If Anxiety has moved into your head and is taking over your life, here is a explanation about what anxiety is and how you can deal with it.
You can then do a practical exercise to work with this stubborn state of mind.
By the end of this article you will have some simple strategies to help issue the anxiety with an eviction notice to move out with immediate effect (if that is something you feel ready to do)
Anxiety is a strong feeling that the emotional part of your mind gives you to alert you to take action.
Think of anxiety like a homeless security guard that sits outside your mind constantly watching out for threat and danger. That is its job.
The Anxiety Security Guard has a very useful role. It is supposed to be on watch out for negatives and danger. When it senses trouble, it is meant to ring the doorbell of your mind to give you a warning. Once you hear the bell, you can open the door, check out the situation, thank the Anxiety Security Guard for the security message and then close the door again and react accordingly.
But, it’s not very comfortable outside, it’s cold and wet and windy. So, if the Anxiety Security Guard thinks it has an opportunity of refuge, it will come inside the mind, get warm and dry and make itself at home. If the door of your mind is left ajar, the Anxiety Security Guard can then slowly and quietly start to move in, and that’s when it has over stepped the threshold and becomes a problem.
If we don’t understand that the Anxiety Security Guard is meant to live outside and make the mistake of being too polite and allow it in, it can become a very stubborn squatter and can live dormant in your space like an unwelcome visitor or a guest that has outstayed their welcome.
Once the Anxiety Security Guard gets comfortable within your mind, it becomes extremely resistant to change, and moves in to the personal space of your thoughts. This is dangerous because the Anxiety Security Guard is trained to be negative (to keep you safe), so the Anxiety Security Guard begins to change your positive thoughts into negative ones.
Extreme anxiety makes you feel small, worthless, fearful and isolated. Eventually anxiety can start controlling your thoughts and encourages you to think miserable thoughts – like it does.
When we feel miserable and worthless, it is very difficult to change. Our mindset becomes weaker and then it is difficult to find any strength or coping mechanisms. It is difficult to ask it to move out. Anxiety is now living permanently in your mind, and to make matters worse, you still pay the rent, and it lives there rent free. Laughing at you cowering in the corner.
Now you know why anxiety is useful if it stays doing its job outside your mind, but when it comes in it becomes overbearing, destructive and pollutes your thinking. So, how do we get rid of it?
Anxiety has a very useful purpose to some extent, but why does it have to make us feel so bad?
Did you know that anxiety has to create a negative feeling, so we sit up and take notice, and take appropriate action.
The feeling of anxiety has to be a very uncomfortable feeling that makes us feel on edge and keeps us on high alert.
That uncomfortable feeling releases adrenaline into the system. Adrenaline helps our body and brain switch into a stress mode. Stress mode makes us react sharply, increase our strength and resilience and can be a powerful motivator to take action. The stress reaction is designed to save your life when you are in danger.
Anxiety is the brain’s way of ringing the fire alarm telling us we may have forgotten something, or we are going to be in trouble or there is actually a fire. The adrenaline can help us quickly react and fight that fire to put it out, or find a rapid exit strategy to run away as fast as we can so we stay safe.
Anxiety is a good indicator to help us realise that something is not quite right, and if we really are in danger, we can stay safe, and essentially stay alive.
So, you will now agree, that it is useful to know that anxiety can be an indicator to help us when we are in a spot of bother. The fuel that anxiety releases (adrenaline) helps us react quickly and sharply to sort out the problem – to rapidly run away, hide or fight if necessary.
When we feel the brain’s alarm bell ringing, we then move into a part of our brain that is reactive and we then move into fight, flight or freeze. This is our primitive brain’s survival mechanism. We need it to be working well.
What we don’t want – is our primitive brain to stay switched on, because this means that we are being fuelled by stress, and that does not feel good!
We want to be able to keep the intellectual part of our brain switched on to look for a solution to the problem that anxiety presents us with. This means we are fuelling our lives with intellect, and that feels better!
Our intellectual mind stays switched on when we get practical and when we make a plan.
(No Anxiety at all) 0—1—2—3—4—5—6—7—8—9—10 (Panic Attack)
Rate how anxious you are feeling right now. What number are you now on that scale? Put a circle around it on your piece of paper.
If you are around 5 or below – you are in a state of equilibrium and harmony, if you are above 5, you are slightly out of equilibrium.
Write this underneath the scale:
I WANT TO BE _____ (Insert new number)
Lastly, I’m going to ask you to imagine something, using your powerful imagination.
Imagine you knew the answer to this question. Everyone uses their imagination in a unique way, some people close their eyes, some people look up into the sky, some people visualise a daydream.
So, do what feels right to you right now. Imagine you know what to write down. take a few moments to get your imagination working for you.
Just for a few moments, imagine you are feeling like this new number. If you were this number, how would you know? What would you feel? What would you be able to do, even if it was a tiny thing. Perhaps think of a few things you would notice about yourself, your expression, your activities if you were this new number.
I would notice __________________
I would feel ____________________
I would be able to do ______________
Now, ask yourself this one question:
…and I’ll stop here, so you can go and get on with it.
For more information or to book an initial consultation, call or text Tammy Foley on 07792 706275
Tammy Foley is a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist practising near Tenby, Pembrokeshire