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Deeper Perception Made Practical

Maybe You're Not as Anxious as You Thought

Just in time for Halloween, a terrifying topic

Just in time for Halloween, a terrifying topic

Today’s blog post is dedicated to Gladys, my first client for today. When asked how she was feeling, what was Gladys’s answer?

Anxious.

Look, Blog-Buddies. I had just done a skilled empath merge with this gal. What did I notice?

  • Big progress since our last session of aura healing and transformation.
  • A stronger grasp of human-type reality.
  • Some emotional vulnerability — nothing weird. Quite understandable, given some situations in her life right now.

No way did I notice acute anxiety. If I had, I would have referred her to a mental health professional. Like any practitioner of Rosetree Energy Spirituality (RES), I am qualified to help with emotional and spiritual growth. I’m not a licensed psychotherapist or counselor, not a psychiatrist. And I understand well my limits of practice.

However, two minutes of discussion cleared up the self-labeling as “Anxious.” Turned out, Gladys didn’t really mean a big-deal experience of “Anxious.” More like she felt a bit of trepidation.

And thus we were good to go. We proceeded to move forward with a session that helped Gladys move forward with her personal development.

Well, here’s my question to you: If Gladys wasn’t really “Anxious,” why did she describe her inner state with that word? See if you can guess, Blog-Buddies.

Such a Trendy Topic Now… Anxiety

Certain words come in and out of vogue. You could blame it on collective consciousness or whatever else you like.

Years ago, the big winner was “Narcissist.” Remember how common it was for folks to call other folks narcissists?

Still happens sometimes, but not nearly as much as it did years ago.

And maybe you can remember the “Codependent” fad, when that term was used so often. (My best friend at the time told me, with a straight face, “You know, 95% of people are codependent.”)

Correctly used, both these terms refer to significant psychological problems.

Check out these definitions of narcissism and codependence.

Casually used, of course, the words could be flung around to mean… practically anything.

How Ridiculous Is Today’s Anxiety-Naming?

These days, approximately 8 out of 10 of my clients will casually use exactly the same language as Gladys did today.

ROSE: “Please name one emotion you have right now.”

JOE: “Anxiety.”

GLADYS: “Anxiety.”

Afterwards, when I discuss the use of this very intense term, guess what? My client says, “Hey, I guess I didn’t really have anxiety.”

Note: Once this year I had a client who with a serious problem that might really have been acute anxiety. I don’t remember for sure if Joe literally used the word “Anxious,” nor did I make a “diagnosis,” not being trained as a mental health professional. But I sure found something very troubling during my Skilled Empath Merge with him. After some discussion with Joe, I recommended that he seek the help of a mental health professional and terminated our session.

Does intense anxiety show in a Skilled Empath Merge? Of course!

Anxiety, Acute Anxiety, Is a Big Deal

Counseling professionals describe many different mental health problems that are anxiety disorders.

According to healthyplace.com: “Fears are not normal, however, when they become overwhelming and interfere with daily living…. [they] are symptoms of an anxiety disorder, the most common and most successfully treated form of mental illness. As a group, anxiety disorders afflict nearly nine percent of Americans during any six-month period.”

And here is additional clarification from that same article:

“‘Anxiety’ is a word so commonly used that many people don’t understand what it means in mental health care. Complicating matters is the fact that ‘anxiety’ and fear are often used to describe the same thing. When the word ‘anxiety’ is used to discuss a group of mental illnesses, it refers to an unpleasant and overriding mental tension that has no apparent identifiable cause. Fear, on the other hand, causes mental tension due to a specific, external reason, such as when your car skids out of control on ice.”

So Do Yourself a Favor, Blog-Buddies

When you speak about how you feel, use words that apply to you. Don’t blurt out the trendiest psychobabble of the day.

(BTW, here is how I define “psychobabble”: Taking legitimate, helpful terms from psychology and playing around with them in a random way that distorts the meaning. By contrast, people sometimes use “psychobabble” to insult anything that is said about personal development, and I definitely don’t mean that.)

