Let's address the giant elephant in the room. There are so many ways to to tackle anxiety. You read blogs, watch YouTube videos, and you can get advice from friends. So why is it that nothing seems to work?
It's true that many people overcome anxiety by simply changing how they think about anxiety. This of course requires the help of a counselor or therapist who can guide us to look at anxiety, accept it, and by practicing a couple techniques we can get through through anxiety. Following this advice can eventually desensitized the brain to fearful triggers making anxious episodes less intense and less frequent.
There's another scenario to consider. What if you find yourself practicing a set of techniques and get little to no results. Anxiety just keeps coming back without change. Or what if you're like many people, you're fine for a while, then out nowhere a frantic attack strikes. That's why we need to look at the subconscious mind.
No one fully understands the subconscious mind. The best information we have is that the subconscious mind is developed over time from the day we're born. It observes, learns, and records every event with feeling. In our day to day lives, it's quick to interpret situations sending lighting fast signals with feelings to our brain. I suspect our subconscious is designed to communicate with feeling rather than intellect because feelings are much faster at conveying messages than thought. Of course, this is extremely useful in the face of real danger which may require split-second decision-making.
One of the things we're learning today is that the subconscious has no bias or preference to what's stored, none. It's an automatic system that can be trained anyway we desire. Train it one way and it moves in that direction to paint your reality. Train it in another and it moves that way. The subconscious is a powerful gift that supports our the ability to learn, grow, and develop.
The subconscious can be programmed by experiencing something and by making the subtle decision to always remember the lesson. Years later you may not know exactly why you don't want to proceed in a similar situation but your gut feeling tells you not to proceed. Even though there's no reason why you shouldn't proceed your feelings hold you back. That's the subconscious at work.
Another way the subconscious can be programmed is through repetition. Repetitive thoughts that evoke emotion are especially powerful. So if you think of a tragic situation, real or not, eventually the cycle of thought with its emotions can be drilled down into the subconscious. Remember the brain doesn't care if something is real or not. If you can be experienced in the brain, its real.
The process of purging the subconscious from unwanted "thought-feelings" is easy. You must allow it to be. You must experience it. But unlike the mind/body anxiety cycle you have the power to change it.
This understanding is pivotal for change. Not only do you discover anxious "feelings" (by the way, everyone has them) but you get the chance to transform them.
Now I need to deviate just a little to show you another mind-altering concept from the Bible.
"Therefore I say to you whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them." ~ Mark 11:24
First, prayer is what you make visible in your mind with intention. The more visible it is in your imagination the more real it is in your brain. Notice also that the power of prayer can be used for "anything". Next, the qualifier to receiving "anything" is that we believe.
Here's something I learned years ago in the field. True belief happens when conscious and subconscious are in complete agreement. So if I hypnotize you and suggest that your finger is over a lit match, even though I'm holding a harmless feather, both your conscious and subconscious act in unison sending a powerful signal to your body to produce blisters on your finger. That's true belief.
So Jesus was right when He points out that anything is possible if you can see it, feel it, and believe it at all levels of mind. In another verse, He simply says, "Everything is possible for him who believes." ~ Mark 9:23
The last thing I want to point out is that the action to believe is up to you, not someone else or God, you. Whatever you agree consciously and subconsciously it becomes real. The joint truth between conscious and subconscious is your reality.
In a very real sense, people who suffer from anxiety may have fretted, or worried, over something repeatedly over time until the concern becomes a strong influence in both the conscious and subconscious mind. The relationship between the two then quietly works back and forth until one day it explores more worrisome possibilities then your nervous system is triggered which signals your glands to produce cortisol. If the cycle isn't stopped anxiety appears.
Now let's talk about how to fix it. The first thing you need to know that letting subconscious "feelings" flow out is not complicated, and there's definitely nothing mystical about it.
I've learned that many therapists are trained at the art of subconscious exploration. The practice can be as simple as getting in a comfortable position. It doesn't matter if your sitting, or lying. Sitting is preferable, lying down may cause to feel sleepy. Close your eyes and take a few deep relaxing breaths.
Once you start relaxing begin exploring any anxious feeling. As you do you may feel nervous or anxious. Don't be afraid, just explore the feeling and see what it's about. Let the feeling flow through you and see what it communicates.
At this point, you will begin to have clarity over the cause of your nerves. Accept the situation whether real or imagined. Let it flow and be at peace with everything. Regardless of how tragic something may be you need to forgive and let go. Think of this way there's probably a person out there that has forgiven something much worse. If it's the fear of failure, or the fear of success, or any other fear you need to let it express itself, then let just flow through you. Trust me, after the experience you're going to feel stronger.
As you let go you're going to start feeling more peace. Stay in the peaceful moment for about one to three minutes. This is important because experiencing peace derived directly from your fear neutralizes the fear in your subconscious. Fear is the root of anxiety. If you move through fear, you remove the anxiety support system.
Then you can take a few slow gentle deep breaths, and gently open your eyes. You can stay in a seated position for a few minutes until you feel ready to get up.
A good idea is to practice this technique with someone you trust. I've learned over the years that if you can talk to someone who is helpful, understanding, and supportive you can go far in life. Counselors, therapists, coaches, and mentors are great if they understand your situation and help guide you.
Let me clarify, you don't have to perform this technique in the presence of someone else. You can if you want, but you don't have to. You can perform it in private and then talk about your experience later with someone you trust.
Now let's address reprogramming your subconscious.
You should start reprogramming your subconscious after purging your subconscious several times. You'll know you've come to the end of the road when you can no longer find something that makes you feel nervous. At the very least you'll feel okay with anything you find. When you get to that point you can start reprogramming your subconscious.
To reprogram your subconscious go through the exact steps you took to discover feelings in your subconscious but now start developing your best thoughts, feelings, and ideas about your life. You need to see them and feel them. You need to live them in your mind. If there was something you used fear, look at yourself in the same situation but as a new person. What does that look like? What does that feel like? Play it out in your mind as something real. You can do this for any area of your life.
With a little practice this meditation will support through your entire life. God bless you!