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juliank

Throat Chakra and Social Anxiety

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I was hoping the members of the board could lead me to resources or give me advice on how to safely open or balance my throat chakra.

 

There have been 3 major instances in the last year where in social settings with people I don't know and it's my turn to speak, a lump is created in my throat, my voice breaks and quivers and a great fear comes over me. It happened again tonight which forced me to leave the meeting I was in before I had a full blown anxiety attack. I am committed to addressing and fixing this problem once and for all with your help hopefully.

 

I know that the throat chakra is related to not speaking my true self and this certainly applies to me. The thing is in a one on one setting its fairly easy for me to speak my true self but when its a group of strangers I lock up, the lump is created and my heart starts beating and the anxiety kicks in. It can also happen in a large group of people I know well but it's not as bad although it still exists in a muted fashion.

 

My diet is excellent, I exercise regularly, I do yoga, I meditate daily, so it's none of these possible issues. I am thinking it's related to my past in some way. Although I have certainly suffered in my past I don't ever remember it being related to fear of expressing my self. I don't harbor any resentments of ex-lovers, friends or family members. So I am ruling that out.

 

I was hoping there might be a specific meditation practice, visualization, asana, book, or anything really that could directly help with this issue. I thought about seeing an energy healer but after all the horror stories I have heard about energy healers on this board I am ambivalent about going that route unless they came very well recommended.

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I'm more inclined to think that social anxiety is blocking your throat chakra than a block in your throat chakra is causing social anxiety.

 

You need to examine what goes in your mind at these times to see what the fear is and why it is there. Then, you can question and overcome the underlying wrong cognition.

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The more you practice things that open you up or bring spiritual and healing progress, the more you will notice this. Why? Because you'll tend to be more aware of what's going on inside of the body and also in your mind...basically becoming more introverted and intuitive. This is not a bad thing. You can also become more extroverted at the same time of becoming more introverted...basically an amplification of all that you are, and not just being one or the other. But in my view, this throat phenomenon can seem to get worse, becoming more noticeable, with progress.

It is possible to just ignore it, just "dive in" to a speech, or "press on" and be present socially despite whatever strong sensations are there, and as a result of that not be affected so much. This is the route most people take - "just do it". You should know that a significant number of people experience social and speaking problems! I'd say most people are like this and only sociopaths are not.

 

Lets say your voice quivers...no big deal, just forget about it and continue saying what you need to say. Having something useful to say is really the key to confidence in saying it. If you spend time thinking about what's important in the conversation, rather than the challenge of the conversation itself, it helps make the conversation meaningful. Another idea...ask people about themselves if it's a relaxed kind of social setting...that takes the heat off of you and makes you seem like a great person who is interested in them and listens.

The throat in some spiritual systems is connected with the sense of self...if you have no sense of self or if the sense of self is healthy (for instance when you're fully confident in who you are), then the throat relaxes open. If there are issues with the sense of self, for instance if you feel that you can't fully express yourself and are being forced in doing something, then it closes and causes problems. Believing in who you are and what you are doing helps keep it open, so have integrity...and also, having no concern keeps it open, so be as care free as possible.

I've found it helpful to do practices which dissolve the sense of self, the clinging of the mind, the negative emotions such as a fear that sweeps over you...basically just methods that help you "loosen up, energetically" before going somewhere that you need to deal with people. Tibetan Buddhism seems to do this stuff for me, subtly.

Laughing can also help clear things...for instance, watch some really funny comedies after you've had a rough day and get some genuine laughs in, and don't look for results but just let it all go. Relax and have fun. It's good to open the throat after work again, and not stay in that kind of fearful clenched state for too long.

It's tough to say...I wish there was something really easy and effective to do in the moment, but I haven't personally found anything that actually works for this, aside from a total change in who you are.

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I'm more inclined to think that social anxiety is blocking your throat chakra than a block in your throat chakra is causing social anxiety.

 

You need to examine what goes in your mind at these times to see what the fear is and why it is there. Then, you can question and overcome the underlying wrong cognition.

