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Release Anxiety In 3 EASY Steps

Release Anxiety In 3 EASY Steps

Want to know HOW you can stop feeling so anxious?

Here are 3 great methods that can begin to put you back in control of your thinking…

1. Remember They Are Just Thoughts…

Your brain is wired up to respond to imagined things as though they were real.

Let me explain…

Have you ever had the experience where someone goes up to a big blackboard and slowly scrapes their fingernails down it… making THAT sound?

Did you get that ‘squirmy’ feeling even just reading that description? (Or even seeing the picture?)

If you did, how can that be? Think about it… there was NO REAL Blackboard… and there was NO REAL sound… but my description simply invited you to imagine these things and yet, despite the fact that you imagined them, is it not true that you had real physiological feeling of ‘squirm’?

All those things that you have been anxious about work in the same way! 

Chances are you are either picturing things or saying things to yourself that put imagined worst case scenarios in your mind… and you brain is triggering a REAL physiological response! Even though they are just thoughts.

It’s like somehow we forgot that they are just thoughts.

So STEP 1 for beginning to release anxiety is simply to connect with the realisation that those things you had been feeling anxious about are just thoughts!

Really connecting with this helps you to observe them as thoughts and stops giving that anxiety credence.

2. Practice Peripheral Vision…

Often, people struggle with anxiety because they have what feels like unending and unyielding self-talk.

(You know that internal voice that says, “what if this happens?… what if that happens?… what if I can’t do it?…. what if that terrible thing that I imagined actually occurred… what if… oh no… now I’m feeling anxious… now I’m beginning to panic etc”)

Well let me share a really powerful technique that often has the effect of quietening down that unhelpful internal voice.

EXERCISE:

So look ahead and choose a particular spot to focus on…

Now start out by really focusing and noticing all the aspects of that spot you have chosen. Then gradually begin to take 3 deeper breaths and as you do start to move your awareness to the space around that spot…

And as you continue to take those deep breaths move your awareness further and further to the sides as you become more aware of what is at the periphery of your vision…

Holding your attention in this way notice the sensations and feelings of being in this state.

______________________

Many people report to finding this having a very calming affect which creates a quietness of the mind.

So… practice and play with this and remember that if you were to feel anxious… simply pause and find that spot ahead of you as take a deep breath and move your focus of attention into peripheral vision.

3. Dissociate from the bad… and associate into the good.

Close your eyes and imagine being on a rollercoaster… literally seeing what you would be seeing as you climb up the track higher and higher.

Notice the feelings that occur as you imagine this vividly.

Now open your eyes and shake off…

This time close your eyes and imagine sitting on a park bench looking up at yourself on that rollercoaster over there.

Notice the feelings that occur when you imagine it this way.

Which one had the most sensation to it? The first one right?

But why?

Because… you were associated into the image… literally putting yourself there.

This is vastly different to the experience of seeing yourself disassociated from it (as though it were happening to someone else.)

But what has this got to do with anxiety?

Well think about something that has been making you feel anxious and chances are you have got into the habit of thinking about it as though it’s happening to yourself… literally seeing what you would be seeing as you play out some worse case scenario.

No wonder you have been anxious! You have been the star of your own first person perspective “Blare Witch project”! (Remember your brain is going to respond to the imagined stuff as though it were real.)

However, take a moment and literally step out of the image… see those images as though they were happening to someone else…

Feels a little better right?

So… remember to take time to literally disassociate from those unhelpful movies you have been making… (but remember to associate with the ones that make you feel great.)

Doing this daily can really to help to create some better patterns of thinking! Enjoy.

Need Further Help?

Need some help applying these ideas? Want to get a bunch more practical anxiety busting strategies?

BEAT ANXIETY - 1 DAY LIVE WORKSHOP

1-DAY LIVE WORKSHOP – RADLETT – 21ST JANUARY 2018

You’ll discover…

  • The 4 ways your brain learnt to “DO” anxiety and…
  • Several tried, tested and practical ways to “change your mind”

STSOY Disorder: Are You A Hidden Sufferer?

Man Shocked And Surprised About SomethingHaving worked with 1000s of people with fears and phobias, one thing seems to be apparent. Many of us are hidden sufferers of STSOY disorder.

Let me explain more about this terrible affliction. Perhaps you could be a sufferer too?

I had a professor of mathematics come to see me over a fear of flying, and despite him knowing statistically that flying is the safest form of transport he still couldn’t stop feeling afraid. As a logician and mathematician this didn’t make sense to him. How can he know, consciously, that something poses no threat but still have a “flight or fight” response?

So I asked him, “when you think about flying what happens?” (His eyes flicked up – an indication that he is making mental images).

