Which leads me to religion.
Most of us, at some point in our lives, will feel anxious about something. Like questions that have no answer. What happens when I die? Am I a good person? What is the universe? etc. Some of these dilemmas are unanswerable in fact (like what happens after death), while some are unanswerable because they are totally subjective.
There are people who do not fret too much about these questions, or don't fret about some of them. But there are people to whom these questions (or some of them) pose a 'real'* problem. This causes anxiety and what do we do to relieve anxiety?
We undertake safety behaviours.
I was tempted to post this in the 'Philosophy and Psychology' forum, but I feel it might get much more attention in this forum, so I would appreciate your views.
* I placed real in quotes because the problems are only perceived to be real, not experienced to be real.
Leo, it's funny you made this thread, I was just thinking about something along these lines lately. I have generalized anxiety disorder too they tell me. I guess I always knew, but I started back to school this last semester and the university offers some therapy sessions for whatever reasons we need them, but I thought I'd talk to her about my stress and anxiety which are major, I'm a perfectionist and worry about everything, most of all the "what if" scenarious, but anyway she had me get this workbook called The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne, supposedly a book that has had great success, lots of therapists use it, one of their top 10 recommended books, so it's established and such, but it has a section in there about spirituality, and I'd been thinking, well what if you just have no beliefs, you can't just really go pick up a spiritual belief. Anyway, it doesn't say so much religion, but really talks about the benefits of a belief in a Higher Power and says it "can provide you with an experience of inspiration, joy, security, peace of mind, and guidance that goes beyond what is possible in the absence of the conviction that such a power exists." He says the Higher Power could be something like Cosmic Consciousness, something like that, I might could get on board with that, but what he does say is of all the methods and guidelines suggested in this book (and there are tons of things, basically cognitive behavioral training stuff) but of all those things, he says a personal spiritual commitment is likely to reach the deepest in helping you overcome the basic sense of fear or insecurity that underlies all the types of anxiety disorders. He said all the "other methods work on different levels, spiritual awareness and growth can effect a transformation in your whole being. It can develop a basic trust that is unshakable." He says a number of his clients had major turnarounds as a result of cultivating their spirituality, provided them with moral support, courage, hope, and faith., a sense of not feeling alone in the universe. Anyway, it's a huge book and that's a small little section and he doesn't push it and emphasizes how important all the other areas are too, but I thought throw that out there coming from someone who specialized in treating anxiety. I'm not sure how on board I'm with that, I think it could work that way, but I always say if you can't believe in God, higher power, you just can't. Some people have experiences to believe it, but for me to convince myself for therapeutic reasons, well I just can't see being able to do that. They way they talk about it though makes me wish I could sometimes, but I may some day, who knows. He really, really puts emphasis on meditation; I am trying and it's one of the hardest things in the world to me, but maybe something spiritual might grow form that, but for the purposes they use it for is just mindfulness and stilling your mind, controlling thoughts, which is a huge problem of anxiety, those runaway uncontrolled thoughts. Like I said, I'd been thinking about this a lot recently since seeing the therapist and her telling me to get that book, so I don't know where I stand about it as of yet.
Edited by ChloeB, 09 May 2012 - 01:59 AM.