Anxiety & Resistance
In this episode, I discuss the idea of resistance, which is simply the unwillingness to accept or comply with what is currently happening. During this series, we've been talking about how we can best manage ourselves during this time of crisis. And the reality is that much of the pain and turmoil we experience comes from our resistance to the present moment. Resistance can add more layers of the problem and we are basically creating a domino effect on our community and to the rest of the world. So, it is right to manage our own emotions and practice self-mastery so we can deal greatly and properly with what is happening outside our control.
Alright. Hey my friends and welcome to another episode of the restored mind show. In this episode we're going to be talking about anxiety and resistance. So for those of you that don't know me, my name's Matt Codde and I'm a licensed clinical social worker in California and I specialize in working with uh, OCD and anxiety. And on this episode, right? I want to continue our series that we've been talking about for the past few weeks on the Corona virus and anxiety. And more importantly, just this question of how do we, how do we best manage ourselves as individuals during this time, right? Because the reality is, is that when we, when we look at this situation, right, when we look back on this situation, you know, like we, we are going to emerge through this, you know, like that's, that just will happen, right? This will pass. And how we go through it though is, is going to be determined not from a country or a state or a County level, but it's as individuals, right?
Because if we can manage this well as an individual, meaning you like personally, and then you can manage it well in your relationship, whether your significant other, your families and then as family units and then as you know, as we move on to extended families and social circles and organizations and then we move up, you know, we work as individuals, you know, we have to work at this from an individual level. And yes, we want to take the precautions we can to prevent the spread as individuals. But we also want to talk about like how were you managing it as individuals just internally, right? Because there's all these new things and struggles that we're being presented with on a day by day, by day basis and managing that can be overwhelming. And so that's, and that's really what I'm, you know, this particular series is about, is just managing ourselves well during this crisis.
And so I wanted to talk about really just one word today. Um, and it, and it's the word resistance. And so much of our struggle in life comes back down to this idea of resisting what has happened or what is happening and resistance. If you just think about it, it's just this idea of like an unwillingness to accept or comply with what is right. You know, it's like I'm resisting, right? I'm going against something, right? And, and oftentimes we're talking about like the present moment and that and that and that situation, right? And, and yes, there are situations that I'm not going to like, like obviously when it comes down to basic needs and stuff like that, yes. Like we need to be, you know, getting people help and health and, and, um, you know, their basic needs and all of that. I, I totally, totally agree with that.
But what I'm talking about here is more on an emotional level, right? And how we're gonna be managing this like an emotional standpoint from within ourselves because things like socialized isolation and, you know, stay at home orders and self quarantines. These are new things that we're having to encounter. And the thing is, is though, the first point that I want to talk about is when we resist something, what we're doing is we essentially add another layer of pain to that particular problem, right? So let's take, let's just take the instance of the pandemic itself of this coronavirus pandemic. When we resist the idea that we're in a pandemic, right? Meaning like we get upset that we're in a pandemic, that that doesn't help anything, right? It really doesn't, it just makes us angry or frustrated that we're experiencing this problem, right? It's a, you know, I often use like an analogy of if I got stranded on a desert Island, right in a plane crash and I was angry that I was stranded like that, that literally does nothing for me right now.
Not only I have to deal with being stranded, but I also have to deal with being angry about being stranded, right? And when we resist something, we add that pain. And the reason we resist something is because we think we know the way something should be right in this, this word should, is really the kind of the, the second point I want to talk about, right, is this first is this the idea that resistance, you know, adds pain to the issue and adds a whole nother layer of problems. Um, but this word should, right? So much of our suffering and pain in life comes from this word should, right? And it's this idea that we, we believe we know how life should be and because it's not that way, then we get upset, right? And the reality is is that there is no way things should be, right?
Like we can talk about this alternative universe and I guess, you know, things could have happened with this way or that way, but at the end of the day, there's just what is right? Like we are in the middle of a pandemic. There is no changing that. There's just how we manage it, right? And that's why this, this series is, is so, um, so important for me. You know, it's like it is, you know, and, and Indian is an individual as well. Like, I need to focus on how I manage this, you know, myself. Um, and we, and we, and the more and more we all do that, the better we'll emerge through it because when we resist it and fight against what we're experiencing, right. You know, [inaudible] and being, being upset that we're experiencing this, it doesn't help anything, right. All it does is just create an emotional chaos with the situation.
Right. Um, and that, and that word should, is just a very, you know, just to be, just to be cautious, right? Of that word should in your mind, like how often it's coming up. Uh, well, I shouldn't have to be quarantined. Well, you know what we are right? And if, and, and that's just what is, and you know, for many people, people lost their jobs. And, and again, that word should comes in like, I shouldn't have lost my job. And it's like, well, if that happened, then it happened. And it's not that it's, I'm happy about that or anything like that. It's obviously it's a, it's a bad situation, but being upset that the situation happened doesn't, doesn't help us improve it, right? And when we actually remove that resistance and move into acceptance of what's happened, we can start focusing on solving it from there.
Right? And it's not that we're not experiencing problems, right? It's what I'm really talking about today is just this idea of resisting the problems that we're currently experiencing. Okay. Because it's just, it just adds fuel to that fire and in an unnecessary way in many cases. And so because, because many of us practice what I, what I call conditional acceptance, right? I'm willing to accept this if it's this, this, this, right? We have these conditions that it meets. And if you think about that, like, that's just not, um, it's just not a practical way to live. Right? I mean, imagine if your spouse said that to you or, you know, if you're a parent, like if you had conditional acceptance over your child, right? Like, you know, I'm only gonna accept you if you get straight A's or things like that. It's like, if we think about that, it's a ridiculous way, because true acceptance is just, is just that.