 

Yes I considered that and I came to the conclusion that it was fear of judgement from others which is an irrational fear. I felt this fear coming on the moment I walked in to the setting where I was set to speak so I went to the bathroom splashed my face with cold water, recited some positive affirmations, belly breathing, attempted to relax etc but it was of no use. Once I got into the setting I choked up, felt all the familiar feelings rush in and left the scene lol. The moment I walked onto the street I felt a tremendous sense of relief.

 

Aetherous, I think in any other circumstance I could have possibly been able to just do it but this was not one of those times. I felt a full blown panic attack coming on. I had just worked a long stressful day and I was very tired going into this so I drank a coffee 2 hours before to have more energy. Bad idea. Regardless of the coffee though this is an ongoing problem that manifests itself in classes which I never talk in, meetings at work with 5 or more people, again I never talk in those settings. It's only when it's one on one that I feel tremendously free with no anxiety. I do well on dates and dont experience it in that setting which can be nerve wracking for most people.

 

If I had had the time to meditate prior to this I think I would have been on but I was pressed. However this doesnt address the main issue that is there present regardless. I would like to find a way to eradicate it or at the very least be able to dissolve it the moment it arises. I have made some great progress over the last year in my spiritual development and I can't deny this felt like a setback. I am trying to think of it as a positive event since it was extremely humbling and it has forced me to reevaluate some things. Thank you for the toastmasters link I considered that may be a route I need to take. I've even considered taking an improv comedy class at this point lol.

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Try to figure out why you fear others judging you. Probe deeply into it and look from multiple perspectives. Investigate as far as possible.

 

Consider events in your past - they/it may not even be something you remember or consider important as an adult, because to a young child a minor event can be very upsetting.

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As to a direct answer to techniques for the throat chakra here are a few suggestions. Chant the throat chakra sound which is "HAM". Place Blue Lace Agate on your throat when you lay down. Use mindfulness and ask yourself why you feel that way, and explore the thoughts and feelings associated with it. :-)

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As to a direct answer to techniques for the throat chakra here are a few suggestions. Chant the throat chakra sound which is "HAM". Place Blue Lace Agate on your throat when you lay down. Use mindfulness and ask yourself why you feel that way, and explore the thoughts and feelings associated with it. :-)

 

http://www.gemisphere.com/gemstoneMissions/bla_mission.php

 

If you're interested in getting a good blue lace agate gemstone necklace meant for therapeutic use (and feeling flush enough to pay the considerable price), here is a company you might be interested in checking into.

 

Liminal

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I have this same issue, along with what can be described as a "stuck" feeling in my throat area sometimes. I do have a thyroid condition so I know thats part of it. I have days since I started meditating where this is almost non existant, or even have days where I feel great and confident by myself but then when I get in public especially aroung a lot of people it rears its head now and again. I agree with the one poster who says its become more noticeable since meditating a lot increases awareness. Its weird I think ive had it my whole life I was just too numb to really notice it before or just accepted it as part of myself. Now I kind of feel like it really isnt a part of who I am because a lot of times its not there but it does pop up seemingly out of nowhere. humbling indeed.

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Hello Julian, fear of public speaking is quite a common fear - as mentioned by Brian. If you're not in a profession that demands public speaking, I see no reason of panic. Of course, I don't mean that you avoid it altogether, but that you approach it at your own comfortable pace. Look at it this way - as a speaker, you have to progress through growing spheres of interactions: family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, local club acquaintances, strangers... to finally a gathering of strangers. There is no pressure on you to master the last sphere first. Each sphere has an embodied context that brings out natural conversations - intimate talk, fun talk, locality issues, work and deadlines and the boss, club and watercooler talk etc. Try to present yourself well within each context, but don't force yourself on the listener just because the talk is some kind of a public speaking exercise. Be natural, spontaneous, eager and accomodating - and great conversations shall follow automatically. And soon enough, without you even realizing, your vocal chords will learn to adapt their pitch and volume to the number of ears around you. And that shall be a great start. Best of luck!

