Chakra Affirmations for Transforming Anxiety
Anxiety’s like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far. – Jodi Picoult, Sing You Home
Plenty has already been written elsewhere about the negative health effects of anxiety, and about the value of using meditation to deal with it. In this post I wanted to offer a chakra affirmation exercise for working with anxiety, because so often we have emotional patterns linked to anxiety lodged in our subtle body. The wonderful thing about chakra affirmation work is that it is something you can do in the moment, and even just a few seconds can help you to shift your response to a situation, or to halt the momentum of anxiety as it starts to build in your psyche.
But first, we need to explore two things: What is anxiety really? And what really are affirmations?
Anxiety is distinguished from fear, and from stress. Fear is specific – we fear a specific event, situation, person or object. Stress is an overload of our system in some form – physical, emotional, mental or all three. Either fear or stress can trigger the feeling of anxiety, but anxiety can also be free floating, and in fact can be the foundation feeling that generates states of fear and stress.
In other words, anxiety is often not linked to your external circumstances, especially if you feel chronically anxious. It is an energetic and emotional pattern locked into your being. As long as it’s there, it becomes a lens through which you see the world, and it will attach itself to anything that happens to you, generating anxious thoughts about whatever is going on (or even out of nothing) in order to feed itself. Then those thoughts generate more feelings of anxiety – more fuel – in a self-perpetuating cycle.
The key then is to break the cycle – free up, or transform, the energy locked in anxiety within your being. Because anxiety so often manifests in the form of physical symptoms, many methods for working with it involve physical exercise or movement because these can discharge the anxious energy. Meditation approaches it from a mental and emotional perspective, in terms of learning to let go of the anxious thoughts and feelings as they arise, cutting off their fuel.
Chakra affirmations work a little differently – they are about tapping into the energy as it specifically manifests in your subtle body, and working to transform that energy into a helpful form. Affirmations are not simply words we say out loud – the feeling we generate as we speak is the most important aspect, not the words. As we say a chakra affirmation, we are attempting to fully manifest the associated feeling and vibration in that chakra. This shift in our energy, and thus in our awareness, is the true practice. The words we speak are just part of the tool. We engage our entire mind, body, and subtle body in affirmation work, and this is why for those who connect with it, it can be so powerful a transformative tool.
We all hold anxiety in different parts of our subtle body, and to work with chakra affirmations most effectively, it’s helpful to try to identify your own patterns by thinking about your anxiety response. You may not always even be aware you are anxious, but engage in behavior or thought patterns that are the result of anxiety – for example, binging on comfort foods, getting defensive, or isolating yourself.
The chart below offers the most common Anxiety Response linked to each chakra – essentially the way in which that chakra becomes blocked when you are feeling anxious. Then the Focus section offers you ideas for where to shift your attention in order to begin to transform and free up that chakra’s natural energy and expression. The Affirmations are examples of statements you can use as you attempt to shift your energy into this new place.
Anxiety Response: Escapism – You seek to escape your anxiety through daydreaming, eating, drinking, watching television, gaming, online activities etc. Addictions of any type may be rooted in this tendency. From an energetics perspective, this pattern involves disconnecting from your root chakra.
Shift: Focus on grounding and presence – staying with reality and breathing into the anxiety – as you focus on your tailbone and sitbones, and/or your connection to the earth.
Affirmation: I am safe. I am supported. I am grounded in the earth. I am fully present to whatever arises.
Anxiety Response: Rigidity – You freeze up, are unable to adapt to new circumstances or to accept change. You may also have difficulty connecting with sensual and sexual experience. You may hold a lot of tension in your muscles, which can include holding others’ tension or stress as your own.
Shift: Focus on fluidity and adaptability – being ‘in the flow’. Focus on mindful sensual experience – allowing yourself pleasure in sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures.
Affirmation: I am adaptable. I am in the flow. I am connected to my body. I am fully present to the small pleasures of my day.
Anxiety Response: Control – you hold on tightly to your life, attempting to control others and outcomes. This is often combined with being judgmental, including towards yourself. At times, this may also develop into anger or aggression.
Shift: Focus on letting go and acceptance, including self-acceptance. Cultivate a sense of openness and appreciation for difference, diversity of style, and approaches to life.
Affirmation: I am relaxed. I am centered. I am accepting. I am fully present to others, however they express themselves.
Anxiety Response: Self-protection – you build emotional walls, which may evolve into pushing others away and isolating yourself. When feeling hurt or vulnerable, you often either move into self-defensive anger (outward expression) or feelings of unworthiness and self-loathing (inward expression.)