He told me that he saw himself  (in this mental image) plummeting to his death.

After a little more exploration it turns out that he also imagines hearing people screaming around him and he says to himself (in a panicked tone), “Shit, I’m going to die!”.

Now if every time you had thought about flying you had done this too, it would also have had an unpleasant effect.

You see, this is a classic sufferer of STSOY disorder…

Oh, I forgot to tell you it stands for…

 

Scaring The Shit Out Yourself Disorder.

 

Once he began to realise that he had been scaring himself in this way we began, using highly effective techniques, to change the way he thought about flying.

My question to you is this…

If there are things that you feel anxious, nervous, fearful about then what are you imagining in your mind that is creating the unpleasant physiological response.

Maybe you are simply suffering from STSOY disorder?

If you suspect you are a sufferer or you know someone who is, then check out how I may be able to help you (by clicking here or simply get in touch).

In Business? Delivery Of Service Is Key

Key With Success Word Showing WinningI know I’ve blogged about a number of personal development issues recently. However, I wanted to take time to remind everyone that a key part of my work is training organisations and businesses to increase their revenue streams by honing and developing better customer service and sales/influence skills.

One of the things I like to get people to do during business training sessions is to write down one good thing and one bad thing about the experience of going to see your GP. (Feel free to try this exercise for yourself before reading on.)

 

So why do I get people to do this?

Well, in all the years I have been doing this, most people tend to note down similar things. They say things like… “I like the fact that my doctor seems to care”“he’s easy to talk to”. I even had one lady who said, “the thing I like about my doctor is he is very good looking!”

However, when it comes to things that people dislike about their GP experience they tend to say things like, “it’s hard to get an appointment”“the waiting room has old magazines that you wouldn’t want to touch as they’re covered in sick people germs” and “the receptionists are rude”!

 

What does this highlight?

Now whilst some of these answers are amusing, the interesting thing for me is that people tend not to comment on the actual diagnostic ability of the doctor. They don’t say, “I like my doctor because when I go with a sore throat he gives me the correct antibiotics in the correct dosage”. The reason we don’t comment on this is because we merely assume that they are right. We assume that if they are a qualified medical practitioner then, when they look in your throat and prescribe you medication, they are giving you the right advice.

As we don’t have the expertise to comment on their medical knowledge, the only barometer we have, in telling whether they are a decent GP, is not by the quality of the product you get (an accurate diagnosis) but the delivery of that service.

 

Delivery of service makes the difference

Most organisations have the same issue. For example, think about a law firm writing wills for people. Joe Public can’t look at two wills done by two different firms and know which one is legislatively best. Therefore, the only way the prospect has of distinguishing who is the best lawyer comes down to the quality of service delivery.

So whether you are in retail, professional services, construction etc, be careful when thinking through your marketing message.

Are you simply focusing your message on things that most buyers already assume to be true (quality product)? Or are you focusing on how can you create a spectacular delivery of service for your customers?

 

Don’t Get Your Hopes Up, It Might Not Happen!

Time For Hope Message Showing Wishing And Praying

How many times have you heard people say things like, “Don’t get your hopes up… it might not happen”?

I believe that when people say this to you, although they’re trying to help protect you from disappointment, it’s not a useful way of looking at the world.

Stop and think about it this way:

If a 5 year old says excitedly to you, “I’m going to become an astronaut”, your response is not going to be, “well actually that’s very hard and out of the 1000’s of people who want to do it only the top achievers barely make it. And additionally, you have to be highly intelligent and beat the odds of 1 million to 1 etc.”

Of course not!

But at what age do we start telling people to put their dreams away? At what age do we start shooting down hope under the pretence of helping them be “realistic” (By the way, realists are simply those who project the perceived limitations of their past, onto your future.)

So when my sister-in-law had an offer accepted on a new house, she was told by many, “don’t get your hopes up it might not happen! The whole thing might fall through yet… and until you exchange contracts you mustn’t get too excited”.

But just take a moment and ask yourself, why shouldn’t she get her hopes up? Why shouldn’t she allow herself to feel excited and enjoy the process of feeling good about something?

Regardless of how hopeful she allows herself to be ahead of time, surely she would feel some pang of disappointment if it didn’t occur. So feeling good ahead of time doesn’t protect her from feeling bad later!

So let me introduce you to the “Getting Your Hopes Up” matrix.

Hopes Up Matrix

Let me talk you through it.

So, how does operating out of the belief of “DON’T get your hopes up” play out?

Well in the case where she ultimately gets the property she wants then:

She feels subdued beforehand trying to keep excitement at bay and then ends up feeling good when it happens.

In the case where it falls through then:

She feels subdued beforehand trying to keep excitement at bay followed by disappointment.

