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  • Writer's pictureKatalin Zakocs


Intuition guides me in the right direction so that a creative process can start. (It is not to be confused with impulsive reactions.) Intuition is an instinctive realization of my inner sources: a tool that points me to the abilities and skills that will help me to make progress in my life. Intuition is intangible and so we tend to believe that it does not exist.

I am aware that the intuitive process is going on in me, as a lot of ideas are running through my mind while I am taking a somewhat neutral approach; strong emotions or significant thoughts are not present. I let my emotions, thoughts, and memories interact with each other without my conscious mind (ego) taking either side. As a result, I am open to information that would otherwise remain hidden from me. My goal is not to achieve a state of a calm mind, but an informative one. Nonetheless, I am calm and I do not have to make much effort while the process is going on. There is no stress because my ego remains in the background.

As part of the process, my mind is using symbols created by my Self (soul, higher self - depends on one’s belief system). My mind not only stores symbols and images but also utilizes them to promote my mental balance. Most of the time I come across these symbols in my dreams which makes it easy to use them as I can see clear images in my dreams. Other times I recognize them by paying attention to the words and metaphors I use most often. Characters from books and movies may also represent important qualities to me.

If you are reading this post you are probably familiar with the physical symptoms of anxiety: eg. hyperventilation, sweating, feeling nervous, panicking, trembling, etc. There are also mental symptoms of anxiety, such as disconnection, uncontrollable overthinking, ruminating on the past and future, etc. The cause of anxiety is not always clear, sometimes it is not even psychological. Regardless of the causes, anxiety is terrifying and discouraging. How can we use our intuition to reduce this feeling of unease?

What are the antonyms for anxiety? Peacefulness, security, composure, assurance, certainty, faith, calmness, joy, happiness, trust, belief, blessing, collectedness, and so on. How often do you use those words? Probably not very often. How frequently do you use the word anxiety or its synonyms? Words have power and can determine how you perceive reality.

People who have faith in God, gods, fate, universe, are usually less anxious than those who are reliant solely on their egos. They practice religious rituals and meditations that link to symbols and metaphors. These activities and their beliefs ease their minds because they believe there is a powerful force outside of them that takes care of them. They dwell less on the past and worry less about their present and future because they know they cannot control everything. Nonetheless, the ego has an important role in being connected to everyday life. We need our egos to be able to function.

If you are not religious or spiritual, you may create or explore your own symbols. If you put your trust and faith in your own unique symbols, you will be more optimistic. You will begin to believe that you can cope with stress and reach your goal without being stopped by irrational fear. By putting your trust in a symbol - which has a significant meaning for you - you feel less vulnerable to everyday challenges. You have got faith in something else outside of your ego. As a result of this, you will be less preoccupied with worrying scenarios in your mind. Your brain will be distracted from worry.

Let me give an example. One night I saw a spider in my bedroom before I fell asleep. It crossed my mind that the spider is a symbol of good fortune in some cultures. Because of this notion, I had a funny dream about a shiny hard-working white spider. The next morning I just knew I would use this image as a symbol of success and productivity. At that time I had already been putting off a project for over a year because I was not confident enough to start it. I thought that the actions my project involved would be way out of my comfort zone. However, after this dream, I focused on the image of the shiny spider: I put my trust, faith, and belief in that image, and my fear and uncertainty were gone. I paid so much attention to the symbol that my brain did not have any chance to focus on my insecure feelings.

My confidence was strengthened. I stopped worrying and was not afraid of challenges anymore related to my project. I just set my focus on the tasks, worked tirelessly, and everything was done in 3 days. It does not matter if I believed in the superstition that spiders bring good fortune or not; my mind was focused on the symbol instead of my fears, and that was all that mattered. My intuitive mind (self, soul, higher self) chose this symbol deliberately in order to get the job done without being overwhelmed by fear and scepticism. My ego was willing to shrink to reach my goal. Actually, I felt pretty certain that finally, I would succeed in carrying out the project. Since then, I have not really thought about this dream, until now. At that time I just wanted to give some encouragement to my brain to help reduce anxiety pertaining to changes. Because the brain may see changes as negative and increase feelings of anxiety.

