Author Topic: Managing Anxiety  (Read 9028 times)

Offline James Williams

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Managing Anxiety
« on: June 21, 2013, 05:03:18 AM »
A very informative article on managing anxiety from Noel...and on dispelling mistakes of the intellect...from a cognitive-behavioral perspective...

http://www.noeltyl.com/insights/020629.html

Creative Connections & Client Communications 

Managing Anxiety

The Time Magazine cover story, June 10, 2002 is on “Understanding Anxiety,” and so are the powerful pages in Synthesis & Counseling in Astrology, 351-365, and 378.

Several times in the excellent Time article, the point is studied, “Are some of us just born more nervous than others?” Is anxiety “hardwired in our brains?”

The Time report and we astrologers do agree that, yes, the propensity for worry, for preoccupation with fears, for headlong drops into depression are part and parcel of being who we are as individuals. Our brains are “hardwired” to one degree or another, into one set of directions or another. Indeed, parental modeling plays a great role [See The Astrology of Intimacy, Sexuality & Relationship]. But each of us seems to have a differently respondent rapport with the “sort of feeling that sneaks up on you from the day after tomorrow.” We can feel how we’re programmed to react, to behave, and it appears unavoidable and distressful.

I was pleased not to read in the report anything astrology doesn’t know. We have done our homework over the years and we assimilate the concept of anxiety well in our modern era. We’ve been guided strongly and effectively by psychology theorists like Rollo May who states flat out that anxiety is essential to the human condition, that it keeps us alive. He says “The positive aspects of selfhood develop as the individual confronts, moves through, and overcomes anxiety-creating experiences.”

Psychology theorists like Harry Stack Sullivan who emphasized that “the self is formed to protect us from [debilitating] anxiety.”

Theology theorists like Paul Tillich showing how important and interelated are the critical anxieties about death, meaninglessness, and guilt; and Soren Kierkegaard, “the more original a human being is, the deeper is his anxiety,” i.e., that person has more resources, options, decisions to make, paths to travel … [and] anxiety is always oriented toward freedom. Anxiety is the fuel to get us to freedom.

We’ve been guided as well by the grand psychological school of thought we call Behaviorism, all about respondent conditioning: we do “this” because of “that” and a chain of cause and effect is created.

I long ago submitted that astrology records not coercive pushes by fate but reflects guidelines to understanding an essential developmental process over time, fraught with growing pains. The horoscope shows the developmental tensions within the conditioning process in relation to the key areas of our individual personality growth. The judgements of these tensions that give them value evolve within the person during her or his emergence into adulthood, as experiences are assimilated, points of view are established, and behavior patterns are routinized. –People do things; planets don’t.

I was glad to see in the Time article the inclusion of a “What you can do” section that covered Behavioral Therapy, Antidepressants, Tranquilizers, Exercise, Alternative Treatments, and Life Style changes. And, as well, that which I think astrology can accomplish so well with clients who are dealing with nagging tensions or out-and-out anxiety patterns: Cognitive Therapy

Time reports: “Rather than expect patients to embrace anxiety, cognitive therapists encourage them to use the power of the mind to reason through it … to reconfigure their view of the world and develop a more realistic perspective on the risks or obstacles they face.” [Read that again, please.]

Now, all of these clinical references need not frighten us away. The references are precisely what we astrologers do in a rich consultation: we help the client understand creatively the connections between feelings/behavior and the sources of those emotive patterns, which very often occur in early life development.

Cognitive Therapy In the 1970s, two psychoanalysts, Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck, focused on the importance of their clients’ thoughts and beliefs about themselves. “Cognitive Therapy” embraces a number of psychotherapeutic approaches that have in common the assumption that our thoughts or cognitions (what we know) have a great influence on our emotions and the actions we take in life.

We all, to one degree or another, take on emotional disturbance because of the unhelpful way we [can] think about ourselves. --Think about that statement!.

This theorization is very powerful and was the beginning of our seeing depression as unexpressed anger being turned inwards. Phrases like “maladaptive thinking” and “overcompensatory or displaced reactions” became important to describe cognitive therapy at work.

**Frequently, into the place where I have lunch practically every weekday, a lady arrives with most subtle inner-self fanfare hinted at in her walk and demeanor. She comes in alone; usually there are friends in the café whom she joins after placing her order.

When she enters the café, her face lights up noticeably, a Leonine entrance –for herself or for whoever may be watching; she checks right and left, without really seeing; her arms lift reflexively about 4”, as if to begin to say “Hi!” to everyone. All these movements are spontaneous in start-up and then muted; held in check in expression, but they are there. Then she goes directly to put in her order, eyes straight ahead. –This lady makes these moves every day, even when there is no one there whom she knows!

