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    Emma Leigh

    So,  since I was six  I’ve had a problem with getting randomly scared in random,  totally normal  situations.  Being in a dark,  silent room with no one to talk to.  Walking outside at night to get something from the car. Anything involving being in an isolated space with limited visibility,  or being alone.  I used to always repeat something I think is from the Bible,  “God made me of sound mind and body. I will fear no evil. “,  but since I started questioning Christianity,  that hasn’t worked.  Anybody have other good methods for controlling what I think is anxiety?


    Simon Paynton

    If you were a Buddhist, you might repeat to yourself, “may I be well, may I be happy, may I be peaceful”.  Try it, you might find it helps.



    Serenity prayers are now “Universe, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…. Yada, yada, yada.



    I can’t think of anything mantra-like, but some kinds of anxiety can be cognitively understood and soothed over time. It’s quite natural to fear the dark, since we still have the same genetic makeup we had long ago while facing survival challenges, e.g. with predators about. I suspect you know cognitively, i.e. common sense wise, that most anxieties you’re experiencing have no rational basis, but our deeper, emotional centers evolved to take flight or fight, on a millisecond’s notice. It’s easier for anxiety to rev up than it is for it to relax to a baseline, with stress hormones coming on like a firestorm, but then taking such a long time to wear off.

    So off the top of my head, even though I hardly remember those kinds of anxieties I had in my early days, metaphorically, perhaps those irrational threats one feels may be out there can be understood as reflections of one’s inner fears, as in fact, 99.9% of the time, that’s actually all they are. Let that .1% possibility keep you alert but not rule you.

    And don’t expect to solve these anxieties quickly, because it takes years for those frontal lobes to mature from experience and wisdom. Even then, in some cases like in people affected by traumatic events, the best treatment comes from professionals, and (come to think of it) best friends.

    This reminds me of an anxiety induced stimulus I used to enjoy watching my younger daughter suffer:



    I have developed an anxiety when driving on a highway contained on both sides with barriers. I was in an accident on a bridge and have relived that in dreams. So yeah, it takes me a while to get around now…country roads take me home.



    I find the lullaby from Thomas Pynchon’s V. (the period is part of the title) to be helpful:

    Dream tonight of peacock tails,
    Diamond fields and spouter whales.
    Ills are many, blessings few,
    But dreams tonight will shelter you.

    Let the vampire’s creaking wing
    Hide the stars while banshees sing;
    Let the ghouls gorge all night long;
    Dreams will keep you safe and strong.

    Skeletons with poison teeth.
    Risen from the world beneath,
    Ogre, troll, and loup-garou,
    Bloody wraith who looks like you,

    Shadow on the window shade,
    Harpies in a midnight raid,
    Goblins seeking tender prey,
    Dreams will chase them all away.

    Dream are like a magic cloak
    Woven by the fairy folk,
    Covering from top to toe,
    Keeping you from winds and woe.

    And should the Angel come this night
    To fetch your soul away from light,
    Cross yourself, and face the wall:
    Dreams will help you not at all.

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