amazing what comes to surface when you study an ego and its patterns. Something I noticed about myself when I felt anxiety was that I had a tendency to suck in and hold my belly without even realizing it until I started to pay closer attention to anxiety, its triggers and what it was doing to me internally. I’m grateful to learn and practice Belsebuub’s technique of the meditation/elimination of an ego which I need to be doing more often, especially since I’ve seen how helpful it’s been in helping me understand and overcome certain aspects of other egos as well. I’m also very glad to hear how much it’s helped you and benefited many others too.

  • Thanks for describing the process you went through Vida.

    I can relate to that feeling at the end of a meditation on the ego practice, the practice that ‘crowns’ our whole effort and study we’ve been putting into a certain ego. Wonderful.

    What you say about ”It always felt like anxiety was something that happened to me and not from me so this was a big turning point for me. is a really good lesson. Sometimes I still get caught in it a bit, feeling and thinking all the time how busy I am because of external things. “I’m so busy (and not failing to let other people know just how “busy” I am).” But it seems that at that point it’s not so much the pressure of external jobs to do, but it’s already become an internal noise and locomotion of thoughts.

    It’s so wonderful to have the tools to see these going-on’s of our own psyche and the ability to change and free ourselves from those burdens.

  • Thanks for sharing this experience Vida. Although I have never experienced panic attacks, I can relate to your account of how crippling anxiety can be, as it can become so overwhelming that it limits our options in many situations. I certainly had a lot of anxiety as a child and young adult, which resulted in many opportunities being lost. However, as you mentioned, once we learn how to eliminate the egos, we gain a powerful weapon that can really free us from the chains of anxiety and other egos. I can definitely see a reduction in some of these anxieties in my own life through applying this technique, ranging from fear of the dark and the unknown to concerns about approaching strangers or looking foolish. It’s wonderful to hear that through working on this ego, you have also regained some valuable freedom from its clutches.

  • Like others said, overcoming panic attacks is no small feat. As I am reading your post I relate to the anxiety you speak about – not panic attacks, nor fear of the unknown, but still a similar feeling that stops me from giving 100% to life. I also try to be aware and notice the reality of life around me and pay attention to the details. I notice how the mind thinks that the details are insignificant and tries to stop me from dying to them. And yet, when I do not listen to it and do the practice that Belsebuub describes, particularly praying, I feel relief within moments.

    Thank you for the post.

  • I can relate to being so anxious that my whole life was being affected. What i noticed is that once we decide that we don’t want to be where we were then things start to change. We somehow find a way out and with the practices of Belsebuub’s teachings, this can be achieved a lot more efficiently and thoroughly. Great work!

  • Thank you so much for this account Vida. I felt like I was learning from what you shared, anxiety being something I struggle with too. It is pretty amazing you were able to stop having panic attacks! What a different world it would be if people suffering from this were taught these spiritual techniques and helped to be rid of it for good.

    That pattern of wanting to be busy and distracted all the time feels very familiar, so that you don’t have to be feeling the unpleasant sensations within yourself. It is like you are constantly trying to numb it and stop it from hurting you, but doing that you are just taking your attention from the pain while it continues to be there and becoming more distant from yourself and your spiritual part. Then it is very hard to get a sense of yourself or to go deep with any spiritual practice, because you are so detached from yourself and blank and numb. It seems the only way to cure the pain is to look at it and withstand it and walk through it in a way, in order to gain understanding. Well done for having had the courage to go through that process. I feel like I would not have a chance to deal with it had I not found the techniques Belsebuub shares.

    • I think you’re onto something there Laura – picking up on Vida’s comments about the root of constant business being the anxiety, how it kind of redirects the attention so you don’t feel the underlying pain. I have also felt like somehow the inner work was about learning to ‘put brakes on’; that this momentum that pushes us through life and keeps us busy and fascinated is just the egos running the show. Maybe this is why being busy is so glorified in the modern world? Not that being active is a bad thing, quite the opposite, but there’s no time for repose or reflection in the modern world, like you say – it’s as though in general we aren’t taught to/allowed to just relax and go deep.

  • What an inspiring journey. Thanks for sharing. Meditation on an ego can be such a powerful practice. Learning to be aware and observe myself with Belsebuubs teachings was like a, not a magic bullet but a way out of depression. Awesome

  • That weight off your shoulders feeling when you finally make a breakthrough is unbelievable. Anxiety attacks can be so hard to deal with though — that’s no small weight to get off! I like how you mentioned that realization of inner states happening to you instead of coming from you — that was a big realization for me as well. Until then, I always thought those things are unchangeable, or something to wrestle with, almost like trying to stuff a sleeping bag into a coverlet that’s a few sizes too small… just to avoid those inner states from surfacing up. It was very liberating to realize it didn’t have to be that way at all.

  • The meditation on an ego practice can be really awesome. I’ve also had times when I felt a weight lifted from me, when I was able to see clearly how an ego had operated throughout my life, understand how it operated, and then sincerely asking to be free of it.

    • I remember you being very fond of the meditation on an ego practice. Unfortunately I never quite got into it, at least not on a regular basis. I do wish it was a go to practice to deal with crippling emotions & ways of thinking that seem like they will never go away.

  • Dealing with anxiety can be so crippling! So well done on overcoming it – not an easy task at all! I can relate to the inability to act, think coherently when you’re gripped by such a state. But what a comforting realization to know it does not have to be this way, that things can change!

    You know, I never knew that inner change was possible until I came across Belsebuub’s books and courses, the techniques I learned also helped me to overcome some very strong egos that like you were getting hold of me and taking control of my life. It’s such a liberating feeling to get out of the grips of these inner states, and feel that freedom of no longer being a prey to their wants 🙂

    Well Vida – well done again – I’m sure many others like me will relate to your experience 🙂

About Belsebuub

belsebuub mark pritchard
Image © Mark Pritchard
Mark Pritchard (Belsebuub) is an author and spiritual teacher that has been writing about and demonstrating practical techniques for self-discovery for more than twenty-five years. Read more

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