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Fighting Anxiety


Anxiety runs rampant in society today, and this is a real problem as a person can never be at their peak state if they are not calm. Rabbi Nachman teaches us the main obstacles people have today are ones they create in their own mind, and anxiety certainly fits this definition. Success is prevented by the doubts and negative thoughts in our minds. A person who spends the day filled with anxiety and worry has consistently high cortisol levels all day long, preventing them from focusing and functioning to the best of their ability. How can we go from fighting anxiety to calm confidence? We must build trust in Hashem!

Imagine you are married to a person whom you do not trust - what a miserable life this would be! All day long you would be worrying about what your spouse is doing, constantly texting them for updates as to their day. Without trust we have nothing at all. In order to fix our anxious thoughts, we must fix our beliefs, and our beliefs must come from our trust in Hashem. All Hashem wants is for us to put our trust in Him. When we do that, everything else is resolved! It is our worries and lack of trust which blocks the blessings from coming our way.

Calm confident people view life very differently than anxious people. Those who are calm and confident view life as a challenge, while anxious people view life as a threat. The anxious people are plagued by the nagging thought that they do not have what it takes to make it in life. Remember, Hashem is a co-creator with us, so he can only create that which we are manifesting through our thoughts and actions! An anxious mindset also makes it very difficult to have any willpower, as you will quickly question the point of attempting to exercise any strength of will and then give into your baser desire for instant gratification.

Trust is an all or nothing proposition, you either trust Hashem or you don’t, there is no half measure here! Today, so many people are experiencing financial problems, but rather than focus on their trust they focus on worrying about their finances, and that makes their finances worse. When a person has anxiety and depression their pipeline is blocked and they are unable to receive the blessings Hashem wishes to bestow upon them. Anxiety is tied directly to a lack of trust.

Many of us also crave control over people and situations in our lives. We fail to enjoy the journey because we are too focused on the outcome, when it is the journey that carries great importance! The purpose of the journey is to improve ourselves and bring us closer to Hashem, and the more we try and control the outcome the more Hashem says “you are absolutely out of control!” Think about how much time you waste each week worrying about things you have no control over. There is one thing you can control - what it is you are focusing on each day.

Working on oneself is a full-time job, so why intrude on that time by worrying about things outside of your control? The bottom line is no one is in control of everything in life, all we can do is try our best to shoot the arrow straight and true, where the arrow lands is entirely up to Hashem. By looking up to heaven, you are demonstrating your trust and building the vessel required to hold the blessings destined for you. Most of us have tried every other path to peace and success in this day and age - why not take it back to basics and try building your trust in God?

We all have areas of our life in which we see consistent success, and this can be attributed to the confidence we have in these aspects. The word confidence comes from the Latin for “intense trust” - go figure! Where there is trust, there is success, and where there is a lack of trust there is a lack of success. Look at how our financial markets operate: when there is confidence in a market money flows to that market, and when there is fear money flows right back out. Hashem blesses those he can trust, and he can trust those who place their trust in him.

People with a great deal of trust are blessed with good vision as well, and can see opportunities far away on the horizon. Those with no trust have a weakened vision blocked by their anxieties, and they cannot see more than a few yards ahead. The ability to see opportunities in life is directly correlated to the level of trust we have. Looking creates a vessel as when we see something we place it in both dimension and time. Shefa is always coming, how we bring it to us is through the Jewish law of attraction, and that law is based on trust!

The more you worry about something the less it comes to you, as your worry indicates a lack of trust and literally repels the blessings. Worry and anxiety also impede your breath, which eliminates your ability to practice contemplation. When we are anxious our breath is short and sharp, but when we are calm and confident our breath is slower and fuller, opening our minds and broadening our contemplation.

Suffering can also come from a lack of wisdom, this is why I am so obsessed with wisdom! The only way to get out of a problem is through applying wisdom and leaning into trust. Most people instead turn to worry and anxiety in the face of the problem, which blocks their progress to the solution! We need to realize that we are suffering in certain areas of our lives because we are carrying anxiety in those areas, which is shutting down our pipeline and blocking the blessings from flowing.

If we allow anxiety to accrue in our minds, eventually it overwhelms us and we shut down because we feel exhausted. Realize that it is not the situations themselves we find exhausting, it is our thoughts and feelings about the situations which are sapping our energy! In order to pivot from anxiety to trust we need to build a relationship with Hashem, and this is accomplished through prayer.

There is a reason why calm people seem to make more money while anxious people seem to have more struggles in life. This is due to how our beliefs manifest in our lives: your beliefs dictate your thoughts, which in turn create your speech. The Torah commands us to be careful what we speak about, because an open mouth is open to negative prosecuting angels. These angels take our words and say “as you say so shall it be!” Therefore when we say things like “oh, I can’t make money” or “oh, this will never succeed” these angels make it so. We cannot talk of defeat and expect victory in life.

Our speech also forms our habits, our habits create our values, and our values determine our destiny. As you can see, everything we have comes from our beliefs! Therefore, if you are struggling in your life, the first thing you should examine and repair is your belief system. Your beliefs need to be rooted in emunah - all suffering comes from a lack of emunah. When you have trust in Hashem no one can affect you negatively, so stop trying to figure out a shortcut to peace and success and start focusing on building your trust!

Chronic stress has a terribly negative impact on the brain, literally killing brain cells and eliminating our neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s natural ability to heal and grow. To top it off, most of the time the source of our stress is something we have absolutely no control over, so what is the point of stressing out about it? Focus instead on trust and getting to know yourself better, as this is a much more productive way to spend your time.

A person who is constantly disappointed in life will have a greater level of carnal desires - food, sex, money etc. This leads them to sin, perpetuating the negative thoughts and energy in their lives and causing them to miss out on opportunities and blessings. A happy person does not sin because a happy person has gratitude and contentment with their lot in life.

Blessings require vessels to be contained, and these vessels are born from our trust in Hashem. Without trust, you have no vessel, and without a vessel you cannot contain the flow of shefa coming to you. Some have asked why blessings must be received on a daily basis, rather than monthly or even yearly. This is because Hashem wants you to look up to heaven every day and renew your trust in Him!

Anxious people are in the future or the past, never the present moment. The first way to correct this and enter the moment is through correcting your breath. If you can master your breath, you have mastered your focus and can successfully enter the present moment. Rabbi Nachman teaches us that our soul is like a candle. A candle needs oil (intellect) in order to burn, but our heart blocks the flow of oil to the candle. Our breath cools the heart, opening us up to contemplation and allowing the oil to flow!

There is a lot of social anxiety in people today as well, which stems from a lack of confidence. What is the best way to get rid of social anxiety? Go embarrass yourself in front of Hashem! Once you’ve embarrassed yourself before your creator, what will you care about a little egg on your face in front of another person? It will mean nothing to you. In social situations one finds the smaller the mind, the bigger the mouth. Those lacking contemplation engage in social comparisons and gossip. Exit your mind and enter the moment, and your social anxiety will evaporate.

All of these solutions are rooted in building emunah and basing our belief system on emunah. Everyone has a sea in front of them they need to split, and we do this through a combination of prayer and action. Splitting our sea requires a great deal of trust and action on our parts, so stop focusing on things you cannot control and start focusing on building your trust so that you can have the calm confidence required to take action and split your sea!

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