Anxiety is something everyone experiences from time-to-time but when it becomes severe it affects how we think and feel to the point that it makes us question our physical health and even our sanity. Unless someone experiences anxiety first hand it's difficult to understand, most people don't share how their problematic moments because they feel shame or because that they may be ridiculed, so it's a problem usually fought in quiet desperation. Anxiety can affect your performance, your ability to interact with others, and your quality of life.
I found that anxiety is not a monster, it's a subtle mind trick that comes from feelings of fear, and most fear comes from our subconscious. Our subconscious is there to protect us. It sends signals to our conscious mind about conditions in our environment. It detects people, objects, sounds, and sights, it then makes split-second decisions between good or bad, and right or wrong. It helps us avoid danger and ensures our survival.
But what if something intentionally, or unintentionally resides in the subconscious that colors our perception of situations with fear even though there's nothing to fear. Over the last few decades, scientists discovered that the anxiety cycle starts with the way we think which triggers a nervous feeling that turns into a domino effect of genetic activity and subsequently the release of stress hormones which then stimulates the brain to feel even more fear. The cycle leads to more anxiousness and the release of more stress hormones. That's anxiety.
When the mind is free of programming that causes anxiety your body immediately responds with better health. I've seen people go from panic to peaceful, clear-eyed individuals in seconds. This is the reason why professional therapy and counseling are so successful. Any treatment that aims at exploring and changing psychological patterns gives a person the tools to truly overcome anxiety. In some cases, although rare, there's a chemical imbalance in the brain that can to be treated with pharmaceuticals which why it's important to consult a licensed practitioner when looking for a solution.
I advise you to consult a doctor to make sure nothing is wrong. If anything, going to a doctor for a thorough examination can help lessen worry about your physical health. If on the other hand, the examination reveals a sickness or disease you can go ahead with treatment to close that chapter.
Chances are you just suffering from anxiety, something that's very treatable. Anxiety is nothing more than an excessive hormonal in response to fear. Since everyone is different, anxiety triggers are as diverse as people and their individual situations and thought processes. Experts agree that it's a physical reaction to fear and fear is caused by perception. If you fix how you think, there's a good chance physical relief will follow soon.
Physical changes in the body by changing how we think has been demonstrated innumerable times with hypnosis. How many times have we witnessed people perform acts that defy logic under hypnosis? Suggest to a person in a hypnotic state that his finger is near a lit match and the body responds by producing blisters even though the object is a feather.
The subconscious wields tremendous power over us. It's designed to help and protect through life. It helps us perform miraculous feats when needed as well as convince us to fret and flee when danger is imminent. It's the bridge between the ethereal world of the mind and the manifest world of the body. If the signal is strong enough nothing is impossible for its host.
In the subconscious mind, thought is felt rather than intellectualized and it's a power that can move mountains. Strong reactions to thought, especially fear, cause stress hormones to be released into your body. If fearful thinking isn't turned off your body will continue to produce stress hormones sending more alarm signals to your brain.
Excessive release of hormones can be triggered by almost anything. Some of the most common situations are: being around people, being in public places, driving in cars, and flying in airplanes. It can also be something imaginary like a fearful thought, an imagination, or a past memory. No matter what causes it, anxiety produces the rise of stress hormones in your body which eventually subsides.
What you feel in your body when you first experience anxiety is the flood of stress hormones. These hormones cause you to feel nervous, or shaky inside. The reaction most people have to the flood of hormones is fear, and with more fear, your body produces more stress hormones.
The cycle can cause symptoms like tightening of the chest, increased heart rate, shallow breathing, and overproduction of sweat. These chemical reactions can trick you into thinking that you're sick, or that there's something wrong with your health. Because the job of your brain is to protect you and support your survival, it will continue to inject you with stress hormones until the danger has passed. But if the perceived danger isn't removed the cycle will continue and your body will become oversaturated with stress hormones eventually triggering a panic attack.
The nice thing about anxiety is that most episodes are gone within minutes. Just as fast they appear, they seem to vanish. You may not need to work on your subconscious to normalize things. You may just need to learn how to think your way through anxiety. Anxiety is a mind-body habit that it can be easily broken with a little work.
The first step in stopping anxiety is to understand that the fear you feel at the release of stress hormones in your body is different from the fear that causes anxiety. Once you understand that you have a choice about how you react to anxiety, you can allow the natural flow of hormones to rise and fall through your body naturally. Then you can move on to dealing with the residual effects left behind by the hormones.
Here's how you can move through anxiety to break the cycle. The next time you start feeling anxious don't fight it. Fighting anxious sensations makes your brain think something really is wrong. Fighting doesn't work. Don't wrestle with it and don't resist it. Any action you take to try to beat it sends a signal to your brain that you're in survival mode and the threat is real. This makes anxiety worst.
You need to send a signal to your brain that everything is okay so hormone levels can gradually be reduced. just accept that this is "one of those" episodes and just let it be. Once you assert in your mind that everything really is okay you can move on with your life. You'll probably still feel some nervous energy after assuring yourself everything is okay but that's just the residual effect from the stress hormones floating around in your body. Ignore the sensation and keep moving forward with what you were doing before the episode.
One of the best ways to accept the anxious reactions in your body is by mentally saying things like, "Welcome, come in" or "I accept you" or "You are welcomed to stay". Statements similar to these will send a signal to your brain that everything really is okay and there's nothing to fear. The brain will then begin to shut down the stress response system because it's no longer perceives a threat.
Within seconds to a few minutes, the normalization process will begin. After assuring yourself and accepting the anxious energy do something that engages your brain. Since you sent a signal to your brain that there's no danger you need to solidify the signal by engaging your mind with something else. The brain is very pliable and quickly adapts to any input you give it, so immerse yourself in an activity that requires attention.
Pick up the phone, call a friend and have an engaging conversation. Get creatively involved with your work, remember there's no real threat, therefore you need to move on with your life. The message has to be strong and clear to your brain. Watch funny videos. Setup a video playlist of comedy videos as your go-to engagement tool. Listen to your favorite uplifting music. Get creative with how you engage your brain during these times.
The important thing to remember is that anxiety is a physical reaction to fear, but your fear of the episodes amplifies the physical reaction to the fear itself. So just accept the episode as something trivial, and then engage.
Another thing you can do is meditate, but not any kind of meditation, one that helps you through the process I just described. You can meditate your way through the process with strong visualizations for better success. The technique of preemptively meditating your way through the process has reaped success in many tests.
Furthermore, you can continue to train with meditation until your fears vanish, then you can cultivate a mind space built around a peaceful and prosperous existence. God bless you.