Shift: Focus on self-compassion and staying with vulnerable emotions, as opposed to blocking or fleeing them. Extend yourself healing light.
Affirmation: I love myself. I am at peace. I deserve happiness. I am fully present to my emotions, and allow myself to feel, and when necessary, heal, them.
Anxiety Response: People pleasing – you may overtalk or overshare as part of efforts to win people over, or you may constantly mediate your speech according to what you think people want to hear. You may fear others’ reactions to speaking your truth.
Shift: Focus on moving inward towards who you truly are, and communicating from that place. Let go of fears around how others will respond to you. Imagine a connection between your heart and mouth.
Affirmation: I am authentic. I am honest. I am clear. I am fully present to my truth, and communicate from that place within myself.
Anxiety Response: Frazzled – you have a busy mind, constantly worrying about the future, revisiting the past, or weighing options over and over. You have little connection to your intuition or a sense of ‘knowing’.
Shift: Focus on quieting your mind, and activities that shift your attention away from overthinking – exercise, music, artistic activities, or anything that gets you into your body and/or experiential level of mind.
Affirmation: I am centered. I am wise. I am intuitive. I am fully present to my connection with the universe.
Anxiety Response: Doubt – you feel disconnected from your spirituality, or from a sense of connection with spirit or the unseen. You spin in doubt, about self and/or beliefs, or swing between manic ‘forced’ positivity and doubt.
Shift: Focus on spiritual practice such as prayer or meditation, along with questioning or study directly aligned with any faith-related doubts that are arising (as opposed to just ‘spinning’ through doubt and faith phases.) In other words, actively seek – engage in being an active spiritual seeker, and doubts are ok as a part of that, if they are used to spur you forward towards more seeking.
Affirmation: I am seeking. I am open. I am connected to spirit. I am fully present to however spirit wants to interact with me.
You may recognize yourself in several of these descriptions, as we usually have 2-3 that we cycle through, and they may work together. For example, the third/navel chakra is linked to our mental body, and so anxiety-related patterns of the third chakra and the sixth chakra (third eye) often go together. We may worry and obsessively plan (blocked sixth chakra) in an attempt to control (third chakra) our circumstances, trying in vain to allay our anxiety through this sense of control. The second and fourth chakras also often go together – we may freeze up (blocked second chakra) and push people away through coldness or irritability (blocked heart) in an attempt to avoid any connection that might make us feel vulnerable.
There are really an endless number of ways we might respond to anxiety. In fact, at core an existential anxiety about our separation from Source is the root of the ego’s desire to establish itself as dominant. In this sense, anxiety is underneath many of our other emotions. When we get to this deeper level and begin to work directly with anxiety, we are closer to connecting with Source, spirit, and our natural enlightenment. Becoming comfortable with this anxiety and practicing relaxing into it is how we let go into light, and a necessary part of the awakening process.
However, in a moment when we are triggered, it is not always possible to access this level, and working with our subtle body through the chakras can be very helpful. You could do all of these affirmations for all of your chakras as a formal sitting meditation, and in fact that’s something I recommend on a regular basis for those working to really shift anxiety patterns lodged in the subtle body. But if you can’t, in the moment when you are feeling anxious, it’s most effective for you to strengthen the chakra directly related to the pattern most prominent for you. Even just 30 seconds of focusing in on the associated chakra and inwardly stating your affirmations while you attempt to shift into that energy will loosen the hold of whatever emotion is arising. Then later when you are out of the triggering situation, you may be able to work with your anxiety on a deeper level through other tools.
Of course you can always create your own affirmations, and add visualizations to help you connect with the chakra energy you are attempting to bring forth. Colors, sounds, nature elements, even scenes of places that you associate with these energies can help (look back at some of the associations in my Chakra Levels series for ideas.) Remember, affirmations are meant to be felt, not simply spoken (although speaking them is a start, and if it’s all you can muster in the moment, try it!)
May this be helpful and healing to you. Namaste-
P.S. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and there are many ways you can further healing for survivors, pursue your own healing, or donate to causes dedicated to stopping sexual violence worldwide. Check out this wonderful post on the importance of a holistic approach to healing for survivors at The Breathe Network, and view their offerings on trauma-informed healing modalities while you are there. Or checkout RAINN or VDay for other resources, and ways to help. I will be offering the next round of my own Energy Work for Sexual Trauma teleseminar starting in July, followed by another round of my Working with Chakra Levels teleseminar in the Fall.