Most people with anxiety have a bodily sensations or two that unnerves them. In my experience the most common one by far is related to the heart and the fear that it will beat too fast triggering a heart attack.
It’s perfectly understandable to have this fear. During a panic attack for example, your heart can pound like an African drum up into your throat and down into your stomach. That kind of beating is fine in the gym or watching a scary movie but pretty unnerving if you are just doing the shopping.
People imagine all kinds of scenarios like having a heart attack someplace alone or while out in public with their family. This fear is also pretty common in the gym while exercising.
Connected to the heart are other unusual sensations that also spark fear like palpitations or skipped heart beast. Those can really freak people out as they watch and wait nervously for the next time it happens. The anxiety radar goes into 24/7 overdrive looking out for any potential trouble.
Often times people start with one sensation they are scared of and it then can spread like wildfire to a fear of other bodily sensations like difficulty breathing, a lump in the throat or dizziness.
If you find yourself getting anxious about bodily sensations you must first of all get it checked out by a doctor (that goes without saying). Then once you have the all clear, you need to learn to mentally step back and stop monitoring every minute aspect of your body.
Your body has an innate intelligence that has been keeping you alive for years and its not going to stop doing so just because you are worried that it won’t.
As well intentional as your anxious mind is, it’s only getting in the way and making things worse by monitoring and trying to control every sensation.
I often think trying to control your bodily sensations, is like a nervous flyer during turbulence banging on the cockpit door demanding to fly the plane. That kind of behavior just makes the whole plane (your body) more tense.
You need to train your mind to let go and trust. Your anxious mind needs to sit back down and trust that your body can handle it, -just like it always has done.
Think of all the years your body has done its job perfectly but now your mind wants to butt in and take control just because a few unusual sensations.
These sensations are not going to be a problem for your body. It can handle it just fine thank you very much. It’s your anxious mind that has the problem.
There is great peace to be found in learning to trust your body again. You have lost that trust but you can regain it back by letting go of the need to control your body.
So, let go and trust your heart,
let go and trust your breathing,
let go and trust whatever the bodily sensation is that scares you the most.
Surrender and trust your body again just like you used to do way back when anxiety was never a problem.
I think your body has earned that trust!
Share your thoughts on this exercise below.
P.S It goes without saying that If you’re worried about heart problems or any other bodily sensation you should always get a full medical examination. This at the very least will help put your mind at rest.