Media and entertainment often do all they can to arouse feelings of fear. In the evening news on TV, for instance, “If it bleeds, it leads.”

But you don’t have to live that way in the privacy of your own mind and heart. Or mouth.

Please, Use Appropriate Words to Describe How You’re Feeling

What is one way to have, and name, your very own feelings (that belong to you)?

For self-talk and when talking to others, don’t employ words that really belong to a mental health diagnosis.

Every time you refer to yourself incorrectly as feeling “ANXIOUS!!!” — ugh! You’re imprinting your subconscious mind with that exaggerated version of a common emotion. Fear is a part of life for everyone. While unpleasant, that isn’t as serious as anxiety.

Sure, anxiety is an emotion in the FEAR family. But there are so many other words to choose from, like these:

  • Antsy
  • Emotionally fidgety
  • Worried
  • Worrying
  • Uneasy
  • Concerned
  • Nervous
  • Apprehensive
  • Feeling insecure
  • Fretful
  • Fearful

Protect yourself from badmouthing yourself, insulting yourself, or scaring yourself.

Sure, Halloween is happening just this week. But you can let the holiday be about candy, not fear.

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Join the Discussion

  1. 1
    Kira says:

    I know people who have clinical anxiety. I can contrast how they describe it with how I felt when I thought I had it years ago. I also was clinically depressed, so my doctor tried Paxil, which is supposed to work for both.

    It didn’t really make me less depressed, but it did make me so apathetic that I didn’t want to bother doing anything about it. It took a lot of effort to get around to telling the doctor that I really needed something different.

  2. 2
    Kira says:

    It probably would have helped if I had read this post before telling the doctor I was anxious. I was more likely worried, feeling apprehensive, feeling insecure, fretful, or all of the above.

  3. 3
    Emily says:

    Ohhh, I definitely have been using this word when it wasn’t actually called for…

    Thanks for pointing this out!

  4. 4
    Isabella C. says:

    Very interesting and helpful!

  5. 5

    Appreciating all these comments, ISABELLA C. and EMILY and KIRA!

    And they don’t make me anxious in the least. 😉

  6. 6

    KIRA, I found your comment particularly fascinating because, from what I know, psychiatrists and others who dispense psychoactive medication DO depend on what a patient says.

    If the self-reported state is not languaged well, that can throw off the mental health professional.

  7. 7

    Actually one of my favorite types of session is to help psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to understand what is going on, aura-level, with some of their patients (or clients).

    For instance, I’ll pull out an energetic hologram of Client Joe at the start of the second session. And then I’ll research another energetic hologram of Client Joe at the start of the latest session, a year later, comparing what was going on with chakra databanks of interest.

    Soooooooo fascinating to add to the knowledge and skills of the mental health expert with answers to questions like:

    “What was going on with his verbal integrity?”

    “What was the quality of Joe’s emotional self-awareness?”

    Etc.!

  8. 8
    Kira says:

    Rose, my doctor was a general practitioner. She was able to treat my depression because I had been previously diagnosed by a psychiatrist. (I had diagnosed myself, but he agreed with my diagnosis after meeting with me.)

    I knew something about anxiety because I’d been getting annual publications for years about the latest research and treatment options for depression and anxiety; they’re found together often enough that they’re part of the same publication. But I didn’t know enough, it seems.

    I met the acquaintances with anxiety later.

  9. 9
    Kira says:

    I guess the point of my story is that you can know a lot and still not know enough. 🙂 And not necessarily enough to realize you don’t know enough.

  10. 10
    Irene Kr says:

    I would agree that using accurate words to describe what we feel is very important. What I find concerning here is the phrasing of this post makes me feel like you can’t call what you feel anxiety unless it’s super-intense and life-debilitating. In my experience of physical and mental health challenges – things like this come up gradually and seem like just how life is, even if to an impartial observer it is obvious and clear that it is super-intense and life-debilitating. It can be really difficult to see yourself and realize oh, this isn’t normal, this doesn’t have to be this way.

