Healing Anxiety with Self Love

For most of my life I have had anxiety of one degree or another, manifesting as compulsive hand washing at the age of eleven, to constant checking in my teens and adult years, along with panic attacks which I experienced palpitations, sweating and shaking… It was very exhausting and debilitating: a reaction to life’s stresses and all the beliefs in the world… the “shoulds and should nots“, “got to’s“, “it’s this… it’s that“, “it’s because of“…  All the external views and opinions as opposed to what I was feeling within, along with a lack of trust in myself and my decisions.

I had tried many self-help strategies and various orthodox and complementary treatments, none of which had any lasting effect. I learned to live with it the best I could.

When I started attending and listening to the presentations of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine this began to change, and with the support to understand myself more deeply from Esoteric Practitioners, mainly Simone Benhayon, I began to care for myself and build a foundation of love for myself.

I developed an understanding of eating foods to support myself rather than feed my reactions and emotions, to really listen to my body and what I felt was right for me rather than doing what I thought was expected or that I should do: it’s amazing how these have underpinned most of my decisions and choices in life.

I have realised that anxiety is not who I am – it is a reaction that I can have a choice over.

When I could feel the anxiety rising I started to bring myself back to my body by feeling my hands and feet, how my body was moving, how my food tasted and felt in my mouth – just simple things that brought my focus back to me rather than the situation that was scaring me.

When I had times where this level of anxiety happened I would take extra care in nurturing myself to support myself through it, and afterwards, to help my body recover, by having a soothing bath with oils or bubble bath then tenderly putting cream on my body. Or by going for a gentle walk, making a calming cup of herbal tea or sitting quietly and listening to the birds in the trees.

Over time, as I continued to love and care for myself, building my foundation, I found that I wasn’t reacting in the way I used to. I noticed the situations would occur but I would stay steady. I may have wobbled a bit but I came back to a steadiness that was within me – it felt strong.

This steadiness is growing as I continue to build love and I find more and more I stay steady in situations that before would have completely thrown me: my trust in myself has grown so much.

I continue to work with this and now my anxiety is at a level where I feel it as a tension in my muscles, for example in my arms and across my shoulders. When I feel this in my body I know there is anxiety at play and I am then able to look at the cause and can stop it pretty quickly by bringing myself back to my body. I am now aware and can feel how it is a choice I am making and I can change that choice at any time, whereas before it just seemed to happen to me.

I no longer feel the need to check things now I have this steadiness inside me… it’s just not there. If from time to time my heart starts to pump, I say to myself: “It’s a choice, Ruth.” I can choose to feel differently, which I do by connecting to my steadiness, and it stops.

Trying to fix the anxiety didn’t work, but by loving and caring for myself it has naturally been diminishing.

Each day I experience how my steadiness keeps me much more balanced and able to deal with life, moment to moment. My energy levels are sustained and I get to enjoy the day so much more.

Thank you Serge Benhayon, Simone Benhayon and Universal Medicine for inspiring me to care for myself and helping me to understand that how I live affects my health.

By Ruth Ketnor, London, UK

Further Reading:
~ Anxiety Is Not Something You Just Have To Put Up With – There Is Another Way
~ Beating Anxiety Gentle Breath Meditation
~ From a Life of Depression to a Loving Life

861 thoughts on “Healing Anxiety with Self Love

  1. It makes sense that when we have lost connection to ourselves and the knowing of who we are we are far more easily affected by everything around us as there is no inner steadiness from which to support us through life. In committing to opening up, valuing and respecting ourselves, our body naturally responds to restore itself back to its natural harmony and rhythm from which we are able to move with a lightness and flow that becomes our natural way of being.

  2. We can all relate to having people who are steady in our life and how safe they are to be around. This can also be us if we learn to listen to and work with the messages from our body.

  3. Hi again Ruth, reading your blog again has been so supportive, I’ve recently been through a situation I’ve never encountered before which at times felt quite scary. As a result I really let the anxiety rule me, so it’s quite a blessing to come by your blog again and reconnect to the simple ways you have shared to be both more aware of and address anxiety – thank you.

