The Root of Anxiety

Sadhguru: Whether it is fear, anger, anxiety, joy, misery or ecstasy, all these are different types of emotions. If you have experienced fear, you would know that it is one of the most debilitating emotions in a human mind.  It is a pull-down experience, not an uplifting experience. People have assumed that fear, anger and anxiety are all just there and we have to deal with them. No, you are creating them. Every human experience is coming from within you. There may be an external stimulus, but you create this. In the same given situation, one person may freak out of fear, another person may remain undisturbed.

Responsibility not Reaction to Get Out of COVID-19 Anxiety

This means that the situation is not giving you fear, it is the way you are reacting to it. If you are in a state of reaction, anything and anyone can just take charge of your life. This is why we talk about responsibility. Responsibility is not a civic aspect. Responsibility essentially means your ability to respond. If you have the ability to respond, you will do it the way you want. But if you are a compulsive reaction, the outside situation will take over your life. Virus or no virus, the outside situations in your life will never be one hundred percent in your hands. That is the very nature of existence. Even before the virus, your home, office, or the street situation was never one hundred percent in your hands. It is the same thing now. So yes, it is a virus, but fortunately it is we who are the carriers. If we are careful and conscious, we will live through this. Everyone is comparing this to a war. At least no one is bombing our homes, and there are no soldiers on the street shooting at us. It is a war but a very soft war. If we behave responsibly, we can stop it. If we behave irresponsibly it will have a free run.


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If you have the ability to respond, you will do it the way you want. But if you are a compulsive reaction, the outside situation will take over your life.

If the virus lasts for eighteen to twenty-four months, then in many ways it is going to change the very dynamics of our existence as we know it. It is not that humanity is going to be wiped out, but our activity, commerce, lifestyle, education, and how we conduct almost everything could go through a major rejig. This is the time that our intelligence, innate genius, resilience and love for each other should come out. The best in us should come out because you have to be at your best to handle a situation like this. This is not a time for anxiety, despair or fear; when someone is in fear or anxiety, they get crippled within themselves. This is not the time to cripple ourselves. We have to be at our best to somehow come out on top of this situation.

Yes, there is a serious challenge. But it is during challenging times that the best of men and women have risen because something in a human being does not want to be cowed down by a challenge. Initially, because people are being shaken out of their comfort zones, there is fear, anxiety and a certain amount of distress. But when the challenge really confronts us, that is when human beings will stand up and do the best they can do and build the greatest possibilities. I do not think that this disruption is the end of the world. If we behave responsibly and conduct this well, we can minimize the fatalities and the losses.

Two Simple Practices to Cope with COVID-19 Anxiety

#1 Sit Properly

Whether you name it stress, anxiety, or whatever else – essentially, there is friction in the system. So it is important that first, the system is geometrically well-aligned, and next, it must be properly lubricated. There are ways to do this. Where there is geometrical perfection, there is no effort; there is no friction. That is what you have to bring into your system. Do not allow these small things to take over your life. One little anxiety bothering you all the time can limit and destroy the process of your life. This must be fixed as early as possible.

There are simple ways to bring balance to the system. The simplest thing is you just learn to sit properly. Sit in such a way that the body does not need your muscular support, that it is so well balanced that if it sits, it simply sits. Just do this for a few hours a day, and you will see – you will feel much better. There are other more complex processes that you can do to come out of this problem. But at least try this much – geometrically, keep yourself in such a way that there is no stress in the system.

#2 Trigger a Burst of Energy with a Powerful Sound

We are in a situation where we do not have the whole picture about the virus. When the necessary information is not available, one’s intellect feels helpless and will trigger emotions of depression, helplessness, and frantic reactions. This is a time when it is most important that you keep your energies effervescent. If you are bursting with energy within you, then even if you have no intellectual understanding, you will see you will do the right things with your system – it will function in a certain way. One thing you can do is use a powerful sound together with a certain intellectual, emotional or physical process. For instance, when you sit down or stand up, there is a whole change in how the system functions – not just physiologically but on the level of chemistry and energy. This is why in this culture we developed a process that if you sit down or stand up you say, "Shiva," if you see something good or something bad, you say, "Shiva." When such a shift is happening, if you say a consecrated powerful word within yourself, there will be a burst of energy.

Editor's Note:  Anxious about the coronavirus pandemic? It’s time to take charge of your interiority. Inner Engineering Online is available free of cost for COVID Warriors and at 50% of the cost for everyone else.