Anxiety is a painful condition. Clients report a racing mind that won’t let them focus on work and family, or to sleep soundly at night. Many have sore, tense muscles and some suffer debilitating panic attacks, often with nausea and vomiting. Some experience flashbacks to the scenes that first prompted their anxiety, and many find it excruciating to socialize or give public presentations. When anxious, I used to feel as though painful electrical pulses were zapping my brain, and I was afraid I was actually losing brain cells. Anxiety can be so overwhelming that it often seems one’s entire life is being consumed by it. One thinks, Anxiety is taking over my life. When clients tell me this, I ask them to specify the times they actually experience anxiety. Interestingly, we often find that the problem is active maybe only briefly each day or only in very specific situations. I point this out not to minimize the seriousness of the condition, but to help us all see that we do feel good much of the time, even though we periodically face challenges. This recognition can allow us to put some space around the subject of anxiety when we think about it, so that it doesn’t remain, or turn into, a terrible oppressor from which there is no escape. If we realize that there are many hours throughout each day that we feel peaceful inside, we begin to redefine ourselves as people who experience quite a lot of calm, with occasional uprisings of anxiety. From this place, we can begin to work on an even further reduced anxiety profile. We can think, Anxiety doesn’t define me.
You're reading the Bad Thoughts Blog, which maintains that feeling good is as simple as thinking a better thought. I'm Debbie Covino, hypnotherapist, coach, and creator of the Master Your Own Mind self-hypnosis program, available at www.hypnotic-wellbeing.com/store
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