  4. When I have been anxious about something and I tell myself to not be anxious, it doesn’t work but when I let go of trying to fix the anxiousness and focus and connecting to my body it shifts very quickly. Now, I hardly ever feel anxious but when I do I feel equipped to bring myself back very quickly through reconnecting to my body and not let my thoughts run the show.

  5. “Over time, as I continued to love and care for myself, building my foundation, I found that I wasn’t reacting in the way I used to.” – Commitment to consistently building a foundation of a certain quality of presence in our body has a powerful ripple effect.

  6. We are dis-eased when we are not in the body. This may manifest in different ways. These only heal when we register how different we feel when we are in the body and learn to appreciate it deeply.

  7. I have found the Universal Medicine Therapies so supportive in helping me to build that inner steadiness, each session helps me to clear something such as a hurt, trauma, misconception, which then makes space for more of the real me, the love and steadiness, to be present. To be honest I didn’t even realise I had anxiety, I was just used to being “stressed out”, and in my Universal Medicine clinic sessions I became aware of what anxiety felt like, this then gave me an opportunity to address it when it came up during my day so I could support myself.

  8. The Gentle Breath Meditation has helped me when I have been experiencing those extreme moments of anxiousness. Within two breaths I can feel the change in the anxiety.

  9. It’s an incredibly empowering moment when we see that we are the ones steering the ship. When we see we are the ones who chose to live with certain situations and certain reactions.

  10. It actually makes so much sense. Anxiety is caused by the way we live so the only true way to cure it is to also look at how we are living.

    1. So true Joshua, this is often overlooked and we often try to intellectualise a way out of anxiety instead of looking at the root cause.

  11. Recently, I was listening to a recording of a meeting where various views were being discussed about a theme that was of a great interest to me, and what I noticed was how I was trying to clock whose opinion was right therefore I should side with. Where has my truth gone? Not being connected is a shaky ground to be in life, and I agree, it is not about ‘correcting’ that posture but it is in the self-loving choices that we find our way back to true confidence.

  12. There is no question for me that the way we live affects our health, what you share here is gold because it shows us that the foundations are laid in the small, innocuous activities of self-care, like taking time to get ready, put cream on, be tender and kind to ourselves.

  13. Re-tuning back in with our body and listening to what we feel to do gives us the opportunity to re-connect with an innate wisdom we all have inside of us.

  14. Anxiety is a choice but it is our everyday loving choices that supports us to make more loving choices. I find if I eat the wrong food, don’t get enough sleep or react to certain situations, I can feel anxious throughout my day.

  15. ‘Trying to fix the anxiety didn’t work, but by loving and caring for myself it has naturally been diminishing.’ This is beautiful Ruth, our connection to our bodies is key here allowing us to build a loving and consistent foundation that will support us in life.

  16. I had not appreciated how truly lovely I was feeling and how light and playful I feel most days until recently. I have a tendancy to focus on the what is not rather than the what is and it wasn’t until I had a day of living feeling somewhat below par that I truly appreciated how different my new normal of playful joyful me had become.

  17. Thank you Ruth, it’s profound how you changed the anxiety not through focusing on it as such but on your connection with you and your body – nurturing that in all moments that then gave you a new foundation that supported you to deal with the anxiousness if it came up.

  18. Eating to pacify our emotions and reactions is something we do to comfort and numb ourselves so we don’t have to feel what we don’t want to feel.

    1. I agree Susie, but when we make unloving choice to numb ourselves we tend to feel anxious and less able to feel our gorgeousness and who we are. Our body is constantly communicating to us and it takes a lot of effort to numb these messages from our body.

  19. I agree Ruth we are able to change our choices at any time and in committing to building a strong foundation of love we are able to choose to stay steady in situations around us so that we are able to respond rather than emotionally react to life.

  20. Ruth what you have shared here is very simple and practical, to come back to feeling the body when anxiety (or other stressful reactions happen) and to also be more loving, caring and gentle with ourselves. We may see these things as a relief from anxiety but they are actually a way of life. I still experience anxiety but I find coming back to the body and being very lovingly caring with myself not only helps to bring me back, but it also helps me to establish a foundation through how I live that means less anxiety happens.

