Spiritual Awakening Anxiety: Why It Happens & How To Overcome It

Spiritual awakening is often thought of as a glorious and mystical event full of bliss and happiness. And yes, that can be true.

But the truth is that a spiritual awakening can leave you feeling anxious beyond belief.

The path to awakening is NOT as easy and glorious as you might initially think. Yes, the process will eventually lead you to a better version of yourself and a better understanding of reality. But it will also be reality shattering.

And let me tell you, reality shattering experiences can be mistaken for reality ending experiences.

I’ve spent several sleepless nights dealing with the mind, body, and reality altering effects of spiritual awakenings.

If you’re experiencing heightened anxiety from a spiritual awakening know that you’re not alone in this experience. With time you will come back to a normal state of mind.

Understanding Spiritual Awakening Anxiety: Normal or Not?

Let’s first determine if this is normal anxiety or spiritual awakening anxiety.

Anxiety isn’t a single factor phenomena, meaning lots of things can trigger it. Not just spiritual awakening.

Anxiety is characterized by:

  • feelings of restlessness
  • a sense of impending danger
  • heightened tension in the body
  • inability to sleep
  • excessive worry

Having just these symptoms alone doesn’t mean you’re going through spiritual awakening anxiety.

If you’re already prone to anxiety your spiritual awakening may just be exacerbating already present symptoms.

However if you recently had a spiritual awakening and these symptoms are directly stemming from that experience, you’re most likely going through spiritual awakening anxiety.

Identifying the Two Types of Awakenings

To know how to work through your spiritual awakening anxiety you must know about the two main types of awakening:

1. Consciousness breakthroughs – spiritual awakenings that occur from heightened states of consciousness forcing you to see reality from a completely new paradigm.

2. Energetic awakenings – activation of powerful spiritual energy in our body such as kundalini awakenings and chakra opening.

Both of these types of awakenings can cause anxiety.

The first type of awakening (consciousness breakthroughs) will most likely cause general feelings of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty over your life and reality.

While the second type of awakening (energetic awakenings) can be mistaken for full blown panic attacks. The symptoms of a kundalini awakening and a panic attack are nearly identical:

  • racing heart
  • sweating
  • shaking
  • feelings of energy in the body
  • fast breathing

If you believe you’re going through an energetic or kundalini awakening see my guide to handling an unexpected kundalini awakening.

Why Spiritual Awakenings May Cause Anxiety

1. Surges Of Divine Energy

Certain types of awakenings can create a lot of divine energy in your body.

Energetic awakenings can be incredibly unsettling if you’re not expecting one. The sudden surge of Shakti energy through your body can be an unwelcome surprise to many.

Some negative symptoms from this type of awakening include:

  • overwhelming energy in the body
  • full blown panic attack
  • insomnia
  • increased negative emotions

Learn more about Kundalini Syndrome here.

2. Your Ego Is Dying

One of the most terrifying experiences of spiritual awakening is ego death.

Ego death is a very common experience during psychedelic use, but can happen for any number of reasons.

Your literal sense of self is under threat of death.

As you wake up, your ego starts to dissolve. But it won’t go down without a fight.

This ego resistance causes fear and anxiety because it does not want to die. It’s important to realize this fear is all an illusion.

Once the ego is finished off once and for all there lays only peace, love, and unity.

3. Awakening Can Be Shocking

Some spiritual realizations can turn your world upside down. Everything you once thought to be true is now turned on its head.

Insights realized from spiritual awakening can be reality-breaking.

You may be forced to come face to face with a new reality that you weren’t expecting or even thought possible.

These intense perspective shifts can cause a lot of personal and mental distress.

4. Heightened Sensory Perception

Spiritual awakenings can put you into a state of high sensitivity. You may be vibrating at such a high level of divine energy that your consciousness is extremely sharp.

Sights, sounds, and feelings can become overwhelming as you’re able to tune into every little detail with your heightened awareness.

This can easily overload your brain and cause anxiety.



Discover the 6 stages of awakening and find out where you are in your journey.

5. Healing Past Trauma

Sometimes profound spiritual experiences will bring up past traumas that need to be healed. This is especially the case during difficult psychedelic trips. Though they may be extremely distressing, it is for your greater healing.

To transcend into your highest self you need to dissolve many things holding you back. One of these things may be traumas.

When traumas arise to be worked with and healed you may feel a lot of anxiety and resistance.

