I thought I’d share my experience with using Mind-Body approaches, including somatic tracking and emotional expression work, around anxiety. I can remember struggling with anxiety as far back as middle school, and in high school it got to the point where I had a full panic attack in front of my family. Fortunately, my mom was pretty pro-therapy, and I was lucky enough to be able to work with a therapist and learn about managing stress and generalized anxiety. That knowledge helped me through high school, college, and grad school.
When COVID hit though, I was transferred from my outpatient clinic at a large medical center onto the floors working with patients with active COVID. Not only that, but my roommates moved out (worried about my exposure to COVID on inpatient floors) and I went through a breakup after a 4 year relationship. Would’ve been perfect material for a sorrowful country song. And it was fertile ground for my anxiety to grow into a large and unwieldy beast.
I happened to be doing a lot of learning about Mind-Body approaches to pain at the time though, and found a special resonance with the work of James Pennebaker on expressive writing. I learned to better express and label my emotions on paper, and found this enormously helpful for moving through feelings of overwhelm, loneliness and fear. As I was taking Alan Gordon’s class on PRT, I also realized that I could use somatic tracking on my feelings of anxiety, and that the more I did this, over time the less intense those waves of anxiety became. Anxiety still comes up for me at times, but never lasts long and feels much more manageable with those tools in hand.
Does anybody else here have experience using Mind-Body approaches to anxiety? What’s worked for you?