Have you noticed that there is a LOT of talk about going inside yourself and feeling into yourself lately?
Inwards. Inwards. Inwards.
A full immersion and enquiry of ourselves with the aim of providing deep insight and clarity.
But is it always the best solution?
Im all for it. At the right time and in the right circumstances, but I admit that sometimes I feel the urge to scream and break free, and I truly wonder if going inwards is always the right thing to do?
In the case of thyroid anxiety I don’t believe that it is.
Yes, I know reflection is often meant to be uncomfortable and that it is a process to work through. I totally get that and do it often, but maybe my slightly old-school family are right when they remind me that ‘life is for enjoying’ and that ‘sometimes distracting yourself from a problem feels a lot better and kinder?’
I believe that there is a delicate line surrounding this topic, and which perhaps within the wellbeing world we may have felt pressured to lean slightly too far off centre at times.
Has anyone else felt pressure to always immerse inwards?
I know I shift about on this line, changing my view, never quite sure what to do?
At times it becomes more of a hinderance than a realistic help if I am honest.
….And yet, even as I say that I feel the need to justify all the reasons why inner work is profound too. Because it really is.
The bottom line which I keep on coming back to – with everything – is to trust my own instinct and be my own pilot. Ironically in order to be fully competent in the driver’s seat a fair amount of inner work does already need to have taken place – as it has with me. You need to be sure that your intuition is practised and strong and that any rejection of further work of this kind is not simply hiding or running from the truth.
For instance, whilst mind and body are truly connected in every way possible, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the thought pattern has to be the response leader in altering a situation. True, it may often be amazingly effective but sometimes – much like a pill or a supplement – it too in fact can be a bandaid.
I think that statement in itself may be unsettling for some…. but it needn’t be. For me personally, the mindfulness tools and practices I use are fabulous and they keep me sane and they can calm me down. This is powerful stuff. I use them as a discipline and way of life. No debate. However, there are times when I know a symptom is originating from a physiological imbalance (and yes i know that there are studies of mind techniques which can alter brain chemistry and even genetics) and I instinctively know I need outside help. That my body is screaming at me to find out what it needs and let it have it. To choose the easy approach actually.
Often the right approach is the easy approach.
It doesn’t always have to be hard.
I guess if something works for you then you will naturally fight for it. Results speak volumes. But if it doesn’t then don’t be afraid to add more to the mix, or to change direction completely even.
My own experience right now is one encased in strong physical and thyroid anxiety. I feel it all over and all around. Im in tune enough to know that this doesn’t stem from an emotional reason. Im practiced enough to accept that mindfulness techniques are not shifting things, and Im precise enough – in my ever evolving intuition – to specifically pinpoint this down to hormone and thyroid anxiety – the worse kind of anxiety for me.
Im stuck between a rock and a hard place in my never ending journey to tolerate enough thyroid medication which you can read more about HERE. Too low, and the stress hormones come out to party liberally throwing their glow sticks of fear and terror about freely, whilst increasing my thyroid dose initiates another equally debilitating set of emotions.
Ive spent years trying to figure out exactly what is happening. Far too many actually. Im constantly pondering whether the immune modulating effect does something crazy to the LYME BUGS/VIRUS’ in my system, or perhaps that I’m just super (and I’m mean ridiculously super) sensitive to any chemical changes in my body now. Either way its the total opposite of fun which I like to lovingly call ‘thyroid hell.’
Granted I do have to reflect inwards to use my brain and figure things out. I have to. I need to find a physical answer alongside all the yoga and meditating. I am leaning towards thinking that any thyroid raise causes such a strong feedback loop and additional autoimmune attack that a whole cascade ensues for a few weeks whilst it all adjusts?… And this is on repeat over and over…. But like I say, I’ve had many theories and all I want to do is switch off from thinking inwardly and just feel well.
It is my body which is anxious, and my body is therefore trying to fit some appropriate (but totally untrue) thoughts and logic to it. This is pretty backwards and nothing is resolved by exploring emotions here because the anxiety is outside. It is happening to me and it is an outside influence requiring outward help in the form of getting my levels stable and sufficient, and treating any subsequent downstream effects such as imbalances in hormones and neurotransmitters if they have become messed up in the process.
Im not saying that calming down the stress response isn’t useful (it is and I do it every day) but the minute I stop the practice then the anxiety flares. It wakes me from a deep sleep which has no conscious thought process.
Forget making a mountain out of a molehill, when I am in this state and phase I have no rationale what so ever. It takes strength of character to be the witness and have complete faith that this is separate. I no longer doubt or question myself in this regard. Therefore going inwards is fuelling the fire for me. Finding more and more to worry about. No peace at all.
It is not the right time.
Instead I am realising that the old school way may have a lot of merit. Looking outwards can be about compete surrender too. A way of accepting exactly how I feel right now – all the jitteriness and nausea and crippling fear, and choosing to seek gratitude and beauty outside anyway. To know it is here and with me, and to focus my thoughts outwards to the beautiful blue sky, the warm sunshine, the love I feel for my family. Anything positive really. Anything. And joy can be found even in horrible circumstances. It can sit alongside anxiety and thats better that it sitting alone I think.
Im pretty sure I’m not alone with all this. I hope both you and I find a real solution to the physical thyroid issues soon. In the mean time I don’t have to own the anxiety because in this particular instant actually it is not necessary. I just have to live alongside it until it dissipates.
And if anyone else has figured out the golden answer to tolerating thyroid raises with ease please do share. I have a feeling its just a case of keeping on going….