JOY: The Journal of Yoga
Too many of us, have throughout or at times in our lives suffered from anxiety and all of the attendant thoughts and feelings that go with anxiety.
We sometimes may think that this is a condition that women predominantly suffer from and their may be some basis for such a deduction, but whoever it is, man or woman, child or adult, anxiety creates many problems.
There certainly are a number of issues and threats that women have to deal with that may make them more susceptible to anxiety.
There is the fear of being alone, or attacked, or getting older, the children leaving home, changes in the body and mind because of menopause and conflicted and confused feelings regarding sex and sexual intimacy.
Before I am accused of being someone engaged in gender bias, I would say that what I share with you is only a repetition of what many of the women that I have taught Yoga to over the years have relayed to me, not my own opinions.
Anxiety can manifest itself and lead to us feeling fear and confusion in our own home, perhaps even to other members of our household and family.
Anxiety may prevent or hinder us from having any kind of knowledge or appreciation of our individual gifts, skills and talents or it may be denying us the opportunity to explore and develop them.
Chronic anxiety and fear will also make us unmindful and unappreciative of the many fine things that we have in our life, a job, a place to live, food and clothing and the opportunities that the country and cultures that we live in for provide us for enjoyment or cultivating ourselves as human beings.
We may get so lost in our feelings of anxiety and fear, that we feel that this is the reality of life.
We may not see or perceive life as being any other way.
We may not see that we can be something else.
We lose track of what we were once were or how we can be something better.
As with all issues regarding self–esteem and our self–image, we may need to find someone to discuss these things with.
Sometimes the best person is a therapist, as those in our environment may not be understanding or supportive of our condition and our need to get over it.
They may not be able to see the debilitating effects of our condition.
They may for some reason want to keep us in such a condition, knowing that when we are in this dark and ignorant state, we are more dependent on them or they can manipulate or use us as they wish.
They may not be able to help us get to a better place because they also have a number of issues and hindrances that are darkening their lives, consciousness and energy.
Yoga and Buddhism and the various mental and physical disciplines that make them up have been found to be effective in lessening tendencies to anxiety and fear in those who have learned and practiced them.
In fact, one would go so far as to say that if one was sincere and diligent with their practice, not expecting too much, seeing the small changes that are happening and not giving up too quickly or abandoning their study and practice of these disciplines, all who practice them would have positive results.
This scripture can, if we see it with balance and clarity, remind us of what we can be, and perhaps inspire some to make the effort, whatever it may entail.
“For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self–control” – 2 Timothy 1