This process is called creative intuition. Without conscious reasoning, I was able to quickly identify (intuition) the value of an element of my dream: I utilized this element in a creative way to get rid of my fears and anxiety that hindered me from starting my project. I just let a symbol direct me to have more trust in my abilities. By choosing a symbol, a creative process got started.

You could argue that an intuitive process must be completely spontaneous and hence you just cannot decide that you want to find inspiration in order to boost your creativity. But think about artists: they do look for inspiration to create art. You want to free yourself from anxiety in a creative way, and for this reason, you need inspiration - this is the point when your intuition is needed. So how can you get an aha moment?

By deciding you need help, you actually admit to yourself that your old habits and coping techniques do not work effectively. You turn to your self (or God, the universe in spiritual terms) for guidance which means your ego shows some modesty. You admit that you cannot be in charge of everything that happens to you and around you. From that point on, your mind becomes accessible to inspiration. You will be able to explore your inner world through the language of symbols and metaphors because your mind becomes open to new stimulations. You will pay more attention to the content of your dreams, the words you use, and how you observe others.

This is the process of so-called creative art. You are not creating a painting, a sculpture, or a play - you are creating and working on your Self (or higher self in the spiritual language). This is clear art. Certainly, it does not mean that you should become inactive. Your ego still plays a significant role in your success and mental well-being.

How can you find your symbols? There is no generic answer to this question because everyone has their own inner world and belief system. Since symbols are processed intuitively like road signs, sometimes we are not even aware of using them. They still work and help us. Although, if we cannot visualize a clear inner image of them, they are less efficient, especially when it comes to anxiety.

Your unique symbol collection could consist of images, words, gestures, sounds - anything that can ease your mind and reduce your anxiety. A symbol is something that stands for something else. If your symbol is a word that distracts your attention from constant worrying, then it is helpful. However, it could be much more powerful if you had an image in your head that somehow relates to the meaning of the word. Just like a logo, an emblem for a brand. For instance, if your chosen word is bird or something that relates to birds (such as birds singing), you can easily picture a bird.

Your emblem could be a person who represents or embodies confidence according to your opinion. This person might be a friend, your boss, or even a character in a movie or book. If you have social anxiety and are afraid of what people think about you, you can focus on the image of this symbolic character – who represents confidence – and how this person would behave in similar situations. Would this person be worried about other people’s judgment? If you believe that you are awkward, you might start to use a more positive word instead, such as unique - and a different image of yourself will appear in your head. My point is that your brain will spend less time worrying if you keep it occupied by images that represent characteristics that you can use constructively.

If you want to find a symbol that can promote your psychological well-being, you will surely find inspiration. Dream interpretations and visualizations are the most effective tools to find your helpful emblems that represents something that is the opposite of anxiety. Journaling can also lead to finding useful symbols and metaphors in your life. Metaphors that support mental health can be established mainly through dreams and visualizations. For example, for someone who is frightened by changes and life transitions, a metaphor like “life is a constant journey” may be applied through visualization or guided imagery. It is an efficient way to make your conscious mind understand that changes are inevitable in life. The content of your dreams can be interpreted as metaphors for your core desires and fears.

Fear is a basic human emotion. The problem with anxiety is that you are overly afraid of almost everything because you continually imagine embarrassing or horrific scenarios. Because of the imbalanced state, you may excessively go in the negative direction on the fear and worry scale. We need symbols and metaphors to maintain our mental health because they are the links between the conscious mind (ego) and the self (soul). They make the intuitive and creative process more tangible for us. The harmonious connection - and communication - between the ego and self is the key to mental balance and healthy self-esteem. In the case of anxiety, your symbols and metaphors need to reinforce and represent feelings that are the antonyms of anxiety, such as peacefulness, security, composure, collectedness, courage, confidence, and so on.

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