  21. “I have realised that anxiety is not who I am – it is a reaction that I can have a choice over.” thank you Ruth for a great sharing of how you are healing anxiety by choosing self care and love. I have lived with so much anxiety in my life but have squashed it down so I could cope with it, but it was always there under the surface. How empowering it is to know that it is not who I am and that I have a choice in the matter, I have found as i build more self love in my body my anxiety is so much less.

  22. The more I allow myself to be in my expansiveness the less anxiety I feel. When anxiety is sensed in my body it is a sure sign I am holding back and not bringing all of me to another or situation. What occurs to me is that I am then coming from self and investing in me and only me and not for the all.

  23. ‘Trying to fix the anxiety didn’t work, but by loving and caring for myself it has naturally been diminishing.’ I feel too that if we want a long lasting and sustainable answer to anxiety then self care and self love is the way to be/go.

    1. It certainly is Elaine. I have noticed through self-care and self-love my low level anxiety is no longer part of my everyday. I didn’t realise I had low level anxiety until I started to apply self-care and self-love, because this took me out of being in anxiety and gave me a marker of how amazing life is. So, when I dropped my connection and allowed anxiety to creep back in it became obvious I had been living with anxiety for most of my life.

  24. If we allow anxiety to make us anxious we are on a downward spiral. If we listen to our body when it is showing us clearly that we are choosing anxiousness we can start to move in a way that brings us back to who we are.

  25. So many people in the world suffer from anxiety to some degree or another – this blog is a testament to the fact that it doesn’t need to be a permanent part of your life, and can be healed, through very simple ways, like being more loving and kinder to yourself, building a loving foundation in your body to come back to.

  26. ” I began to care for myself and build a foundation of love for myself.”
    So wonderful Ruth, the starting place of healing .

  27. I deeply enjoy today as i celebrate how I surrender more to the universe.
    Letting go control and accepting that I am part of the universe. The light is within and around me always. Endless thanks to Serge Benhayon for living this truth deeply.

  28. ” I developed an understanding of eating foods to support myself rather than feed my reactions and emotions”
    This is a huge learning , a lot of the ills of our life are down to the simple fact that reaction is the easy way to not be responsible, thank you for sharing Ruth lovely.

  29. I have found it super empowering over the years to feel the fact that anxiety is a choice not a thing that just happens or is because of life making it happen. That’s just giving our power away

  30. Our bodies will always guide us to know who we in-truth are, and when we are not being, honouring or living who we are not. The greatest friend we could ever ask for, divine in its constellation and designed to embody love and truth, who we are in essence.

  31. ‘Trying to fix the anxiety didn’t work, but by loving and caring for myself it has naturally been diminishing.’ I experience the same, it is about staying in my body, not giving myself a hard time when I feel the anxiety in my body but to go to the solid foundation that is always underneath this tension and give all my attention to being present and feel the love that is there.

    1. Hi Linda, I’ve personally found http://www.unimedliving.com a great resource on a variety of topics including anxiety. There’s a great mediation on anxiety at http://www.unimedliving.com/meditation/free/meditation-for-anxiety-and-stress/beating-anxiety-gentle-breath-meditation.html which I’ve also found super simple and very supportive in connecting back to my body and being able to feel what is really me and the layers of anxiousness I feel when I’m not being me.

  32. ” Trying to fix the anxiety didn’t work, but by loving and caring for myself it has naturally been diminishing. ”
    This is wonderful Ruth , by taking your power back and investing in loving and caring for yourself and therefore there is no power to feed the anxiety , so clever and wise.

  33. A great practical tool Ruth to realise that we have a choice to come back to ourselves by bringing our focus back to our body rather than going into emotional reaction that leaves us at the mercy of life and being affected by the situations around us.

  34. “Trying to fix the anxiety didn’t work, but by loving and caring for myself it has naturally been diminishing.” Such a great learning for us all. I use d to override and try to ignore my anxiety but it isn’t possible it is something that sat behind everything I did. One of the ways I thought i could fix it by controlling everything that happened in my life measuring and pre-empting what happened, this masked the anxiety but it never went away. Now I know that if I am with myself, and don’t try and control the situation or try to think ahead that anxiousness no longer plays a part n my life.