It is as if she fears people whom she may join are talking about her arrival or will not receive her with a secure-making welcome. There is a behavioral knee-jerk, highly conditioned and patterned behavior going on here, which is just fine, but it is certainly a clear symptom of her mind working anxiously against her. --Where was she rejected routinely before? Why do those conditions still exist, perhaps 40-some years later? How real are they? If she understood this, maybe she could lose weight, feel less socially ill at ease, avoid the routined anxiety about entering a public place, etc.

I have subsequently found out this super-nice lady’s birth data: she has Pluto square her Taurus Sun, a Leo Ascendant, and Saturn retrograde. We are seeing the stifled pride still trying to emerge through confinements.

Explaining anxiety concerns/conditions like this to clients, with clients, is not difficult if we astrologers understand first, if we do our homework, read and study, and observe. Our job is not to read a planetary riot-act and pronounce gloom and doom; rather, our mission it is to support and free up our clients; to help with efficiency, helping to cast off extra, useless baggage, and illuminate the individual’s light as never before within the human condition.

Astrology is at one voice with the Time report.
"Time is a trick, a vast illusion...Yet there is a plan behind appearances that does not change. The script is written. For we but see the journey from the point at which it ended, looking back on it, imagining we make it once again; reviewing mentally what has gone by"  (Jesus).

Offline James Williams

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Re: Managing Anxiety
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2013, 08:49:26 AM »
Similarly, here's an informative article on 10 Cognitive Thinking Errors, based upon cognitive therapy...every consulting astrologer should be aware of them... ;)

http://powerstates.com/10-cognitive-thinking-errors#.UcSDdr7D_IU
"Time is a trick, a vast illusion...Yet there is a plan behind appearances that does not change. The script is written. For we but see the journey from the point at which it ended, looking back on it, imagining we make it once again; reviewing mentally what has gone by"  (Jesus).

Offline In Stitches

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Re: Managing Anxiety
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2013, 05:35:21 PM »
Hi James.

I think this works better for some than for others. I had cognitive behavioral therapy for about 6 months and had to quit because it was making me so anxious. The therapist memorized these 10 rules and interrupted me whenever I broke them to correct my erroneous thinking.  It was like talking to a bottle of white-out.

I went to a lecture given by the psychiatrist who allegedly invented cognitive behavioral therapy and it was nothing like my therapy.  The guy showed a video of a couple of sessions.  He was reacting to his client's behavior and conversation like a normal person.  I think he actually managed to calm one patient down and change her thinking by using humor, not by using rules.  He repeated something she said and laughed at how absurd it was.  I would have wanted to hit him if I had been there but it worked on her.

Offline James Williams

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Re: Managing Anxiety
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2013, 04:10:03 AM »
Yes, In Stitches, I agree...certain rules or principles may indeed be valid, yet handled carelessly by others...
"Time is a trick, a vast illusion...Yet there is a plan behind appearances that does not change. The script is written. For we but see the journey from the point at which it ended, looking back on it, imagining we make it once again; reviewing mentally what has gone by"  (Jesus).

Offline pdw

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Re: Managing Anxiety
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2014, 09:31:08 AM »
Hi robynne, wishing you the best and continuing progress.

I’m sharing an article I read a few months ago written by Scott Stossel, editor of The Atlantic which is a respected magazine here in the states. He writes about his lifelong experience with serious anxiety and explores possible nature-nurture causes (genes and role modeling). A candid and impressive article, I thought, fitting his Leo Sun-Gemini Moon.  

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/01/surviving_anxiety/355741/
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 11:57:06 AM by pdw »

Offline Don Borkowski

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Re: Managing Anxiety
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2015, 12:10:19 PM »
I would guess that any normal Leo would love public speaking.  I know I do.

Don Borkowski
True astrology is that which can be taught to other people who can then replicate the teachers' conclusions through their own effort.  --Don Borkowski in July 1983 issue of MERCURY HOUR

Old Guy in Astrology

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Re: Managing Anxiety
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2016, 11:02:26 AM »
I would guess that any normal Leo would love public speaking.  I know I do.

Don Borkowski

I should think that identifying being a sun in Leo as loving public speaking would be such a linear statement in the face of an extremely chaotic/complexity system as to be not worth discussing.  Anxiety disorders are brain disorders and bring in all aspect of the Quadrune Brian(pre-frontal cortex, cerebrum, limbic system, reptile brain).  I used to hate speaking in public, but I learned how to do it, even extemporaneously, because I had to do it. 

Its several orders of magnitude more complicated IMO.

Offline Hudson Valley Astrologer

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The Achievement Cycle
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2016, 04:41:50 AM »
Kahnahmen and Tversky won the Nobel prize in economics for identifying what they termed Economic Behavior which has morphed into an entirely separate discipline in financial circles... essential these behavior mark "cognitive errors" we all make in planning, saving, investing and spending our money.

