The ARP uses a “three sphere” system to help you find resources for anxiety relief. This approach comes from best practices founded in experience and research. Each of us is unique, so the combination of resources that will be the most effective will also be unique. Use these three spheres to assist as you navigate your journey.
*The project is in the early stages, and new resources are being added weekly.
In the overall picture of mental health, our connections with other people are more powerful than any other single factor. However many of us are socially isolated, so we can’t necessarily just jump into a more socially integrated life. Use resources in this sphere to help you gradually become more confident.
Our lifestyle and physical culture are the most tangible aspects of life, and the easiest to work with. Working with these elements can give us more confidence and “agency” – the ability to change what we want to change. The more you can balance aspects in this sphere, the easier it will be to achieve balance in the others.
For most people these three are not well-connected, as we tend to have most of our energy in the head. Use resources in this sphere to help you relax the brain and become more embodied. These “inner practices” can be challenging, so make sure you have resources in the other spheres before you go too deep here.
– A conviction that you want to ease your situation
– A patient, gentle approach, or a desire to cultivate one
– Commitment strong enough to take you forward,
even through doubts and difficulties
In a very real sense anxiety relief is less about anxiety, and more about finding more balance in your life. For many people the idea of finding balance can seem overwhelming because we just don’t know where to start. Enter the “Three Sphere System.” As described above, use the three spheres to help you figure out where to begin, and then as a resource and support as you make your journey forward.
As you work with the resources on this website the most important thing to keep in mind is a good attitude. Do your best to be kind with yourself and hold a relaxed approach. This will make the journey easier and more enjoyable, and progress will come sooner.
Normally in life and in healing, things get better and then they get worse again. You see positive change, and then you see the gains fall apart and collapse. It’s maddening, humbling and real. And it’s in these moments that we forget to notice the bigger picture. It’s often not until much later that we see that despite the ups and downs, there has been steady and definite progress on the journey towards our goal. We look back and say to ourselves, “Actually, I used to be so much more stressed, my anxiety used to be much much worse.” But when things are difficult we often lose heart and give up.
However the setbacks are a natural ingredient of the healing process. Part of why this happens is that when things become easier and more clear, suddenly there is more space for deeper aspects of our struggle to surface. When we see these deeper aspects, sometimes we get upset and are catapulted into a crisis mode.
Another factor is the nature of life and impermanence. Everything is changing constantly, and more often than not the change is uninvited and unwelcome and it disturbs our equilibrium. We forget this natural impermanence, and we get upset and blame ourself, or we blame others, and we give up and derail from the journey.
So keep the old maxim, “two steps forward and one step back,” in mind as you move forward into a more balanced life.
When it feels like you’ve stabilized an item, or that you’ve learned what you need to learn in that area – or have learned enough for the time being- challenge yourself and move into a different area. For example if you have good balance with your physical health but are socially isolated, try moving into the interpersonal sphere. Or, if you are quite social but don’t relate well with your physical environment and health, try moving into that sphere. Or if you feel too much in your head, work with some of the processes in the balancing body and mind sphere.
There are many approaches to anxiety relief. Some people claim that theirs is the only valid way, backed by science etc. It’s great to have research on what helps, but when it comes down to the reality of the individual anxiety relief seeker, the truth is that nothing works for everyone, and everything works for someone. In order to achieve stable and lasting change, a majority of people will need to use a varied approach.