It's, it's accepting. It's, it's, it's an, it's a willingness not to try to change the situation that currently is, right. And to say, you know, [inaudible] so many people will say that when it comes to anxiety right now, and that's really what I want to talk about as well, is that resistance to anxiety. And when we resisting Zion, the what happens is, is that the anxiety surfaces and we resist it and we aren't willing to experience it. And we try to shun it away and we do these, you know, different behaviors to try to remove it and it ends up trapping us in these loops. Right? And one of the reasons is, is just because we're not willing to experience it, right? We're resisting anxiety. So when people talk about like, Hey, well how, you know, how do I accept certain thoughts? Right? Or how do I accept, um, you know, feeling anxious, right?
Like it's this thing that we do. And when you think about real acceptance, real acceptance actually isn't a verb. It's not something you do, it's just, it's actually not doing anything, right. It's, it's being willing to kind of surrender and say, okay, that is what it is. Right? And when, if you were to ask, how do you accept your child unconditionally or your spouse unconditionally, they don't have to change, right? And, and when we talk about acceptance of the situation, I'm not saying that we need to like the situation that we're in. You know, this is a very difficult time in the struggles. People, uh, you know, everyone is experiencing are very real. Okay. And, and it's tough and it's hard and, and you know, it's chaotic and rules are changing every day and all this uncertainty that emerges. It's a very difficult thing to manage.
And all I'm trying to say is as we manage it as ourselves, as individuals, when we resist what is and what's currently happening, we're adding more fuel and more problems for ourselves to deal with. Okay. And, and hopefully that makes sense. And, and again, when we're talking about acceptance and things like that and you know, this doesn't apply to like basic needs look like, of course I'm not, I'm not telling you if you like are, are, you know, don't have money for food. You just need to accept that. That's not what I'm saying. Okay. Like I want to be, we're talking strictly on like an emotional level right here and how to manage ourselves emotionally during this time. Right? Obviously basic needs don't apply to this, right? People need to have their basic needs met. Um, but it's just that idea of when the feelings surface or when the anger surfaces or, or when, um, the anxiety surfaces, right?
A lot of that stuff is caused by our resistance to what is, and the more and more we can accept what's going on and not think that there's a way it should be. But just being willing to accept, okay, here's what's happening. The better we're being, the less emotional distress we add to that situation. And we're able to use our brain to, you know, for, for solution focused ways as opposed to getting lost in all the emotion of that situation being present. So, and, and I hope, um, I hope I'm communicating that well cause I mean that's just such a, such an important concept. And, and really during this time, you know, one of the things that we can really be doing is practicing this idea of self mastery, of not, not allowing our external environment to disrupt us internally to the point where we're just out of control.
Right? And you know, I start off the series when I was saying when I was watching people in the store, like knock people over, you know, cause they're grabbing, you know, uh, vegetables or you know, toilet paper, right? It's like bumping into people and being just totally, totally, um, out of line at, at just the grocery stores. Right? And, and that's, and that's not a reflection of the individual. That's the reflection of the individual, just being overtaken by emotion. And as individuals, we can actually practice and develop a level of self-mastery by realizing what we're experiencing, right? And, and more importantly, being accepting for what is happening in addressing those problems head on as opposed to being resistant that the problems themselves are existing, you know, and, and that level of self mastery mastery can come in. Um, you know, when we start to accept the problems and then use, use our mind to actually focus on solving the problems themselves as opposed to getting lost in our mind and our thoughts and our emotions about having to deal with those problems.
Right. And so, you know, to quickly recap, um, the things I wanted to talk about really is just this idea of resistance and that how resistance adds another layer of pain to most situations. And then we talked about obviously the word should and how in many ways that word is, is kind of a cause of a lot of turmoil and people's lives, right? It, it, it assumes that you know how things are supposed to be and because it's not that way, there's an immediate resistance and frustration to what is right. And in the reality is there is no should, there's just how it is. And instead of practicing conditional acceptance and thinking that the world needs to be a certain way for you to be okay, asking yourself like, how can I practice being okay with however the world is? Because what that will do is to make you a more balanced person internally, which again will make you, you know, see things clear and be able to make better decisions in your day to day life and ultimately as an individual and then as a family unit and then so on and so forth as we, as we move through this together.
So, um, you know, hopefully I was helpful and I, and I, you know, just encourage you this week just to ask those questions, you know, like, what am I resisting that's actually making this problem worse and too like how can I practice being more unconditionally accepting of things that I, that are beyond my control so that I'm okay internally as an individual. And, uh, you know, for, for those of you that um, are struggling, you know, during this time and anxiety is getting really heavy. Again, we have our overcoming anxiety, um, program open up. Um, you know, so we have weekly groups. We also have our masterclass and uh, you can find that over restored minds.com. We also have free resources available for download as well, um, in assessments, um, things like that to help you onto your journey. So, um, and again I'll have some links down in the notes, um, where you can get access to that.
And again, I just want to thank you all and encourage you all, um, as, as we go through this together, just take a day at a time, you know, just take it one day at a time because if we are able to just handle today, we can handle this tomorrow, tomorrow, and eventually if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other, we'll get through this not only as individuals but as, um, as families, as organizations is States and countries and eventually the world. So thank you all. Um, I wish you a happy Easter for those of you who celebrate Easter and, uh, and help you guys have a great week and I'll see you guys next week as we continue on with the series. Bye.