Odd that these gentlemen were/are in fact psychologist and not economist. I think they borrowed liberally from cognitive disciplines but their brilliance was applying their observations to real time practical issues about how we observe phenomena in the world... examples that are most popular are the biases we hold around self-assessment... A superiority bias inclines us to rate our driving habits well above average... some survey suggest in excess of 90%... other biases like the bias for survival to generalize a normal distribution can distort our view of what we consider average... here is a crazy example from wikipedia... "In a study performed in 1987 it was reported that cats who fall from less than six stories, and are still alive, have greater injuries than cats who fall from higher than six stories.[9][10] It has been proposed that this might happen because cats reach terminal velocity after righting themselves at about five stories, and after this point they relax, leading to less severe injuries in cats who have fallen from six or more stories.[11]

Another possible explanation for this phenomenon would be survivorship bias. Cats that die in falls are less likely to be brought to a veterinarian than injured cats, and thus many of the cats killed in falls from higher buildings are not reported in studies of the subject.[12]" (Interesting example given our mention of Leos. I would not recommend duplicating this experiment and displacing cats with Leos. That might suggest real anger issues.)

Anxiety it seems to me both helps and hurts individuals on the wheel of progress... what side of the Achievement Cycle you are on will be most important as to whether or not your progress is forwarded or retarded by anxiety. 

All the best,

HVA

Tim Neilson

Offline Hudson Valley Astrologer

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Re: Managing Anxiety
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2016, 06:31:25 AM »
The term is Behavioral Economics...  :o

Old Guy in Astrology

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Re: The Achievement Cycle
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2016, 08:26:19 AM »

Anxiety it seems to me both helps and hurts individuals on the wheel of progress... what side of the Achievement Cycle you are on will be most important as to whether or not your progress is forwarded or retarded by anxiety. 


Very difficult to grow without at least some level of anxiety.

Offline Hudson Valley Astrologer

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Re: Managing Anxiety
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2016, 01:51:20 PM »
Agreed...  :)

The achievement cycle I think presumes an efficient use of energy...

Making a Goal leads to Action leads to thinking about it leads to feelings generated by progress (or lack thereof) and this represent a virtuous cycle even with anxiety present (where the results do not generate good feeling but instead anxiety).

Underachievement looks more like Having a Goal leads to feelings leads leads to thinking about it (ruminating) leads to doing something (nothing) about it... this is a decidedly un-virtuous cycle...

One of the arguments I would make as to why "Cognitive" therapy often fails is due to the fact that clients do not DO enough and get caught up in the un-virtuous cycle... not always of course... but that under-achievement pattern is very difficult to break...

Great article...

HVA

Offline Hudson Valley Astrologer

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Re: Managing Anxiety
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2016, 08:23:17 AM »
Rethinking Stress: The Role of Mindsets in Determining the Stress Response
Alia J. Crum and Peter Salovey Yale University
Shawn Achor Good Think, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Initially I attached this paper... it is fascinating in the context of Noel's work...

"Shifting" one's mindset is a distinct and meaningful variable influencing outcomes related to performance and productivity, health and well-being, and learning and growth... as much as the research acknowledges stress/anxiety being an important driver, the outcome is highly correlated it seems to how we think about stress/anxiety, our mindset. Makes all the sense in the world when we consider that Mercury and Uranus are often involved. Considering how the third house and its rulership plays into this study...

It seems an equally important observation the 'chronic' stress is/can be debilitating to outcomes. Do we see the different potentials in the chart? Is the chronic debilitation example a third house under stress?

Such an important topic in our day... in the age of anxiety...

If you would like a copy of the paper please message me privately... I'm sure it would be OK to attach it but I am being mindful of the copyright... and do not want to call unnecessary attention to our host...

All the best,

HVA

Tim

Offline pdw

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Re: Managing Anxiety
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2016, 06:46:29 AM »
Hello Forum, this may be off topic but I noticed a transiting synchronicity that may have tuned some of us into anxiety: This thread was resurrected on April 7 with the Aries New Moon conjunct transiting Uranus – potentially a trigger for anxiety, excitement, new experience or interest, in the days around the New Moon.   

One person I know had a very stressful day on April 8 (with T New Moon-Uranus conjunct his N Mercury-Moon and squaring N Neptune): He lost his driver’s license, and the dog got out and ran away. He managed to find both by end of the day.

One early-rising older person I know had an exciting unusual experience on April 8 (with T New Moon-Uranus opposing N Neptune): She went to a concert with loud fun music, and managed to sleep late the next morning.

Your New Moon examples of anxiety-excitement?