  35. ” Trying to fix the anxiety didn’t work, but by loving and caring for myself it has naturally been diminishing.”
    This is quite amazing , would it be possible to say that you have healed anxiety and therefore there is nothing to fix.

  36. Thanks Ruth… I love this approach… The back door… It works in so many ways rather than feeling that we have to tackle something head on, we simply work on something simple that in front of us… And then, miracles do really happen.

  37. What simple and accessible tools to help support the healing of an increasingly common condition. They should be taught to everyone – after all, I doubt there is a person on the planet who hasn’t suffered anxiety at one time or the other, if not chronically or acutely.

    1. I agree Victoria, and increasingly younger and younger children are experiencing anxiety and by the time they reach their teens it can be debilitating. It is amazing to share how we can apply these tools that are accessible to everyone.

  38. What you have shared here is something no-one can take away from you because it is all yours. It is your foundation that you have built from loving yourself enough to care for yourself. It sounds crazy that this is not our first choice but clearly for so many of us it isn’t. It is like we stop fighting fires, and actually look to ensure we nurture the space to ensure it is not flammable.

  39. What a lovely sharing on how building a foundation of presence, nurturing and love have helped support you and your body, ‘I have realised that anxiety is not who I am – it is a reaction that I can have a choice over.’

  40. What really is extraordinary is how, with anxiety being such of such endemic proportions in our society, people actually keep going. The difference between truly living and just existing and getting through the day becomes more and more pronounced.

  41. Certain situations will be triggers for some people to go into anxiousness, understanding the root cause of these triggers will be beneficial along with having tools to use, like the Gentle Breath Meditation, or really feeling and connecting with our body.

  42. So many people live in anxiety and think it’s normal, that it’s part of life and you just need to get on with it. No wonder coffee is so popular and alcohol and cigarettes – we are exhausted from being in anxiety and need to take the edge off life.

  43. I have realised that anxiety is not who I am – it is a reaction that I can have a choice over.” Realising that we are not our emotions is true liberation.

    1. Very true, and this highlights how vital developing a loving relationship with our bodies are, if we want to freely live who we truly are. As our bodies know only how to reflect the truth.

  44. Coming back to our body and being aware of it as you describe is a powerful tool, ‘When I could feel the anxiety rising I started to bring myself back to my body by feeling my hands and feet, how my body was moving, how my food tasted and felt in my mouth – just simple things that brought my focus back to me rather than the situation that was scaring me.’ Lovely to hear how these techniques made such a difference.

  45. ‘I have realised that anxiety is not who I am – it is a reaction that I can have a choice over.’ This is great Ruth as we are only ever providing our-self with the answer to take away these types of perceptions by the way we Lovingly move and thus therefore connect to our body. It is the same with so many situations lets say being an alcoholic we are not ever an alcoholic, we may have drank alcohol but we are always in essence divinely connected so by our will and divinely loving ways we can return to that essence. So what are Divinely Loving ways, could they be every movement we make to the best of our abilities, which even includes the way we speak, as that is also a movement and if this is true we can also add our thoughts? So as you say Ruth; ‘Trying to fix the anxiety didn’t work, but by loving and caring for myself it has naturally been diminishing.’

  46. I found reacting to life always brings stress and complication, we let go of our inner connection and allow anxiousness to take hold. I have found committing to self-love and a deeper relationship with myself has built an inner steadiness and strength and a trust and acceptance in myself which is truly empowering.

  47. Ruth I remember trying to ‘fix’ my anxiety. One of the things I would do was put ‘don’t get anxious,’ on my list of things to do. I chuckle a bit to myself when I remember those days. What I have realised is it’s the small day to day decisions I make to support and look after myself that build into a way of being that then eventually caused my anxiety to dissipate. Thanks for writing this blog, because I know anxiety is something that many people are living with.

    1. Yes, Debra, this blog is definitely very supportive and practical. Affirmations as an attempt to ‘fix’ behaviours never work, as they are lies we tell ourselves and lies never resolve anything.

