Anxiety Tools


On this page you will find the tools and insights that I have found are the key to healing and recovery for Anxieties

What are Emotions?
Observing Self
Trauma and Emotional high jacking
Trauma Relief and the Rewind Method
Molar Memories
The nature of projections
Worrying Well
Time Lines
Becoming Adult
The AWARE Method
The STOP System

What are Emotions

Emotions are a call to action; an impulse and expectation that something will be needed – such as to fight or defend yourself (anger) or to plan and implement necessary change (worry).

When you can hear what your feelings are saying to you and then act decisively or dismiss the call quickly as not needed, you are emotionally intelligent and healthy.

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Observing Self

The ‘observing self’ is the term used to describe that part of us that can step back from emotions and be aware of ourselves as a unique centre of awareness, apart from intellect, emotion and conditioning. This inner core of our being, this essence of ‘me’ that nobody else can access or take away doesn’t have depression or anger or pain or MS or anxious worrying or …. anything except calm awareness.

Your observing self has the power to attach and detach from the world at will and therefore see things from many different points of view and be more objective. The more we lower our emotional arousal the easier it becomes to enter our observing self, the wider the perspective we can see, and we can figure out how to overcome the obstacles we face.

Being aware of ourselves as a unique centre of awareness, apart from intellect, emotion and conditioning is a special human talent and enables us to reflect on our own thoughts and feelings.

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Trauma and Emotional high jacking

Active trauma is much more common than you might imagine.

We are not just talking of an awful abuse or accident, which can evolve into post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For many, these uncontrollable emotions can follow from experiences linked to loss (of a loved one or cherished ambition), to bullying, to the experience of panic attacks, to humiliation, guilt and much more.

The uncontrollable emotions then linger in the brain for years, impacting in all indirect and damaging ways – flashbacks, bad dreams, avoidance and so on.  Indeed, strong emotion can become part of the web and weave of someone’s life – so that they don’t really know that they are living with an active memory and they just do their best to get on with it.

Often this state of high arousal is called emotional hijacking – which conveys very well what is going on.  Your primitive brain or amygdale is in control and your focus has narrowed to just what is in front of you. Look at the brain diagram. You are that steam train travelling straight ahead and have no time or attention for the passing view.  Or like looking through a letter box – all you can see is that hall carpet and everything else is unseen.

BC_with_medThe high emotions can exacerbate a Depression and indeed the memory of a past depression episode can itself be an active and very negative memory

It will almost invariably be active in Anxieties

And will often be the source of the “self medication” which leads to and feeds Addictions

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Trauma Relief and the Rewind method

REWIND is a trance method to clear trauma – refined from neurolinguistic programming (NLP) by the Human Givens founders. It can also be understood as Imaginal Exposure Therapy. This is important, as defined this way it can be accepted as consistent with NICE guidelines.

The key elements of REWIND are:

  • Activation of the memory
  • Deep relaxation
  • A dissociated rehearsal and revisiting of the memory, which has the effect of shifting the memory from the crude limbic system to the pre-frontal cortex.

After the REWIND has been completed, powerful and effective trance work is also possible. This can either rehearse beneficial change or work in other ways to enhance future possibilities and resources.

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Molar Memories

We all have patterns and habits and moods and motivations, which when we think about them, don’t make much sense.

For some though, these hidden and inexplicable impulses are damaging, humiliating and destructive and necessarily are kept hidden. These impulses could though be molar memory – and if they are, then they can be cleared quickly.

So, what are Molar memories?

They reflect the probable existence that the obsessive behaviour has two memory roots: of pain and pleasure. The pleasure is hidden behind the pain of an original experience, which invariably comes from childhood. It is that hidden pleasure and the unconscious desire to replicate it that drives the apparently inexplicable compulsion.

And to clear these patterns?
Clearing them is about uncovering them and then living with the awareness that comes from that.

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The nature of Projection

One is that it will be wrong
Not in every detail necessarily (though it easily could be) but in the bigger complete picture. Important detail that will likely make all the difference but which you just will not be thinking about – will be missing. For example, what will the weather be like, what will be the time of the year, who else was there and who might not be there that you have presumed will be. What might have happened the previous day.

Get the picture. Any and every projection is like a thin beam of light over a dark but broad landscape – which misses all of the interesting detail. There will be no realisation that if there was light and you see out there properly, then you would see a vast landscape which would reveal an infinite number of rich and detailed future possibilities.

