Combining the theories and principles of psychiatry and Judaism, there is a three-step method to cope with mental health disorders and achieving inner peace.
Unsurprisingly, this is the era where everyone seems anxious all the time due to the demands of current society, work, family, and relationships. People’s concerns are no longer focused on personal aspects of their lives, but they are more physically and emotionally invested in what is happening globally.
With a lot of therapeutic solutions currently available to cope and manage anxiety, there is a unique approach that is designed with Judaism and psychotherapy in mind. The goal of this technique is reducing anxiety by looking and searching within oneself and figuring out how to liberally express one’s fears, emotions, and concerns authentically.
This three-step process of dealing with anxiety is primarily centered on personal alteration. The core is focused on self-awareness, self-control, and self-transformation.
The First Step: Self-Awareness
What we are worried about, what we tell ourselves, and the reason behind the worries are the primary contexts of people’s internal dialogue. Founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, acknowledged the subconscious influence on a person’s behavior. Anxiety, therefore, is commonly a result of an individual’s innermost thoughts, fears, and concerns.
Anxiety is entrenched from traumatic or stressful situations encountered that made a person feel scared, helpless, and hopeless. Other reasons for anxiety disorders to surface and debilitate are destabilizing traits and behaviors like procrastination, excess controlling or manipulation of oneself, and low self-confidence.
“Self-consciousness and self-awareness are sometimes healthy signs of emotional maturity. They can help you fit in and function within a community,” says Timothy J. Legg, PhD, CRNP.
Once the person has figured out what makes him or her anxious, it is easier for that person to resolve persistent anxiety issues.
The Second Step: Self-Control
The moment people understand the characteristics and nature of their worries, they can gain conscious and vigilant control of the source by utilizing what the Jews call “soul garments.” Soul garments are people’s powers of action, thought, and speech that can either be used separately or in combination with one another. Self-control can be achieved through the following:
- Challenging one’s irrational thinking through the realization that worries are often rooted in a person’s illusionary understanding of certain situations happening in one’s life. These illusions that people often delve into cause possible breakdown of rational thinking which can instantaneously lead to envisioning the worst, bringing things out of proportion.
- Sharing your worries about something that affects your life is crucial in reducing anxiety. Gaining insight has already paved the way for valuable perspective which is why it’s entirely appropriate to articulate worries and feelings. According to Jewish teachings, even if you don’t partake in sharing these negativities with people, you can still air them out to God.
“One 2011 survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 27 percent of respondents identified a lack of willpower as the primary factor keeping them from reaching their goals,” says Steven Gans, MD. He added that “the majority of people surveyed believe that self-control can be both learned and strengthened.”
- Confronting your fears with your head held up high can help a person succeed in overcoming anxiety. By implementing a scheme to deal with specific concerns, you are facing parts of your fears that contribute to the lessening of your tension and at the same time, gaining more control of yourself and your situation. The Jews believe that confronting what scares you efficiently works in relieving anxiety because being actively persistent in altering internal patterns does wonders for the brain.
The Third Step: Self-Transformation
After you’ve surpassed gaining insight and control of your thoughts and feelings, it is now time for self-transformation.
Here, a person is now ready to challenge and change the underlying reason or trait which causes the anxiety attack, with the hopes that the condition will no longer occur severely. Repetition is critical. When people repeat appropriate, positive behavior in dealing with their anxiety, they are nurturing beneficial habits and relieving themselves of negative traits.
Having Faith In One’s Psychology
Basically, when dealing with inner peace, the concept of behavioral therapy is applied. According to Andrea Brandt, PhD, MFT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy “is a popular and proven technique to treat anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety and social anxiety. CBT is a short-term treatment aimed at developing skills to help you alter emotional responses that are harmful to your wellbeing.” By focusing on oneself, finding the antagonist, and putting an end to its existence through the act of gradual, continuous exposure and transformation, one will be able to tolerate the thoughts and emotions which keeps anxiety at bay. Aside from that, people who engage in these steps tend to know more about themselves and, along with their journey of self-discovery, is also a journey of developing new strengths.
One does not have to be an expert to achieve such valuable anxiety-calming techniques in their lives. However, it is quite helpful for people to know how to deal with worries and fears if ever they arise in the future.