  11. 11
    Irene Kr says:

    I think words like this come up because that concept is ready to move out of collective denial and be recognized in collective consciousness. In the process of going from denial to recognition, it goes through a time of overuse. I don’t think that this makes it entirely “psychobabble” to be avoided at all costs for fear that you’re just jumping on the bandwagon and “badmouthing yourself”.

  12. 12
    Irene Kr says:

    I guess what I want to say here is that it’s important to learn lots of words for emotional self-expression and to use them with as much accuracy and self-awareness as possible, whether the word that feels right is the latest trend or not.

    And I also feel that each person has to work out the definitions of the word for themselves, hopefully staying fairly close to the dictionary, and then do the best they can to be clear in communicating with others what those words mean.

  13. 13
    Irene Kr says:

    I’m also feeling a bit confused. I have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, although it’s not the top of my list of diagnoses. Based on what I read in the links posted here, that diagnosis is accurate: an “unrealistic and excessive worry about life circumstances”. However, my impression from this post is that if I had a clinical anxiety disorder, you would not feel it was appropriate to continue sessions. So I’m confused since I keep getting to have sessions 🙂

  14. 14
    AJ McClary says:

    I spent many years trying to cure my anxiety with energy healing only to find myself with more and more anxiety. In June this year, I asked my doctor for help and she perscribed me an SSRI and it completely got rid of the anxiety. For the first time in my life, I don’t experience anxiety anymore and it’s amazing! My energy healing friends would cringe at the thought of me using an anti-depressant, but I have come to respect people in the field of medicine.

  15. 15

    Thanks so much, everyone, for all these comments. Several of yours, IRENE KR, are thought provoking in a way that really makes me want to respond.

    So I will!

  16. 16

    IRENE KR, I especially like this perspective in your Comment 11. It hadn’t occurred to me at all but resonates:

    “I think words like this come up because that concept is ready to move out of collective denial and be recognized in collective consciousness. In the process of going from denial to recognition, it goes through a time of overuse.”

  17. 17

    Responding to your Comment 13, yes, you bring the perspective of having been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Evidently this is something you have learned to live with, and my heart goes out to you for having gone through the many kinds of suffering you alluded to in your comments.

    Ongoing anxiety, so far? Yes. Acute anxiety while we were in session? No.

    Acute anxiety has not been significant at the level of your aura — which is my area of expertise, not using psychological criteria to make a diagnosis.

    Related point: During our sessions together (which I’m so glad you’re continuing to benefit from), we have not had the intention to “Deal with anxiety.” Because I would have NOT been qualified to help with that intention.

  18. 18

    I do help people who have had mental health diagnoses at one point or another, provided that they are not in a state of crisis now.

    And I do sometimes work with clients (not in a state of crisis now) who are under the care of a psychiatrist or other mental health practitioner; I just ask to be informed by my client.

    By contrast, if a client is going through an experience of intense anxiety at the time of our session, I won’t work with that client at that time.

  19. 19

    Appreciating you, IRENE KR, you have brought a welcome perspective to this thread because your experience has been unusual.

    When you notice anxiety, as someone with that diagnosis and history, it is quite different from the majority of people reading today’s blog post, who are coming from a different place.

    I’m so glad that you shared a contrasting perspective. Once again, I have been reminded by one of you Blog-Buddies that Rose Rosetree does not know everything.

  20. 20

    As noted in this article, I was commenting on a fad.

    My point overall was that lately the majority of my clients have used the word “anxiety” to describe how they feel. And not just one or two clients but the vast majority.

    Also, when I discuss the use of this very intense term, anxiety, most clients say something like, “Hey, what I feel isn’t really as strong as anxiety. It is more like worrying. I guess that I picked that other word because it was handy.”

  21. 21

    To be clear, I don’t have conversations with clients that involve negating their experiences. Instead I have asked many clients something like this:

    “You used a pretty intense word here, anxiety. Take a minute to think about that word. For what you have been feeling, was that really the description, anxiety? Could it have been something milder, like worried or a little bit of dread?”

