This is the fourth in a series of articles about self-care.
When we’re unaware of what’s happening within us, anxiety can easily arise. By being out of touch with what we’re experiencing, we’ve abandoned ourself. Although this experience of being unaware seems to be common, by learning to listen within, we can free ourself from anxiety and experience the peaceful truth within.
Are we willing to stop the drama?
In order to listen within, we need to be willing to stop being involved with dramatic situations. When we’re wound up in drama, though it may feel intense and possibly exciting, all our energy is going into the drama—the play and interplay between the people and things. At this point, there is no focus, no care and attention on how we feel, and what’s happening within us. Staying stuck in drama is how some people avoid becoming aware of how they actually feel within.
Why do we want to be aware of what’s happening within us?
Inner awareness relieves anxiety. Dr. Lori Haase and her team at University of California in San Diego have found that individuals who maintain awareness can adapt more positively to stress. “Individuals who maintain awareness can adapt more positively to stress. If we avoid awareness mentally, body awareness is also lost. When this happens, we are unaware of stress that builds, and by the time it becomes noticeable, it is at a very high and usually overwhelming level.”
So stop, drop and roll with it!
Just for fun, we’re going to play off of the fireman’s motto … stop, drop, and roll our body to extinguish a fire. For example, if our shirt is ablaze, rather than panic, scream, worry, complain, blame someone, gamble, beat someone up, eat, or head to the bar for a drink, we are advised to STOP whatever we may be engaged in. Then, we are to physically drop our body down to the ground. Then, we are to roll around on the ground until we put the fire out.
To apply the “stop, drop and roll” motto to how to relieve our own overwhelm and anxiety, we can stop placing our energy into people, situations and our own thoughts that are dramatic and a waste of our energy. We can drop our energy back into our own body and heart. And then, we can roll into listening within.
Listening within means checking in with ourself.
What’s initially needed to listen within is to have concern for how are we are. Just like we check in with friends and ask, “How are you?” We can ask the same question of ourself, and then, listen.
To listen, means to be with.
To be with our inner self, we need to know how to listen better. We may think we know what it means to listen, but I’m willing to bet that most people do not know what it means to truly listen. This seems evident by looking at our social media and politics and etcetera. So let’s talk about listening. Let’s start by describing what listening is not. Listening is not asking a question and then seeking, judging or fixing. None of those behaviors are listening. Those behaviors will actually shut the person down from talking and sharing their truth. Those ways of not listening will encourage people to hide who they are from us.
Let’s listen and be with ourself.
Listening within feels like approaching a person in a hospital bed, to visit them after surgery. The approach is gentle. It is caring. It is nurturing. It is loving. It is supportive.
Listening within relieves anxiety.
Just as being visited by a loved one makes us feel comforted, supported and protected, we can learn to relieve our own anxiety and suffering by listening to ourself, within. Because no matter what we hear, even if we don’t like what we learn, the fact that we are listening, still relieves suffering and anxiety. We don’t need to do anything with what we’re learning, we can simply be willing to listen with love.
Three steps to listen within.
- STOP and take time to listen. For me, this means removing my energy from distractions or drama and knowing that I am worth listening to.
- DROP energy into our own body and heart. For me, this means knowing that I matter, and that I will stay with the experience and not abandon myself in distractions or work.
- ROLL into listening. For me, this means observing my thoughts and feelings with kind curiosity, without fear or desire of any outcome.
Three affirmations to listen within.
Affirmations are loving word we can say to ourself to overcome feelings of unworthiness that we may have picked up. By saying these words, and fully feeling the highest meaning of them, we change the way that we see ourself—for the better. And that both relieves anxiety, and makes our life and world a more loving and peaceful place to be. Here are our affirmations to uplift, us as we learn to listen within. I say them internally or aloud, as needed.
- I do matter.
- I am worth listening to.
- I am important.
Rather than avoiding what’s within …
We can create a caring, safe inner-place to listen and provide our self with care. By doing so, we neither look to others, nor lean on them, to care for us. This allows us to feel noticed, appreciated, respected and cared about, by ourself. And, by caring for ourself rather than looking for others to care for us, we can simply share love with others, rather than needing something from them.
I encourage you, to give yourself the peace and safety of listening within. By doing so, you will always know that somebody cares. Let us know how applying today’s concepts works for you! We enjoy hearing from you 🙂
Always with love,