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Bump. This issue has flared up again, but is manifesting in a work setting. As soon as I walk into my work space I feel a tightness or lump in my throat. I am in the midst of trying to leave this job as the energy flow here is not good, but would love some practical advice on how to gently unblock the throat chakra. I am certain this is the issue. Again my diet, exercise, yoga and meditation practice are consistent but I think there is an energetic block here that may have some root in the past that I haven't quiet figured out. Any help would be much appreciated.

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The more you practice things that open you up or bring spiritual and healing progress, the more you will notice this. Why? Because you'll tend to be more aware of what's going on inside of the body and also in your mind...basically becoming more introverted and intuitive.

 

and there it is folks. ; )

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Hey Julian - must be so frustrating being healthy, having a regular practice, doing all these good things for yourself, but then having this show up! Must make you a little angry I bet. Do you feel angry with yourself? Be more attentive to the subtleties of your experience - are you saying things in your head at these times? What do you say? What 'voice tone' do you use internally? (I'm not asking you to answer me, I'm asking you to notice for yourself - to bring your attention there).

 

I can imagine that I'd be beating myself up about this. I see you're trying to go to the root cause - go for the throat chakra directly, but it's very rare that things are so simple - and I'm afraid that if you do any throat chakra work directly, you'd be beating yourself up in another way altogether.

 

Firstly be gentle with yourself. You can't force this issue. The part of you that panics when needing to talk in a group will only be damaged further if you start trying to control it or beat it into submission - even by seemingly harmless practices. You see - any practice you do to counteract this is setting up the premise that this just isn't good enough.

 

So being gentle and not forcing is the first step. The second step is inquisitiveness... what's actually happening? What happens in the moment specifically? You've already mentioned the lump in your throat - but what else is happening in your body? What about your thinking? As I asked before - can you notice yourself berating yourself in your head? Are you making pictures in your mind? Running little clips of what it would look like to be failing or choking up?

 

Just notice these without trying to affect them. Use any time you feel this tightness, this lump or even just the hint of anxiety before it gets to that, as the signal that it's time to start paying attention! This is a learning opportunity so pay attention!

 

Brian recommended Toastmasters - a great recommendation! In fact if you go for it, and use what I said above, you can treat it as your classroom - you're in a supportive environment, and it gives you space to pay attention to these things happening inside. Remember the aim is not to try to stop any of this, but to let it run unimpeded, whilst giving it your full attention. Not thinking about it, rationalising, telling stories about it ('this is from my childhood when I had to give a presentation at school and all the kids blah blah blah') - you give attention to what's happening in the moment, not stories about things that happened or will happen.

 

There's a certain kind of magic that happens when you give attention to something you tend to try to suppress or control or force out. When you give your undivided attention to it, it starts to shift - not shift in the way you think it should shift, but shift in the way that's right for it to shift. And you need to pay attention to notice it shifting.

 

Going to Toastmasters would give you ample opportunities to do this. They'll start you off slowly. And that's great. Once you give it attention and it starts to shift you'll notice a certain ease come up. It doesn't mean it will magically disappear, and you'll suddenly stop being nervous or shy or whatever, but you'll be able to be nervous and shy and still speak, without trying to hide your shyness or nervousness... with a bit of experience of doing this you'll start to notice that the nervousness is just excitement in wolves clothing! You'll notice that you can be shy and not hide it and be confident and at ease at the same time - so when you speak you'll speak authentically and congruently without masking over any part of you - that's when your throat chakra will open in just the right way.

 

When you notice that it's unwinding, and it's easier to start speaking, then it's time to start paying attention to the people you're talking to! This is very important - if you're speaking but all your attention is inside, the people you're talking to unconsciously feel abandoned - they'll cease to exist, and what you're saying will seem boring and monotone and completely un-engaging.

 

So at this stage it's an opportunity to learn to put all of your attention OUT. Become curious about your audience, notice all the subtle things happening in them! This will make you an engaging speaker - but not only that, because your attention is out there on the people you're talking to, you're less likely to get involved in less than helpful thoughts and stories that your mind is likely to try and throw up at you.