  48. A super sharing on how you got to discover that anxiety is a choice and that you can choose differently. Simple, but powerful, but then we are all super powerful when we stop playing small. And self-love is the medicine that can heal and literally transform our lives. I have learned to make loving choices that truly support my body and now I love to give to myself and take care of all my needs.

  49. Anxiety like all other emotions are constantly being felt by us and we can never stop feel the tensions that emotions create but when we express the truth from our inner-most connection we can feel that we are actually nothing to do with any emotion. This connection is happening from our movements well before any thoughts about being anxious come up, so we stay connected through our divine movement.
    There is a great course that is available to everyone so for more on anxiety go to;
    Understanding Anxiety in Men – ONLINE COURSE
    http://study.coum.org/enrol/index.php?id=14

  50. It is so important that when we are dealing with an issue like anxiety that we see it as a habit or a pattern that we have adopted and not part of who we are. That underneath the anxiety we have an inner essence that is not anxious at all.

  51. “Anxiety is not who I am – it is a reaction that I can have a choice over” – this is such an amazing realization, and by coming back to our body we come back to ourselves. I recognise how I get carried away in my own reaction, identifying with it, creating an issue when I am disconnected from my body.

  52. Ruth I really enjoyed reading this again and could relate to many things you shared. Anxiety has been so normal in my life I had not really questioned where it still arises – for example double checking things. It’s definitely ok to re-check things but I can feel how much of this is done in anxiety. I could also relate to this “a lack of trust in myself and my decisions” but I hadn’t actually realised this about myself until I read your words. The initial feeling is ok, but when the “what if’s” come in then the anxiety starts. You’ve given me great inspiration to look at trusting myself more.

  53. Having also suffered anxiety and stress for most of my teen years and well into my twenties I now find the consistency to keep coming back to my connection to my body and how I move helps significantly. Even something as simple as feeling my feet on the ground or how my hands feel when i touch something can really bring me back to the present moment and my mind does not stray because the focus is on the simple movements. I find it’s the consistency to keep checking in with myself and how I move really can halt the anxiety and bring true love to the fore.

    1. Yes and the tip about feeling your feet on the ground and your hands when you feel the anxiety coming or you are in a situation you hadn’t expected. That is a gift because we can’t expect to find a quiet space in a stress-full moment, we need practical things we can do at any moment. This is a gold nugget right there 🙂

  54. Ruth this is such a supportive blog for anyone who experiences anxiety, the choices you made to begin to heal this condition to now living your life with more ease and steadiness reminds us what’s possible when we begin to truly love and care for ourselves.

  55. I can relate to your experience Ruth as I had been an anxious person most my life starting in childhood when I would worry about things ‘a little girl should not be worrying about’ (I overheard my parents say that about me). I saw and felt EVERYTHING but instead of staying steady within myself, I lost myself by absorbing all that I felt, which included the toxic emotions, thoughts and movements of another, and then identifying with it all as my own. What this meant was that I walked around in a constant state of overwhelm, like a dam ready to burst. I was prone to many anxiety attacks and panic attacks as well as emotional outbursts. Coming to the Universal Medicine presentations and learning how to observe the world and let myself feel all that there is to feel without absorbing it all, has been a lifesaver for me. It is a work in progress because it requires as you say, a steady rebuilding of love so well worth it for the steady footing it assures you in the world.

  56. ‘I am now aware and can feel how it is a choice I am making and I can change that choice at any time, whereas before it just seemed to happen to me.’ It’s absolutely revolutionary to know and feel that if we are feeling emotional in any way, it is a choice we’re making and so therefore we can make another one. A wise friend once expressed to me that feeling overwhelmed is actually a very powerful choice – one that is saying ‘I don’t want to take responsibility for myself in this moment and so I’m going to be overwhelmed so I have a seemingly good excuse not to’. This has helped me enormously to be able to come back to my steadiness in my connection to my body when I have been feeling the first signs of being anxious and overwhelmed.

  57. In reading this blog this morning I realise how much more tender with myself I could be, not just at certain times, but all the time. Thank you Ruth.