See also “Struggling With Spiritual Awakening? Why It Can Be Lonely And Hard”

Understanding Psychological Distress and Spiritual Awakening

The #1 cause of spiritual awakenings happen to be psychological distress.

Spiritual awakenings don’t just happen when we’re happy and cozy in life. They often hit us during our lowest points like a life preserver thrown to a drowning sailor.

Spiritual awakening is the mind’s last resort in many cases. Life can get so painful that a break from reality is actually necessary.

According to a research survey by Steve Taylor, psychological turmoil causes spiritual awakening more than anything else.

More than prayer, meditation, and even psychedelics.

Anxiety, distress, and psychological turmoil are often intertwined with spiritual awakening experiences.

Spiritual awakenings and their reality-altering effects may offer some relief to those suffering from mental distress.

But if your spiritual awakening experience is causing you extra anxiety there are a few things you can do to help.

Coping Strategies For Awakening Anxiety

The anxiety you encounter during your spiritual ascension is all part of the process. It will not harm you, it’s just really really uncomfortable.

It’s important to realize that you’re not actually in any danger.

You may feel like something dangerous is happening inside your mind or body, but I promise you will be okay.

Let’s talk about how you can best deal with this awakening anxiety.

1. Surrender

The first piece of advice I give to anyone experiencing negative awakening side effects is to simply surrender. You may be causing your own negative experience by simply resisting the experience.

Don’t push away your anxiety, rather tap into it even more deeply.

Get present and feel your emotions deeply.

Take a few deep breaths. Notice how the body feels. Slow down.

Awakenings are divinely orchestrated. Trust the universe to take care of you during this process. Let go and surrender to a greater plan you can’t possibly understand with your human mind.

You may find that after you simply surrender for a few minutes your anxiety totally disappears.

2. Practice Grounding Exercises

Grounding exercises are great for when you’re feeling too spiritually high. Feeling detached and overwhelmed can be caused by the high energy states induced from spiritual awakenings.

In grounding exercises, you bring yourself back down into your body and lower your vibration to a more tolerable level.

Here are some grounding exercises I recommend:

  • Simple mindfulness meditation
  • Taking a walk in nature
  • Light exercise
  • Slow calming breathing

I find that doing everyday things like cleaning, exercising, and working help bring me back to mundane reality after particularly strong awakening experiences.

3. Seek Spiritual Guidance

The universe is confusing and awakenings are hard. You don’t have to go it alone.

If you feel like you’re out of your league with your awakening experience then it’s time to call in the experts.

There are so many amazing and experienced spiritual guides in this world who dedicate their lives to helping people going through difficult spiritual awakenings.

Seek them out and follow their guidance. An experienced spiritual guide is one of the best things for spiritual anxiety.

You can get in contact with a spiritual guide, teacher, or mentor several ways.

See my article: “How To Find a Spiritual Mentor”

You can also search the MyGuru directory tool on our website to find an experienced guide.

4. See A Therapist

I know what you’re thinking: a therapist? for a spiritual issue??

For issues of the spirit you should seek spiritual counseling. For issues of the mind you should seek psychological counseling.

If your spiritual awakening experience is causing old trauma to resurface then a licensed therapist can help you work through and heal that trauma.

Your awakening may also have triggered a preexisting anxiety disorder.

Both of these things are issues of the brain.

Even the great spiritual teacher Ram Dass was known for telling his followers that they needed therapy and not spiritual advice.

5. Journal

Journaling can be a powerful tool for spiritual growth.

Simply physically writing something down with a pen and paper can act as a grounding exercise.

Secondly, journaling will allow you to see one individual thought at a time as you’re writing it down. During an episode of anxiety our thoughts move so quickly we can’t even process one before the next anxious thought pops up.

Thirdly, journaling will create a record of your spiritual awakening and anxiety. This will be important for reflection later on.

See my article “How To Journal For Spiritual Growth & Awakening”


A spiritual awakening can leave you feeling too energized, anxious, and overwhelmed.

These reality-shattering experiences are not for the faint of heart, so know that you are a brave soul for following the spiritual path of awakening. Emotional turmoil and anxiety are normal during this process.

Eventually, you will transcend these negative emotions and return to a comfortable baseline with the new spiritual knowledge from your awakening experience.

Hi, I’m Ryan. I’m a meditation teacher, spiritual seeker, and founder of nurtureyourspirit.org. I’m glad you’re here! I founded Nurture Your Spirit because of my love of meditation, spirituality, and spiritual awakening.

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