 

Good luck - and let us know how you get on :)

Edited by freeform
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Hi Julian,

I would agree that the issue is social anxiety. You appear to see this as an issue as well but I think you are looking for a short cut or an easy "energetic" fix so that you don't have to face the real issues and root causes. While you may see some incremental or temporary benefit from energetic practices like reciting a mantra or wearing a chakra stone, real change requires that you dig deeper, IMO.

 

One of my favorite spiritual teachers is Anthony Demello - a now deceased Jesuit who speaks extensively about the genesis of social anxiety. He like to point out to us that one of our greatest problems in this life is our addiction to the approval of others. This is something that is ingrained in us from early childhood. We are taught to need the approval of our parents, then that gets extended to family members, friends, teachers, bosses, partners, and the list goes on and on.

 

The solution is to have an insight into the truth of this in every aspect of our lives - AWARENESS. Once that awareness is firmly established we have already begun to change. We have the strength to face and be with the truth and see through it for what it is - nothing more than an idea, a concept, a conditioned response.

 

The approval of others cannot help you - any benefit you perceive from that is pure illusion. The disapproval of others cannot harm you - it is you who punish yourself due to lack of perceived approval. If any of this touches something in you, you may want to check out a wonderful set of CD's called Wake Up to Life. It is the only approved, comprehensive recording of one of his retreats and it can quite literally change your life. This sort of change is not easy, and most people do not really want to change because it's much easier to stick with our familiar patterns. There are other resources out there including several wonderful books and brief snippets of his talks on youtube. 

Good luck,
Steve

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Bump. This issue has flared up again, but is manifesting in a work setting. As soon as I walk into my work space I feel a tightness or lump in my throat. I am in the midst of trying to leave this job as the energy flow here is not good, but would love some practical advice on how to gently unblock the throat chakra. I am certain this is the issue. Again my diet, exercise, yoga and meditation practice are consistent but I think there is an energetic block here that may have some root in the past that I haven't quiet figured out. Any help would be much appreciated.

 

Thinking about this again...perhaps another thing to try is seeing a Chinese Medicine practitioner to treat "plum pit qi".

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this is a common sign of mind taking over body. when speaking, do not stay in your mind, instead feel your whole body. if you happen to freeze, your mind will try to take over again. but instead just stay in your body, feel your arms legs and everything else. keep your tan tien as focal point of attention as well. if adrenalin start rushing contain it in tan tien.

other than that it might help to be more aggressive to shake off that heavy energy from others. especially if you are giving presentation there is a lot of energy coming at you you must counteract this energy with your own, otherwise you will be taking in a lot of information from others and it will be hard to focus on what you are presenting

sometimes uncomfortable=comfortable, depending on situation

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I was hoping the members of the board could lead me to resources or give me advice on how to safely open or balance my throat chakra.

 

There have been 3 major instances in the last year where in social settings with people I don't know and it's my turn to speak, a lump is created in my throat, my voice breaks and quivers and a great fear comes over me. It happened again tonight which forced me to leave the meeting I was in before I had a full blown anxiety attack. I am committed to addressing and fixing this problem once and for all with your help hopefully.

 

I know that the throat chakra is related to not speaking my true self and this certainly applies to me. The thing is in a one on one setting its fairly easy for me to speak my true self but when its a group of strangers I lock up, the lump is created and my heart starts beating and the anxiety kicks in. It can also happen in a large group of people I know well but it's not as bad although it still exists in a muted fashion.

 

My diet is excellent, I exercise regularly, I do yoga, I meditate daily, so it's none of these possible issues. I am thinking it's related to my past in some way. Although I have certainly suffered in my past I don't ever remember it being related to fear of expressing my self. I don't harbor any resentments of ex-lovers, friends or family members. So I am ruling that out.

 

I was hoping there might be a specific meditation practice, visualization, asana, book, or anything really that could directly help with this issue. I thought about seeing an energy healer but after all the horror stories I have heard about energy healers on this board I am ambivalent about going that route unless they came very well recommended.

