The famous psychotherapist Carl Gustav Jung, Anxiety ‘fear spread thin’ – in other words, anxiety can be a fear of a number of different things, which your subconscious has kept buried, very often for many years. But, you can retrain your subconscious to work with you and not against you.
I refer to FEAR – False evidence appearing real. Very often you might never find out the actual cause of the FEAR or what is referred to as the ‘Initial Sensitising Event’. In fact, there might have been a number of events which led to the anxiety and not necessarily related. But, you didn’t choose the anxiety, it chose you.
I do think you have to be careful when revisiting the cause of your anxiety and only do so with a trained therapist. Whilst, anxiety in itself isn’t life-threatening, the thoughts and feelings associated with it can be.
Anxiety can be triggered by so many things and situations we face on a daily basis, such as illness, losing your job, financial worries, a relationship breakdown, giving a presentation, visiting the dentist, having to have a difficult conversation with someone, a bereavement or being threatened with violence, in fact, anything where we feel that we are losing control of our environment.
It can be lurking in the background ready to pounce, without warning. Sigmund Freud referred to this a ‘free-floating anxiety’ it simply makes no difference whether we know why we have it or not as it comes from the same part of the mind. Interestingly, it might have been brought on from something very recent, or surprisingly something you inherited from your ancestors. But, the good news is no matter where it originated, it can still be fixed with the same psychological work.
As I mentioned above anxiety is normally a disorder brought on by a number of different things, this is known as Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Most people suffering from anxiety are suffering from GAD, but in my experience, once you start to deal with one situation, all other causing situations seem to dissipate because the response patterns change.
Of course changing patterns of behaviour is a journey and not a sprint and you just have to start from this moment remembering that you are not to blame for something you did not choose.
When people around you are telling you to pull yourself together, you know that they have a lack of emotional intelligence and don’t know what they are talking about. In the 1950s Earl Nightingale wrote the Special Secret and one of the things he said was. “The trouble with man today is man simply does not think.”
You do think and you clearly have bucket loads of emotional intelligence, hence the reason for your question and why you took the vital step of finding the answer, which I hope I have answered in my own inimitable way?
Before I complete my answer though I have to explain something really important and when you understand the significance of what I am about to explain you will I am sure start to think about your anxiety in an altogether different way and also if you have tried things before to help and they haven’t it is simply because you have not been given the right information.
I am sure that over time you have asked yourself the question. “Why me?” And “Why should anyone have to be burdened with anxious thoughts and feelings?” The finite answer is. “We have to.” We are meant to because it is the necessary response to threat or danger handed to us generation to generation via our DNA.
But of course, we don’t have to deal with the same level of dangers experienced by the caveman, the same level of instinct is still alive and kicking in the deepest recesses of our mind on constant alert every moment of every day. The only problem being that part of your mind is not very clever at recognising a real threat or something perceived as a threat and so reacts with the ancient response of fear.
The deepest part of your mind I refer to is your subconscious (as mentioned previously) which works against you and continually worries about you. Your ancient ancestors only really feared and faced death, and this might not what you fear, but having said that I have helped people who did fear death. But what you fear might be the fear of your life not continuing the way you want it to, well as far as the subconscious is concerned and that more or less the same thing and the result of psychological conflict.
One part of your mind wants to do something which is in conflict with the other. The result is anxiety because none of your choices are exactly what you want, or you feel that you cannot cope or believe there are very good reasons for your inability to cope.
Unless you understand it you are not even aware of what is occurring in your subconscious mind because it is invisible to your conscious mind and extremely strong, this is why you can’t simply decide to stop worrying and start embracing life. When there is a war between what you consciously know or think, and what your imaginative subconscious is actioning, then the subconscious will win the war every time. If your subconscious wants you to feel fear or anxiety, then no matter what you do to stop it you will feel fear or anxiety.
But, don’t get disheartened because once you understand what is actually happening to you and you get the right sort of help and learn the tricks of the trade so to speak, your anxiety will die a death and never raise its ugly head, unless to genuinely keep you safe and secure.
Try this simply hack.
Think of something you have done in the past that makes you feel very uncomfortable that has a negative impact on your life. It can be anything that you would rather not have to think about. Nothing illegal just something that would cause some embarrassment should you have to talk about it.
Turn it into a photograph in your mind and place it in a safe with a heavy steel door and a combination lock and fling the door shut with vigour, remember the combination lock and spin the dial so that only you can remember the combination and release it.
You might want to release the combination and open the safe one day, or maybe not. It is in your hands and your choice.
My guess is, although I don’t know for sure but one day you will release the combination and access the content of the safe and feel good about it because then you will truly be without your anxiety.