If You Struggle With Anxiety, Read This Book

Anxiety is like a snake as it slowly slithers into your mind in the form of intrusive thoughts, debilitating fear, and rumination, until you come to realize that it’s taken a huge bite into your brain and poisoned just about everything. 

This feeling may be hard to understand if it isn’t something you’ve felt before. For me, anxiety has the ability to transform every thought and experience into a war-zone of confusion. Thoughts spin in circles around my mind and often contradict one another, each side always wanting to win. Anxiety feels similar to that feeling you get before you’re about to lead a presentation in front of hundreds of people, yet all the time. You may feel irritable, short of breath, low energy, and emotionally drained. The mind can feel like a prison, especially when you aren’t in control of your thoughts.

sad and alone girl breakup Photo by _Mxsh_ from Unsplash

I set out on a mission to find resources that would help better control my mind and came across a book called The Untethered Soul by Michael Alan Singer. Reading this book felt like a transcending experience, to say the least. Though I can’t come close to the ease and clarity with which Singer guides you through understanding your mind, I’ll try to explain the essence of the book. 

The Untethered Soul explains how we are separate entities from our thoughts. We are, in fact, the consciousness that observes our thoughts. We either let these thoughts pass or we grasp onto these thoughts - often those that evoke anxiety and fear, as they know how to trigger us based on our past experiences. It’s easy to spiral once you begin to ruminate on negative thoughts. Singer says this spiral can go as far as ruining your life. 

Person holding coffee and book Photo by Nathan Dumlao from Unsplash

Though you cannot completely eradicate the emergence of negative thoughts, the key is to allow these thoughts to pass through your mind, observing them without holding on. After all, you are the consciousness observing your thoughts and you ultimately hold the power. This is easier said than done; it takes much practice to do this successfully without simply ignoring or suppressing your thoughts and emotions. 

This may sound like a simple concept, but it’s something that I have yet to perfect and I’m sure many others struggle with. It may indeed be an overly simplistic evaluation of what anxiety really is. However, this book provided me with the comfort that I am ultimately in control. Anxiety often stems from lacking control and reclaiming this power can help many people, including myself, attempt to feel like an active agent in my brain rather than a helpless bystander. Hopefully this book can provide you some guidelines, too!