 

Therefore, operating out of this mindset gives 3 opportunities to feel bad.

 

On the other hand, how does it play out if she allows herself to get her hopes up?

In the case where she gets the property she wants then:

She feels hopeful and excitement before and then good and excited after.

In the case where it falls through then:

She feels hopeful and excited beforehand followed by disappointment.

Therefore, operating this way gives 3 opportunities to feel good!

 

5 years ago, I had an idea for my own TV series and pitched it to a producer. They loved it, and they even commissioned a pilot show to be made. Yes, I got to spend a couple of days starring in my own TV show. And as I moved closer to having it fully commissioned I got more and more excited. Now ultimately it didn’t happen (yet!), but I still enjoyed the excitement when I thought it might. I still enjoy looking back and thinking about that time when it nearly happened.

 

So whilst well-intentioned people may say to you “don’t get your hopes up it might not happen”, I like to realise just how silly that mindset is.

You see they’re so busy trying to protect you from feeling bad, that they are limiting you feeling good.

I don’t choose to live that way and want you to have that choice too!

New Podcast: Coming Soon

Rapid Change Matters:

Talk About The Seeds Of Change

Fortnightly PODCAST interviewing some of the world’s leading therapists & change-workers about how they approach the concepts of rapid change.

RCM - Podcast Coverart

Stop Ignoring Your Own Experience

So I recently appeared in the Daily Express in an article on “’Dealing with Insomnia” (check it out here).

Now I have lost count of the number of sleep therapists, health articles and so-called “gurus” that give the following advice, “When it comes to sleeping well at night the most important thing is that your bed is ONLY to be used for sleep and making love”. They then tutt, grimace and shake their heads in despair if you dare mention to them that you watch TV, look at an ipad or check your phone in the bedroom at night.

This advice is all very well, however, I’ve recently seen a number of insomniacs who have mentioned the following kind of phrases to me, “Well I always fall asleep when I watch the TV in bed, but I know I shouldn’t do that!” and so, because they read somewhere that watching TV in bed is bad, they spend the next few years engaged in the activity of NOT doing the very thing that they know works for them.

Now despite what I have written above, this post is not really about insomnia, sleep issues or whether we should or shouldn’t play with our digital gadgetry in bed, it’s about something I believe is far more important.

The need to trust our own experience of the world over and above the supposed advice of experts!

Let me give you an example,

When my wife was pregnant we went to the hospital for a routine blood test and, as we are sitting there waiting to be called in, a young girl who was sitting with her friend started crying inconsolably.

As I glanced over to see if she was ok, her friend caught my eye and mouthed, “she’s phobic of needles”.

So without hesitation I walked over and explained that I work with people who have fears and phobias and would she like me to do something very quickly to help her feel better. She nodded through the tears and without explaining what I was doing, I got her tapping on various points of her body in a specific sequence associated with getting rid of emotional overwhelm. (A Thought Field Therapy Technique). Within 30 seconds of doing this she stopped crying and I ran through a couple of powerful mental visualizations to help her through the experience.

However, here is where it got interesting…

A nurse (who had witnessed the whole thing, from the girl wailing inconsolably to smiling and feeling ok) came over and asked me what I had done. I explained about TFT and tapping therapies and she replied, “Well that doesn’t really work because… blah, blah, blah, medical jargon, blah, blah, blah,”

It fascinated me that someone, despite seeing this work well with their own eyes, would rather quote to me textbook medical knowledge than trust their own sensory experience of what they had just witnessed.

So, if watching the TV in bed helps you to sleep easily… why not do it? Why ignore something that you have spotted works well for YOU?

My advice is therefore, regardless of what the experts say,

Pay attention to what works for YOU and then do more of it!

Pay attention to what does NOT work for YOU and then do less of it!

And by the way, ONLY use this advice if it works for you 😉

 

Image courtesy of StockImages /  FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

7 “To-Dos” To Beat Depression

depressed woman

A little while ago I was approached by someone who wanted help in curbing their depressive thoughts.

Now I normally only work with people who are 100% committed to change, people who are really going to engage and act on the information we cover during our sessions.

So on this occasion I tried something a little different…

I explained that I was extremely busy and that I only worked with people who were 100% committed to getting better. He convinced me that he was indeed fully engaged with the process and given that he was desperate to come and see me I replied, “show me how committed you are!”

read more…

New Podcast: Coming Soon

Rapid Change Matters:

Talk About The Seeds Of Change

Fortnightly PODCAST interviewing some of the world’s leading therapists & change-workers about how they approach the concepts of rapid change.

RCM - Podcast Coverart

12 Top Psychological Ideas To Improve Your Life

 

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