I have had the extraordinary experience over the last few weeks of feeling that all anxiety has finally faded away. My mind keeps filling with an image that between the current moment and existential anxiety (that we cannot remove because it is part of our existence) there is simply nothing to be anxious about. My red zone has finally faded away.
This has been a long-term process with three main stages.
The first stage – some five or six years ago - was a sudden removal of ‘automatic anxiety’ i.e. the automatic heightened response to anything new or to something going wrong or happening in an unexpected way. For me, this was a shift from the left hemisphere automatically putting its hand up to handle events -with its lack of control over red zone triggering – to the right hemisphere being the first responder which can modulate this automatic response.
The second stage, amusingly, was what I used to call ‘second-order’ anxiety. Something would happen, I wouldn’t feel any anxiety and my mind would get anxious that I wasn’t being anxious saying, in effect ‘why aren’t you anxious, something has gone wrong, this could be terrible, wake up’.
Gradually, this faded away so that I was mainly free of any form of anxiety except if something seriously did go wrong (or at least my mind thought it could) i.e. my red zone still existed but was rarely triggered.
Now though, I get the distinct impression that my red zone has, finally, faded away altogether. I always believed that this was possible and now I know that it is.
The mechanism I have persistently followed is to place my attention as much as humanly possible on the world outside of myself and particularly onto other people with curiosity, kindness and compassion.