Anxiety. What, why and how?

When I’m talking to a client in their free consultation, I usually find myself explaining emotions. Our mind uses emotions to get a response from us. What is fear? It is used to keep us away from something. What is anger? It is used to right a wrong. So what is panic? An old and largely redundant emotion to help us survive a predator or go into battle. We don’t need it for that presentation at work or to buy a loaf of bread at the supermarket.

Then I am usually asked “What is Anxiety?".

It’s our mind saying "this thing is the most important thing, more important than anything else. Focus here". Its function is to steer us where we need to go.

We all have anxiety. It is an emotion that we need, just like happiness and sadness. If we didn't have it, we would be one short of a full set and probably would get nothing done. A mundane example, but I usually have a brief pang of anxiety on a Tuesday morning...."Damn it. Bin day!" So in short, we cannot get rid of it.

So now we know what it is, why we have it and we cannot get rid of it. How can we feel better?

Imagine your mind is like a big ship. You are the captain on the bridge, the conscious mind. You are in charge and know where you are going, why you are going there and a good idea how to get there. The subconscious part of your mind is the crew, with their hands on the controls.

Anxiety begins when the captain doesn't listen to a crew member, who then shouts. Before too long everyone begins to shout and no one can be heard. All you have is a lot of noise and a lot of anxiety. Instead of plain sailing the ship is either all over the place or stuck in the harbour!

We use the Control system to speak to the crew, listen to the messages and deliver new ones. The message is important and has to be heard, but it can be delivered at a whisper.

When the crew know the captain has the message and is dealing with it, they don’t need to shout anymore. The anxiety can return to normal levels and the ship is away in calm waters. Before too long we begin to control anxiety rather than it controlling us.


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