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  • Writer's pictureRahim Nanos

How to Use Spiritual Tools to Manage Anxiety

Hello everyone! Welcome to The Modern Spiritualist. I’m glad you’re here. Anxiety is a big topic, and often, effective management of anxiety comes from multiple sources - not just one. You can’t just use one anxiety management tool in a vacuum and expect it to work, including spiritual tools.

So, while therapy is extremely helpful for anxiety management, therapy becomes more effective when it is met with spiritual tools, as well as other self-care tools.

Anxiety management doesn’t just look like a weekly therapy appointment. It looks like therapy + enough water + outside time + good sleep + spiritual tools + journaling, etc.

Anxiety management is much more about holistic wellness, and that comes out of the understanding that if we are not taking care of ourselves on all levels of our being, we will absolutely experience a certain level of anxiety. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter who you are. You can’t actually feel good without putting in the effort.

That being said, today I do want to explore how to use spiritual tools specifically to manage anxiety. Best case scenario, these tools would be applied to an already robust self-care regimen, or they can be used to help lay a foundation so that you can build one.

I will be discussing two slightly different processes. The first process will lay out how to cope with an anxiety attack in the moment that it is occuring. The second process will describe how to track your anxiety to the root of the trigger, and how to begin transforming it at the root to permanently decrease your anxiety responses over time.

Cleansing an Anxiety Charge & Rebalancing Your Energy System

With any kind of traumatic response, your body is either doing one of these two things: it is either going into hypoarousal or hyperarousal.

Hypoarousal is when your nervous system begins to shut down. If you find yourself freezing, dissociating, or zoning out, you are entering a state of hypoarousal.

Hyperarousal is the opposite - your nervous system starts to amp up. In hyperarousal, you may experience symptoms of hypervigilence, anxiety, or mania.

For the purposes of this blog, we will focus on hyperarousal.

When you begin to experience a wave of anxiety, you are experiencing your nervous system going into hyperarousal. This point is important, because in a fit of anxiety, it is common to feel intense emotions, and to begin spinning narratives about why you are in danger. This is because the mind needs a reason to explain the body’s hyperaroused state, and then the mind looks for things in your present situation to blame.

The problem here is that if anxiety is simply a traumatic stress response, your body is reacting to something scary that happened in your past, not in your current time situation.

If you find yourself spinning in narratives that the mind is inventing about your anxiety, you could end up spinning around in that narrative, making your anxiety worse, and not actually solving any actual problems.

But, if you can recognize that anxiety is simply a state of hyperarousal, then you can pull yourself out of the narrative that your anxiety is generating. If you can pull yourself out of the narrative, then you have enough present awareness to calm your anxious state.

Step one of clearing an anxiety charge is to simply recognize your anxiety as a hyperaroused state.

From there, the next step is to rebalance your energy system. By rebalancing, I mean dropping your hyperaroused state back to your normal baseline, where your nervous system is behaving normally and appropriately to your situation.

A state of hyperarousal effects your heart rate and your breath rate. Your heart rate increases and your breathing gets shallower and quicker. Your heart rate and breath rate are also in direct relationship with each other, which in turn has an impact on your nervous system. If you are able to slow your heart rate and breath rate, your nervous system will automatically begin to calm down as a result.

This is where the breath comes in. Because the breath has a direct impact on the heart, if your breathing slows, your heart rate will slow, and your nervous system will follow suit. Thankfully, we have lots of control over our breath, so that is the ticket to cleansing an anxiety charge.

Here are some breath processes that you can explore to bring yourself down from an anxiety attack:

Elemental Breathing

This breath technique clears the elemental spheres of your energy body: earth, water, fire, air, and aether.

Step 1: Bringing your attention to your breath, take 5 breaths in through your nose and out through your nose. These are earth breaths.

Step 2: Maintaining your focus on your breath, take 5 breaths in through your nose, and out through your mouth. These are water breaths.

Step 3: Continuing with the breath, take 5 breaths in through your mouth, and out through your nose. These are fire breaths.

Step 4: Take 5 breaths in through your mouth, and out through your mouth. This is air.

Step 5: Take 5 breaths, again, in through your nose, and out through your nose. This time, you want the breaths to be subtle and calm. This is aether.