 

How often do you lie?

 

How much do you feel you are influenced by the opinions of others?

 

And how often do you seek actual real experiences that would ressolve in overcoming anxiety?

 

No situation will be overcome and resolved by using your thoughts and creating a healthy mind/ego only. For example by using affirmations. Thoughts are only a small part of the total picture of your Self.

 

Anxiety will only be overcome when you go into it the experience from a place of understanding. This place is your Center, your Heart. From there you perceive consciously what is happening, all the activities in your body, emotions and mind. And then you know what to do by bringing more and more stillness into these parts of your Self that are out of balance.

 

To observe what is happening inside you and to fully understand what is going on, you obviously want to do this from a place that is not involved in either emotional turmoil or thinking. That is your Heart, pure conscious awareness.

 

It is what we ultimately all do.

 

"Social anxiety" - seeing possibly threats and the unknown everywhere, comes from having your mind not in a space of greater unity. You hold it through certain acts in a place of separation. I invite you to reflect upon your life.

 

Source: My own life experience with my blockages from my past and how I could most effectively solve them. I stuttered in my youth, lied everywhere to project myself as something more suitable for any given situation, had social anxiety and still experience fragments of it today but barely anything anymore and I have fear of reading out loud or giving public speeches. This shrank to nothing by being more in my Self and not "out there". Which is the illusion. Your chakras give you experience and not something "out there" causes your chakras to x.

 

PS: What kind of meditation do you perform? Since meditation should solve this naturally... Sun-Gazing helps very well in removing negativity and reprogramming your mind into an ultra healthy state.

Edited by 4bsolute
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Neck circles and stretches.

 

Yawning

 

Talking aloud about your difficulties in a nonsensical made-up language.  (from Julie Henderson)

 

Self-massage of the jaw.

 

Find a tender point somewhere on the neck, and a corresponding tender point on the opposite side.  Alternately massage one point and then the other freeing up the energy in a line between the points.  (from polarity therapy)

 

Consider the "meta" level of the problem (ie. how you feel about having this issue) and release any judgement. 

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Another thought.  Consider whether there might be something that your body wants to say that you aren´t allowing yourself to voice.  It´s so common to have things to say that we don´t allow ourselves, for whatever reason, to express--especially at work.  The anxiety could be your reaction to this inner conflict: part of you wants to get out some pent up emotion, part of you is scared as hell that you just might.

 

Liminal

Edited by liminal_luke
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I want to thank everyone for their responses. Much appreciated.

 

@ Steve. Your response certainly closed in on a certain aspect of the matter. I suffered with approval issues when I was younger and slowly but surely have been climbing out of this hole, especially in the last few years but still not out of the woods.

 

@4absolute. I do not lie, or very rarely. However, I do think the issue of approval is a part of it, but also I would add that this work setting does not support being my authentic self. That type of openness is shut down and not encouraged if not outright frowned upon. The reason I mention this is because yesterday I had just come back from a community garden where many people congregate. I spoke in front of others with no anxiety and in fact with a great sense of ease and openness. That setting supports me in being my fullest self and I flow in it.

 

However, life will always have conditions that are not ideal and not supportive if not outright antagonistic to one's well being and authenticity. I need to be able to access that calm centered place as soon as the contraction appears. The problem is that this energetic block becomes so overwhelming that no matter how much I attempt a "gentle observing allowing" approach it's a stubborn monster that will not abate haha.

 

I will look into Toastmasters, and will also try and look at the Anthony Demello material.

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@ Liminal

 

Haha, I love the talking aloud in nonsensical languages. Today I chanted after my meditation and that felt good, I could see how just using my voice in a more intentional way will help. Usually I wont chant because that anxiety creeps up about what my neighbors would think or say but I got over it.

