Stop Anxiety, Worry and Fear

Fear - Anxiety - Worry - Panic, Worry Add comments

In the previous article we discussed ways of calming the mind. You learned how to notice where in the body you are stuffing emotions and got tips to begin to release them.  This is the next step in getting relief from worry, anxiety and fear.

 Anxiety, fear and worry get triggered in
Two primary ways

1) Past Events:  Remembering upsetting situations that already happened. Sometimes we are aware of these memories and worry that the feared situation might occur again. (this is typical with social phobia, we we worry what others might think, or in fear of flying after having a scary flight)

At other times we aren’t aware that the old fearful memories are being triggered, we just know we are flooded with worry and anxiety. (I had a client that was embarrassed in 4th grade when her teacher made her stand in front of the room as a punishment for talking. She didn’t realize that this was the root of her fear of talking in public, until we tracked the fear back using hypnosis.)

2) Upcoming Feared Events:  Thinking about awful things that might possibly happen in the future.  (what if phrases usually proceed these types of thoughts.  Many worries are triggered by the the scenarios we create of possible negative things that might happen in the future:  Fear of flying, test taking, driving,  are some of the 

Your Thoughts Stimulate Reactions

Whenever you concentrate on the multitude of possible scary scenarios that might come about in the future, the unconscious part of the mind acts as if they are already taking place. One of the interesting things about the unconscious mind is that it accepts your thoughts, pictures and memories as if they are real. Then the unconscious part begins to flood you with the chemicals, these further trigger feelings of worry, sadness, overwhelm, fear and insecurity. Thoughts can even create pain in the body, even when you are completely unaware of them.

The good news is that you can get relief by learning to change thought patterns that bring them about.

Whenever you find yourself stuck or indecisive, whenever you’re beating yourself up for procrastination, whenever you find yourself stuck in worry practice using the next two tools to break the cycle.

Tool one: Changing one simple word (or sentence):

I was working with a client and she told me that she was so anxious that she couldn’t even make a decision on what food to she wanted to eat. She was running a real negative conversation in her head about how she wasn’t able to make decisions. I asked her to change her words from I can’t make a decision to I choose not to make a decision, on what food I want to eat. She said that felt uncomfortable saying it that way. And I’m sure it did feel uncomfortable saying she was choosing not to make a decision. The positive about saying I choose is that it put her at cause. Since she is choosing (not to make a decision) she can also change her choices. 

Not being at cause makes you feel like something else is controlling you, and that adds to self-blame and anxiety. So as difficult as it is to say, I’m choosing (to think of negatives, to procrastinate, to worry) it puts you at a power position of choosing or not choosing, you’re back control.

Tool Two:
Step 1. Being at cause – by saying I choose . . .

Step 2. The second step after being at cause is to say to yourself:
That’s curious that I’m choosing not to make a decision.
I wonder what that’s about?

When my client used step two and focused inward with the question, it amazed us both when she got her answer: The reason she wasn’t making a decision on what to eat was that she really wasn’t hungry, she was bored. After getting that information she can now see that it wasn’t that she was stuck and not able to make decisions (about food), it was that she needed to find something else to do so she would feel productive.

Next article: More Techniques to stop anxiety worry and fear

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