    Not everyone is an artist with words. Many people don’t distinguish between all those words that were listed in this article. Sw what was I was doing here? Inviting you’all to notice the different shades of intensity.

    If anxiety dominates your experience, sure, say it. Don’t deny it. But feeling a bit of free-floating worry? That’s different.

  22. 22

    AJ MCCLARY, thanks so much for sharing your story.

    Well-prescribed medication is so helpful, and taking it is totally compatible with being a client for sessions of RES.

    As you may know, being a long-time reader of this blog, I encourage folks to get this kind of help when they need it. Important!

  23. 23
    Irene Kr says:

    Thank you, Rose. This makes it much clearer. And I’m glad I can keep having sessions 🙂

  24. 24
    Irene Kr says:

    This post is a great reminder to remember to look up the definition of these popular words and what that means in terms of one’s own personal experience rather than just relying on how others use them. As shown here, there are often many similar words that aren’t as trendy and may be more accurate to an individual experience.

    Clarity is important, especially when talking to doctors as Kira mentioned in comments #1 and #2. Those who do feel anxious and those who don’t can more readily understand themselves, communicate with others and access the support they need when words are used as clearly and accurately as possible.

  25. 25

    IRENE KR, communication is important in so many contexts.

    When I look back over OUR communication here today, I think it’s great how you dared to speak up and I dared to answer. Always with respect.

    Just doing our reasonable human best, we are making communication work. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if all blogs and social media exchanges allowed for simple, sweet, human communication!

  26. 26

    Incidentally, IRENE KR, when I played at the blog this morning I finally got around to answering another excellent communication opportunity, thanks to you.

    Yours was Comment 7 at “Whichever Cords of Attachment You Cut for Yourself, Avoid This Kind.”

  27. 27
    Kira says:

    In response to your comment 24, Irene, I should add that my not actually having anxiety might not be the reason Paxil acted so strongly on me. Psychiatric medications are part art, not all science.

    For all I know, I did actually have anxiety at a low level. I just think I could have described what I was feeling more accurately based on Rose’s post.

  28. 28
    Kira says:

    I too believe in communication. I don’t always get it right, but I do think about nuances of words. Enough for a friend of mine to use me as a connotation thesaurus on occasion.

  29. 29
    Kira says:

    When I was in college, I created my own Sociology course (after having audited the Death and Dying course) to study my own suicidal tendencies.

    (I was inspired by a book we read in the Death and Dying course about a girl who killed herself.)

  30. 30
    Kira says:

    The only assignment was my final paper; the professor told me that however I structured it (it could be an essay, but it didn’t have to be, and I made it a fictional short story), it had to provide a potential solution for feeling suicidal.

    Based on my previous comment, you can probably guess that I chose communication as that solution.

  31. 31
    Isabella C. says:

    If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a backlog of cords to facilitate cutting, don’t worry about it.

    I had many, many cords before crossing the threshold to Enlightenment.

  32. 32
    Isabella C. says:

    I still facilitate this kind of healing for myself regularly, usually once a week.

    And my list is still overwhelming.

    And I figure I will manage to reach further landmarks of personal development without ever getting this kind of list to manageable size.

  33. 33
    Isabella C. says:

    It’s just not possible unless you want to be a shut-in who also manages to not think about people!!

  34. 34
    Isabella C. says:

    Now one way I think of STUFF is as a tool for growth.

    Each time the 12 Steps to facilitate cutting a cord of attachment are used, you have a big opportunity for growth.

    Get the most out of it each time and you’ll grow faster than if you’re only looking at numbers.

  35. 35
    Isabella C. says:

    Growing as a person past the point of STUFF having a certain kind of effect on you (Enlightenment) is actually a much, much more realistic goal than “no STUFF” or “no more cords of attachment.”

  36. 36
    Isabella C. says:

    You will allllllwaayss have more cords you could facilitate cutting. As long as you’re alive.

    If you look for ’em, they’ll be there.