 

Also, I have a guitar that I play and have been wanting to sing but the fear re-asserts itself. What strikes me about all this is that even though I do see how approval is a part of this issue, I don't understand why I have no problems in one on one settings, in fact I would say I thrive in those. For those who are aware of the Myers Briggs approach to psychology I am an ENFP, so I'm wired to read people's emotions and act accordingly. In group settings it's difficult for me to be able to read so many people's different inflections, perhaps there is something there.

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i dont know what job it is as i havent been in such a job, or any job for that matter, but the important part is to have fun. not out of other peoples expense but fun for yourself

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I hate speaking in "public" (including closed groups) too - but over the last few years have become more at ease with it simply by being more subjected to it. Practice does wonders. 2 tips:

 

1. Choose where you speak out loud - this gives you more of a sense of control. Go to something you're interested in, where you might have to contribute at least once, but otherwise as little as possible. (I've been to unconferences where 100+ people introduce themselves with 3 words. The pressure is oddly intense, but after a few times you do get used to it. A big crowd can increase the pressure, but also lend a sense of anonymity afterwards.)

 

2. Practice privately - recording yourself, even if you don't listen back to it, is scary and brings out a lot of the same judgement we have when speaking in public, if we're not used to it. Pick a little something - an intro, a piece of text, a subject - and say it out loud, record it, etc. The only way to do it is by taking the pressure off yourself, and getting over the idea that you sound or feel silly.

 

Eventually you get to the point where a) you can more easily choose what you want to say, and B) you care less about how it comes out.

 

Now I can't shut myself up ;-)

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I want to thank everyone for their responses. Much appreciated.

 

@ Steve. Your response certainly closed in on a certain aspect of the matter. I suffered with approval issues when I was younger and slowly but surely have been climbing out of this hole, especially in the last few years but still not out of the woods.

 

@4absolute. I do not lie, or very rarely. However, I do think the issue of approval is a part of it, but also I would add that this work setting does not support being my authentic self. That type of openness is shut down and not encouraged if not outright frowned upon. The reason I mention this is because yesterday I had just come back from a community garden where many people congregate. I spoke in front of others with no anxiety and in fact with a great sense of ease and openness. That setting supports me in being my fullest self and I flow in it.

 

However, life will always have conditions that are not ideal and not supportive if not outright antagonistic to one's well being and authenticity. I need to be able to access that calm centered place as soon as the contraction appears. The problem is that this energetic block becomes so overwhelming that no matter how much I attempt a "gentle observing allowing" approach it's a stubborn monster that will not abate haha.

 

I will look into Toastmasters, and will also try and look at the Anthony Demello material.

 

Yes, this all has to come in alignment or parts of us will remain blocked. We need to create change in all parts of our life to fully express ourselves.

 

A lie is a lie. An energetic shift downwards into separation and not upwards into union. To trigger and alter DNA the initial amount is unimportant, that it was triggered in a way, is enough. Life can not be fooled, it is ultra precise. The term precise becomes obsolete.

 

Yes, all this more being in your Self to a point where outside can be noisy and inside you are calm, will gradually bring you there. Keep going. And keep in your Heart (not in your mind) that Thoughts and Emotions are your tools. You are not them. You are the creator who utilizes them. The creator is not controlled by his tools. Or are you? Every individual has to realize this again his life, sooner or later. This will the replace the subconscious mind. As said from a place of Pure God/Tao Consciousness, through your Center out into creation.

 

Thoughts trigger emotions. The interpretation of emotions trigger thoughts again, which again trigger emotions and we have what we call a "full human life, colorful and wild in both emotions and thoughts". But we want to be in control and then through realization of this misunderstanding (there is no control, but first we have to be fully in the paradox of "having control") being able to surrender into mastery of all that is. This will all come by itself.

 

And yes you then can observe your body, emotions and mind being nervous and it is okay. Change from this point of observation is quite easy, when you no longer identify yourself with all the lower changing energies.

 

PS: Not being able to shut up, while talking, drains your energy. Which again affects your throat chakra. You might feel thirsty or tired. But you would feel this and who wants to keep doing the same mistakes over and over again, when the own intelligence already lets oneself know that enough is enough and the next time we do it even more precise.

Edited by 4bsolute

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