What IS anxiety and why is it happening to you?

That is such a great question! Let’s talk about anxiety as a process we do first, so we can begin to understand how it works, and as we do so, its worth remembering, your brain is doing this as a misinformed attempt to keep you safe in some way.

The Structure of Anxiety

In order to experience anxiety one must do a number of things first. These things are exhausting. They are hard work. And, whether at a conscious or unconscious level, you do them for some positive purpose. However, quite obviously, given you are here completing this program, this process is not working for you. So first, kudos! Good on you for deciding to do something you CAN do about it. Are you ready to find out the formula for anxiety? Here it is:

  1. To feel anxious, have an anxiety attack, or display symptoms of an anxiety disorder, you MUST be future focused. It simply will not work if you focus on and are grounded in the here and now.
  2. Not only do you need to focus on the future, but when you do focus on the future you MUST search for danger/risk/harm. And you need to do that in a specific way… you need to think of something in the future and imagine that bad stuff happening TO YOU in an associated way… That means as if you were seeing it through your own eyes, hearing the sounds of that imagined event, feeling what your body would be like (any sensations, posture) and even tasting or smelling associated smells that come up when you imagine this so fully.
  3. Are you still with me? OK, there’s more. To really do anxiety well you need to dial everything up to FULL-ON… That is you need to go LARGE and imagine the impact or significance of the danger/harm to unrealistic levels so it really triggers your autonomy nervous system to initiate and maintain that response powerfully. When you do this, imagine the worst, scariest, most harmful outcome, your body response to ‘help you’ fight or flee and thus protect you. It does that by sky rocketing your heartrate to pump blood to your brain so it can stay hyper vigilant, & around your body, priming your limbs for action; leaving you with the shakes, dizziness, churning stomach and all that other so-not-fun-stuff!
  4. People experiencing anxiety also experience it as something happening to them rather than something they are doing. When we start to learn how we CAN control our response by changing our thinking, focus and programming, we can avoid this feeling of being a victim of this horrible condition/mental illness. More on that in later lessons.

I think thats perfect for now. So, once you’ve watched the intro video and therefore have started to understand the nature of your anxiety experience, you are good to go…. and do the next session, grab a coffee/drink, or give that some thought. I know you’re great at thinking big, so do that: Start imagining how amazing it will be when you can apply that only to good stuff! The sky is the limit! See you in the next module/session with some simple, quick tools you can use to modify that old anxiety habit or experience.