Anxiety is perfectly healthy emotion that we encounter in our lives. You know the time you were taking your exams or dare I say it…driving test (it was anxiety that helped me to take the examiner to someone else’s car…but that’s a whole different story).
It’s only when anxiety becomes disproportionate that we encounter problems.
I was diagnosed with severe anxiety around three years before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. At that time in my life, there were so many factors that led to anxiety. My health was a very definite factor of the anxiety as I was experiencing the random symptoms that come with fibro, but according to doctors, I was fine.
At its worst, I didn’t even want to leave my room. Going out of the front door took hours. Hours of thinking, changing clothes, re-doing my make-up even washing dishes several times…of course, all delay tactics.
Once fibromyalgia really kicked in, isolating myself was the answer although not a healthy one. Any excuse I could find not to go out, was good by me. My doctor referred me for therapy but guess what…it was group therapy. I thought I was going to die! When I arrived home, I was totally and utterly exhausted and my anxiety was through the roof…needless to say…I never went back.
I found that any amount of anxiety had a direct impact on my symptoms sometimes enough to send me into a flare, where pain and fatigue would knock me for six.
Time to look for help!
NLP and mindfulness have played a huge part in helping me to overcome anxiety and the consequences of it on my symptoms. In fact, it’s worked so well, I was presenting on stage, in front of an audience several times a week for a few years. Now that’s something, I never would have thought possible.
I’d love to share with you some of the techniques I have used to overcome anxiety.
Turn your attention to your breathing. Your breathing will be rapid, you may be gulping the air down. Start to slow it down. Breath as slowly and normally as you can and focus solely on the air entering your lungs and down to your tummy. This is what I term ‘tummy breathing.’ Breath in for the count of 4 through your nose, then out for the count of 6 through your mouth. This alone will help you to control your feelings of anxiety by allowing your mind to focus on something other than the thoughts flying through your mind.
Turn to your thoughts. What do I say to myself?
One of the very first steps to take to relieve your anxiety, is to monitor your self-talk. Once I started to notice how I was speaking with myself I realised, I would never speak to anyone else this way:
‘Why did you do that.’ ‘Oh, you idiot.’ ‘Why do you forget everything.’ ‘You are going to make a fool of yourself.’ ‘I can’t do that.’ ‘I feel awful.’…And the list goes on.
Your subconscious mind is listening and guess what, it will work even harder to manifest the things you are saying to it. What impact do you think all these negative, harsh statements have on your confidence, health and your life in general? Start taking notice of what you are saying to yourself and replace the sentences with positive alternatives. For more clarity, you can write these down.
I can’t do this
I feel awful
I am learning
I need to recharge
I feel uncomfortable
Write down all the negative statements you catch yourself saying and change them for positives.
Accept how you feel.
Does that sound a little bit crazy? I thought so when I first heard this advice. Now I didn’t except my anxiety to the point that I surrendered to it and allowed it to control me, neither did I continue to fight it. Fighting how you feel will build more resistance that will exacerbate anxiety…sending you crashing into bed, exhausted.
Accept how you feel. Look at your thoughts and allow them to pass. This is something you can practice regularly every day. Just stop what you are doing, even for a few moments and acknowledge the thoughts that you are having, then let them pass. This is where mindfulness comes in extremely useful.
NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) for Anxiety
There are many techniques in NLP that can help disarm exaggerated anxiety. I am listing just a couple here as it is always best to work with an NLP Practitioner whilst learning the techniques, then you are armed with some very powerful techniques to use whenever you need them.
This simply entails you using this technique to anchor an experience in your life when you were totally relaxed and calm, to the present by using a kinaesthetic, auditory or visual stimulus (or a combination). You can learn the technique from my Anchoring post
Submodalities are the elements that make up a memory in your mind: the colour, motion, how big the image is, the sounds, smells, how far or close the image is from you. You can use this technique to add strength to your great memories by making them brighter, clearer and closer. You can also use them to weaken your bad memories, so they do not have an impact on your daily life. This may sound complicated, but it is a very simple, fast technique when working with an NLP Practitioner.
I hope you find all the techniques useful to combat anxiety. Would you like to find out more about how I can help you by using NLP & Mindfulness? Please do get in touch with by email and we can arrange to have a chat.
Have a wonderful, calm day.