  37. 37
    Isabella C. says:

    (Unless, maybe, you’ve reached the level of an Ascended Master. Not sure about cords of attachment then. ? )

  38. 38
    Isabella C. says:

    This stands true for any kind of STUFF.

    If you notice energy STUFF instead of your human life, you will be overwhelmed.

  39. 39

    ISABELLA C., grateful for all your comments today as I am, Comments 37-41 really stand out as superlative.

    True in a way that most human beings don’t know yet.

    And, IMO, really important for personal development now, in this Age of Awakening.

  40. 40
    Dana says:

    Love reading your blog as always Rose! But I wanted to comment about the link to the definitions for narcissism and co-dependence.

    Those definitions appear to be the authors interpretations of the conditions rather than the ones that would be used for diagnosis. The ones for clinical diagnosis would be listed in the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual (DSM).

  41. 41
    Dana says:

    And co-dependence I don’t believe is in there, it’s more likely seen as a coping mechanism or defensive behavior related to a different diagnosis.

    Just wanted to mention this because I clicked on the co-dependence link and just personally disagreed on that particular definition.

  42. 42
    Dana says:

    My view on it is it is more a function of two people coming together and having a limiting belief that they can’t take care of themselves, so they make exchanges that humanly can’t be made in a functional way, like “I’ll manage your emotions if you save me from my Dad”, weird enmeshed sorts of deals.

    But that of course is not an official definition either. :).

  43. 43

    DANA, these are wonderful comments. Thank you!

    Regarding that link to codependence, you’re right. It wasn’t a DSM-style definition. (And FWIW I didn’t agree with it either, but it was an expert’s definition and….)

    Far as I can tell — again agreeing with you — I didn’t find a DSM 5 diagnostic-type definition for codependence.

  44. 44

    However there are plenty of DSM codes for people who engage in co-dependent behavior. That’s where the sorting out really becomes interesting.

    Does Joe have a Dissociative Identity Disorder? Maybe that is the mental health problem that keeps him locked into a codependent relationship with his mother.

  45. 45

    Does Joe’s mother, Gladys, have an Avoidant Personality Disorder?That could be playing out in her codependent relationship with her son Joe.

    (Scroll down to Screen 4 of the pdf to find diagnostic criteria.)

  46. 46

    So, DANA, you have helped me to make more clearly the point that I was attempting to make in the main article here.

    Casually used, the word “codependent” could be flung around to mean… practically anything. Whereas a mental health professional might be able to help Joe or Gladys start to change patterns of codependent behavior, using expertise that includes appropriate diagnosis.

  47. 47

    As for personal development, Joe or Gladys might get help in other ways, too. Such as Melody Beattie’s bestselling book “Codependent No More.”

    Although not the same thing as being in session with a mental health professional, this self-help book offers a definite point of view and a specific approach to self-help.

    Very different from just commenting casually, “Oh, that Joe is so codependent.”

  48. 48

    Alternatively, Gladys or Joe might seek help from a 12-Step program for codependents.

    There, too, people are helped by rules, standards, and expertise that has proven helpful for many.

    Becoming involved in this 12-step program is very different from speaking in ways where — meaning to or not — somebody might randomly accuse another person of “Being codependent.”

    Likewise with calling people “narcissists.” Likewise with using the word “anxious.”

  49. 49

    There’s a world of help and healing available to people who have problems.

    What isn’t so helpful?

    To fling out those big-deal words because they are commonly used any which way and, thus, easily come to mind.

  50. 50
    Irene Kr says:

    AJ, this story (comment #14) is so important. There is tremendous power in (skilled) energy healing, yet we’re also dealing with human bodies. This means that sometimes a biochemical treatment is the needed and best tool for a given situation. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  51. 51
    Irene Kr says:

    Rose, re comment #25 – thanks! It’s great to be able to participate and clarify and make communication work 🙂

  52. 52
    Irene Kr says:

    Isabella C., thanks for your comments #34-41. This is what I’ve been finding as I’m cutting cords.

    I sit down with the idea that I’ll cut a cord, but my first step is actually to clarify the intention of what I want to have change in my life. For example, I wanted to more completely release baggage from a former home and feel more at home in my current living situation, so I ended up cutting a cord of attachment to a former landlord.