Repeat until your nervous system calms.

Heart Coherence Breaths

This exercise is even simpler.

Lay down on your back in a relaxed position.

Place one hand on your belly, covering your belly button.

Place your other hand on your heart.

Bring your attention to your breath. Allow yourself to breathe naturally, with your focus on the rise and fall of your belly and heart as you breath.

The intention is to breath naturally until the rise and fall of you belly and heart are synchronous. By this, I mean that your belly and heart rise and fall with your breath at the same time

Maintain this until you feel calm, and you notice that your breath has shifted.

Counting Breaths

This technique is even simpler still. The focus is to expand your capacity to take deeper breaths, and to slow your breath into a more natural rhythm. Breath in while slowly counting to four, and then breath out while slowly counting to four. Do this until you feel calm.

Next we will discuss the process of transforming anxiety at the root in order to permanently lessen symptoms of anxiety.

Identifying & Dismantling Beliefs That Fuel Anxiety

While doing what we discussed above (cleansing the anxiety charge) will help you cope and calm yourself in the moment, it will not stop the anxiety from being triggered again. That is why this next process is so helpful. Tracing the anxiety to its root and transforming it prevents that same anxiety from being triggered again. Over time, being diligent with this process will permanently lessen your anxiety responses.

Like anything, you get what you put in, so you cannot expect this process to work if it is not a regular exercise.

When tracking anxiety down to its root, you will often discover some sort of hidden belief that is enfolded in the anxiety. The trick here is to change the belief.

For instance, let’s say that every time you’re about to go on a date, you get a sudden wave of anxiety, can no longer function well, and you cancel the date. This might be really frustrating if you’re looking for love, but can’t cope with the way to get there.

To get to the bottom of this, you will want to track the anxiety to its root. Sitting down with a pen and paper, feel into the anxiety you are experiencing about dating, and begin writing. Just allow the writing to be automatic, almost as if the words fly out of your hands before you’re even thinking the thoughts. Keep doing this for 1-3 pages. When it feels complete, take a look at what you have written, and use it to identify the current belief that your thoughts and anxiety seem to be floating out of.

After tracking the anxiety to its root, you might discover a belief that you are not worthy of love. Suddenly, the anxiety and the behavior that follows makes a lot of sense.

Of course, if you believe that you are not worthy of love, it will lead to the cancellation of a date that you already believe will go south. This belief is literally telling your nervous system on a very deep level that it's wrong to try to find love because you are not worthy. And, if you tried, it would blow up in your face because your love interest is going to find out that you are not worthy of love.

Now, we can track the anxiety to its source: the belief that you are not worthy of love.

From there, using this process, you’ll have to find a better belief to replace this belief. It could be any number of things.

Maybe, you’d prefer to believe that everybody is worthy of love. Or, that love is something people inherently deserve, and not something you have to earn. Or, that love is a continual learning process that you get better at over time with effort.

Eventually, after entertaining some new beliefs, you’ll want to come up with a more precise statement of the new belief that will replace the current one.

Let’s say for this instance, the new belief statement is:

“Love is a human need, not something to be earned. By choosing to show up for love, I am choosing to get my needs met, as well as learning more deeply over time what it means to love.”

The next step is to continue to work with this new belief until it becomes a habit.

Write it down and put it somewhere you will constantly see it. Affirm it to yourself out loud daily.

When the old belief comes up, do your breathing exercises, and then work with the new affirmation. After consistent daily effort, you’ll eventually realize that your new belief is starting to replace the old one.

This is how we re-wire our beliefs, and as a result, our anxiety, over time.


While the process of cleansing the anxiety charge and tracking to the root may seem like a lot of work…so is anxiety.

Anxiety is uncomfortable, exhausting, unfullfilling, and non-functional. I try to remind myself when doing the work that what I’m working for is worth it.

I am doing these processes for peace, for happiness, for joy, to love more fully, and to be able to sink more deeply and expertly into my work and hobbies.

This process of freeing anxiety is a liberation process. You are freeing yourself from old stories and beliefs that no longer serve you.

As a result, you become a person that can not only handle life’s challenges, but a person that can feel fully alive as you do so.

Is it not worth it?

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