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Calm Your Anxiety

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Calm Your Anxiety

Just listen to your intuition.
Mona Lisa Schulz M.D., Ph.D.
Mona Lisa Schulz M.D., Ph.D. More by this author
Dec 18, 2011 at 09:00 AM

Do you have the I'd Rather Not Syndrome? Do you avoid crowded stores and malls because all those people make you nervous? Do you avoid buffets and public eating places because you never know who touched the food? Do you avoid planes, saying I'd rather not. I'll take the bus? Do you avoid giving oral presentations, saying, You know what? I'll let someone else do it?

This may be a sign that anxiety, fear, and phobia are holding you back. And instead of dealing with that anxiety, nervousness, and uneasiness, you avoid the situation that you're phobic about by saying I'd Rather Not. And this is a polite form of what we call avoidance.

Have you ever seen the movie, Moonstruck? I love this movie! It's one of my favorites because there are so many perfect ethnic examples of human behavior. The mother in the movie—Rose Castorini (played by Olympia Dukakis who should have received the Oscar that year) spends many sleepless nights because she's anxious and afraid that her husband is having an affair. During a long sleepless night, she listens as her husband is preoccupied with playing a Vikki Carr record. You know the one: Let it please be him, oh dear God. It must be him, it must be him. Or I shall die, or I shall die!

Rose doesn't get any sleep. She's anxious and fit to be tied. So the next day, the entire family is sitting around the breakfast table, and you could cut the tension with a knife. The anxiety is palpable. But instead of expressing her anxiety and saying, You know I'm a nervous wreck. Why are you so obsessed with that damn Vikki Carr record,” Rose displaces her irritability and lashes out at the weakest link—the most fragile person at the table—the elderly father-in-law who is secretly trying to feed scraps to the dogs underneath the table. So what does she say? Old man, if you feed any of my good food to those dogs, I'm going kick you until you're dead!

Some people just get irritable and grouchy and snappy when they're really anxious about something else. And their anger masks the anxiety. If you're not in touch with the intuition behind your anxiety, you can't skillfully respond to the intuitive warning behind the emotion.

So, what do you do? Do you cover up your anxiety by avoiding challenge? Do you say, I'd rather not when someone asks you to give a talk at work rather than enhance your career with more speaking opportunities? Do you mask your anxiety with grouchiness and hope no one notices?

At the end of Moonstruck, Rose finally puts her anxiety into words. She finally listens to her intuition that warns her that her husband is having an affair. Rather than screaming at her father-in-law, she looks across the table. Out of nowhere when someone reaches for the salt, she looks at her husband and says, I want you to stop seeing her. Her husband looks up, obviously in shock, and pounds on the table. He realizes that his wife has intuitively caught him.

Rose is almost relieved as she recognizes the power behind her anxiety and intuition, and she screams back, AND GO TO CONFESSION! Her husband validates his wife by saying, Okay, it's over with.”

Take an example from Rose. You have the same power.  You can learn to listen to the intuition behind your fears and phobias. Your body will tell you when there’s a message you need to hear.

About Author
Mona Lisa Schulz M.D., Ph.D.
Mona Lisa Schulz, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Mona Lisa Schulz is one of those rare people who can cross the borders of intuition, science, medicine, and mysticism. An internationally known expert in Medical Intuition and Mind-Body Medicine, she h Continue reading