The second is that the projection you do make will depend on how you are feeling now and not then
The projection will not be based on how you might be feeling at the time that something like this projection of yours might happen.

So unless there is action that you can take right now which might mitigate and confront the legitimate concern that the projection is attempting to help you with … then it really is not worth it.

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Learn how to Worry Well

Take time to think over all your worries, dilemmas and problems. Set aside half an hour for worrying during the day. When you find yourself worrying at any other time, note the worry down and keep it for later. Once you write down your worries, you can be more objective, and ‘leave them alone’ for a while. Try using the following template:

  • ”I am worried about…”
  • “The worst that could happen is…”
  • “The best that could happen is…”
  • “Things I can do now are…”
  • “Other factors to remember”.

Also realise that tiredness, hunger, anxiety and other ‘low’ mood states can lead to your thoughts becoming more doom-laden. So worry after you’ve eaten, in the morning after a good sleep, or best of all, after 20 minutes exercise.

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Time Lines

Time line therapy is an offshoot of NLP and I use it to clear emotional blockages that we can identify from experiences in our past. We are clearing out the road of our past life and then having done that we can have a much clearer idea of how we can proceed forward and be happier and more balanced in our day to day present.

A profound truth is captured by this time line metaphor and I have found it to be central to much of my client work. For so many who need help, the past is heavy and negative – which manifests as a burden which can neither be lifted nor even understood or explained.

And what is that truth?

It is that the burdens can only be lifted when the event is re-experienced in such a way that the lesson of the original burdensome event is finally understood … and so let go as the time line is smoothed out.

Luckily there are many ways to do this and these are some of them – those that I use and find helpful.

  1. As a physical exercise – of walking back through the time line to before the experience and then to move through it again – but this time forearmed and forewarned.
  2. As an imaginative exercise undertaken in light trance – going back in time along the “yellow brick” time line and seeing where the barriers, blockages and other obstructions are. In the first instance it is about seeing exactly what is there and then of course going back before each of the experiences and clearing them.
  3. A writing exercise can also be good way. Writing engages a more processing part of the brain. It can therefore be very illuminating to write down two stories of one’s life – what actually transpired and what might well have transpired. Both of these stories are then pared down to a sentence, phrase or even word. The better alternative life story, enriched by good reframes is then rehearsed in trance – where all the lessons are learned and the progression of life is clear and attractive.
  4. A growing up exercise. The point is that we often remain that child and repeat the same childish strategies today. How would it be if we had spent our lives as the adult that we can now understand is better for us?

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Becoming Adult

As a child we felt sad, scared, angry, and/or bewildered. Our needs were not met. Usually these unmet needs were one or more of the following: attention, security, love, friendship, feeling valued. As an adult, we attempt to “make it better” for the child. The simple truth is that our child cannot get its needs met today, no matter how hard we try.

The adult strives endlessly for the ‘unattainable’ and in the process, feels out of control, because control is in the hands of a child. This leads to immature behaviour with self destructive thoughts and behaviours.

This is “Chasing Rainbows’ behaviour”. What we want is an attractive, hypnotic illusion, but which, like the elusive end of the rainbow is always unreachable.

There is of course a big difference between childish and childlike behaviour. The latter is desirable at times, the former is not – ever.

In a sentence, emotional immaturity can be attributed to a frightened child hijacking the adult’s behaviour in order to attempt to complete a deficient pattern from childhood.

Rita Leaman (Human Givens practitioner)

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The AWARE method

  • Accept the Anxiety
    Decide to be with the experience. Replace anger or rejection of with acceptance
  • Watch the Anxiety
    Observe without judging – be detached and study it. Rate it from 1 to 10 and notice when it goes up or down and why. Remember you are not your anxiety – be in it but not of it.
  • Act with the anxiety
    Keep behaving normally and doing what you intend to do. If you run your future anxiety will go up. If you stay you will decondition the anxiety.
  • Repeat the Steps
    Continue accepting your anxiety, watching it and acting with it until it goes down to comfortable level.
  • Expect the Best
    What you fear most may not happen. Surprise yourself by the effective way you handle it

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The STOP System for Pattern breaking – Angers, Addictions, Panic attacks

SStop/interrupt that behaviour
T
Take a step back
O
into your Observing Self
P
Practice awareness and emotional intelligence

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What to do Next

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