    And then I also get the improvement in other relationships and life circumstances that come with the learning and releasing stuff from that cord. It’s so much less pressure than thinking about all the cords I must still have, when I’m enjoying the process of learning as I go through one by one 🙂

  53. 53
    Irene Kr says:

    Kira, re comment #28 “connotation thesaurus” – you too?? I try my best to communicate effectively and the right words help sooo much.

    (So does dealing with stuff so I can see myself and what I mean more clearly, but that’s a whole other topic!)

  54. 54
    Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for this post Rose! As someone with bipolar disorder and clinical anxiety (I take medication for both), it is uncomfortable and disheartening when someone says oh I have anxiety, when all they mean is they’re worried.

    Or saying someone is acting bipolar when they’re in a bad mood.

    It negates and minimizes the lived experiences of someone who actually struggles with these intense medical conditions.

  55. 55
    Jennifer says:

    Language is so important! And I’m a lawyer so I feel particularly strongly about accurate communication. ?

  56. 56
    Jennifer says:

    Not to mention it’s essential when educating people about mental disorders, so as to eliminate stigma and misunderstanding.

  57. 57
    Jennifer says:

    Then others can understand the intense suffering that people with mental illness go through, so (I hope) we as a society can move beyond blaming people for their mental health problems and help those who can’t help themselves.

    Once again an insightful post, which was much appreciated.

  58. 58

    From today’s “Health Section” in The Washington Post, Page E3, has this article: “Simply saying ‘thank you’ may be a way to reduce your own anxiety, a study finds.

    Here’s the context:

    “Anxiety tends to turn people inward, make them more introspective and less socially engaged. Previously, scientists have shown that people who are more self-focused experience greater levels of anxiety.”

  59. 59

    Two researchers from the University of British Columbia found that any kind act towards others appeared to benefit people and reduce anxiety. Even something as simple as saying, “Thank you” to a bus driver.

    With my model about limiting Technique Time, we have another way to look at this, eh?

  60. 60

    Introspection all day long leads to spiritual addiction and vibrational imbalance.

    By talking to people, including little “Thank you’s” — what happens? Awareness is positioned vibrationally at human-level reality.

    This can help you live in human-based spirituality. Which, in my experience helping clients, does help people to have less fear, more enjoyment of life.

  61. 61
    Sarah says:

    Rose,

    That makes a lot of sense! It also explains why selfless service is sometimes recommended for reducing anxiety or other mental/emotional distress that is not too extreme.

    Gee, just going out into the world and doing things… (in this case, specifically in service to others). Seems like that might be good for reinserting someone into human life!!

  62. 62
    Sarah says:

    Amusingly, now that I reflect on it, so many other suggested activities have this “reinsert yourself into human reality” quality in common.

    Exercise, gardening, crafting, going for a walk, playing with pets…

  63. 63
    Rachel says:

    Oh, lovely comments Rose! I really like this.

    I have been noticing for myself that, by comparison with previous ‘eras’ in my life, I am hugely enjoying the many small exchanges that happen on a daily basis – such as smiling at someone walking their dog, saying hello, chatting to someone on a train, chatting to a salesperson in a shop.

    I am really noticing how such small things can make me feel so much more connected with the world, and connected to people in my community (and thereby hopefully less introspective!).

  64. 64

    Reading about your happiness just makes my day, RACHEL. 🙂

    Let’s just give due credit to times of being introspective, such as writing (!) or other art forms, or using one’s Technique Time on something personally introspective.

    It’s a matter of proportion, right? I think of you, along with many other Blog-Buddies, as having beautiful talents and skills related to introspection.

  65. 65

    Here’s an interesting look at how paying simple human attention to an everyday chore can help a person to feel better.

    No, it’s not from “The New Strong.” It’s here:

    http://www.spring.org.uk/2015/10/the-daily-chore-that-can-increase-mental-stimulation-and-decrease-anxiety.php

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