    1. Simple gestures that support our body in a far greater way and brings us back to simple basic self-care that is paramount in our movements that brings out the vitality others are looking for.

  58. For much of my life I lived with no awareness of the low grade anxiety I was in. A few years ago I became aware of this and have supported myself to make changes. What I found interesting was recently when some things were coming up for me to look at, things that were quite uncomfortable and revealing, one of my coping mechanisms was to go into anxiety. I realised how I use anxiety to not feel and to check out.

  59. Ruth this is a very beautiful and deeply healing way you dealt with your anxiety, rather than feel like the anxiety owned you you chose to take loving steps to heal this condition and bring a quality and a steadiness that has supported you immensely.

  60. Ruth, I have also found that bringing awareness to my own body – being ‘consciously present’ in my movements and connecting with how my body is feeling is key, not only to anxiety or anxiousness, but any nervous tension whatsoever.
    The simplicity of returning to feeling our feet walking on the ground, to being attentive to our posture and the way we are holding our bodies, the way we are breathing… is fundamental in holding ourselves in this world. Serge Benhayon’s teaching on this, inclusive of the modality of Esoteric Yoga, are invaluable in this regard. My life has also changed remarkably since applying these concepts – step by step – in my own daily living.

  61. There is such a delicateness in what you’ve shared here Ruth – that in dealing with anxiety, we needn’t judge ourselves, or be hard on ourselves as if we’re ‘wrong’ or ‘at fault’… What you’ve shared here on building a ‘foundation of love’ is key, and how practically and simply we can all takes steps with this in our own lives.
    Deeply inspiring, thank-you for sharing this.

  62. Anxiety is not who we are. Love is who we are. Therefore when we feel anxious, we simply have to return to being who we are, which is love. This process of deepening the love within us through self-care feels simple, but it is very effective.

  63. Once we come to the awareness that our anxiousness stems from our reaction to certain triggers that we allow affect us in life, we are well on the way to uncovering its root cause, and from here we can choose the appropriate healing route which may be as simple as coming back to our gentle breath and connecting more deeply with our body, or in seeking the support of an esoteric healing practitioner.

  64. Serge presented today the possibility of anxiety being us bottling up our divine expression. It’s like heaven knocking at our door and us keeping the door closed.

  65. It is very much keeping my thoughts in line with what my body is doing at that moment and boy oh boy how easy it is to let my mind wonder and to get anxious over what might be going to happen, or going over all the possibilities how things could go wrong and how to control these situations. Pretty exhausting way of life. But like you share I have a choice to connect to my body and breathe my breath and to deeply care for the precious lady I am.

  66. This is great what you share Ruth, deepening self love and care to bring a steadiness in the body and to be able to choose that anxiousness is a choice and we don’t need to choose it. Bringing it back to the body, really is a lovely simple way to reconnect to the self.

  67. “Trying to fix the anxiety didn’t work, but by loving and caring for myself it has naturally been diminishing.” I find this is the case with a lot of things – over eating, rushing, being messy, allowing abuse…when we work on loving ourselves it is amazing what simply falls away without even trying.

  68. I love this technique of coming back to being aware of my body, as it seems to work everytime there is anxiety rising up inside. And it can be as simple as feeling my toes, or being aware of my jaw, or how I open a door.

  69. It’s great to read another article that is basically let us know that the key to anxiety is to feel and not just to accept it or try and make it better. Once you are anxious it’s more difficult to see it but by taking care of yourself more and more deeply we are able to feel more of the subtle feelings of anxiety and not let things escalate further. We often fight, accept, distract, harden and suppress our feelings when in fact just allowing ourselves to feel what is going on in any moment is the key and the power to unlock what and how the feeling is there in the first place. The more we stop running from feelings the simpler things become.

  70. “Each day I experience how my steadiness keeps me much more balanced and able to deal with life, moment to moment. My energy levels are sustained and I get to enjoy the day so much more.” I have experienced this too Ruth being inspired to be far more tender and caring with myself and when I truly support myself the steadiness I feel in my body supports me back.

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