The Truth About Anxiety
Anxiety disorders hit close to home. In fact, one of my dear friends lives with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and her daughter struggles daily with anxiety. Perhaps you struggle too, or one of your loved one's does. Anxiety disorders are real - just as real and serious as physical disorders like heart disease or diabetes. As a healing practitioner, it is important that I have a deeper understanding of what anxiety disorders are, and how best to support someone with them. Here’s what I know.
A certain level of anxiety is natural. We’ve all faced moments in life where our hearts race, our palms sweat, and we worry about the situation at hand. Normal everyday occurrences can trigger anxiety, and can impact us when we are experiencing joyful times in life, like births and marriages. Many of us, me included, have had to face unpleasant moments - the ones that elicit strong reactions and produce high levels of stress; like divorce, death, or traumatic events. No one is immune. Anxiety can affect us all. What varies, is the severity of the anxiety and its potential to linger in our lives and cause debilitating emotional pain that may last for a lifetime, and could lead to physiological symptoms.
The statistics are sobering. Globally, an estimated 275 million people experienced an anxiety disorder in 2016, making it the most prevalent mental health or neuro-developmental disorder. Around 62 percent (170 million) were female, relative to 105 million males.In all countries women are more likely to experience anxiety disorders than men. With all this in mind, anxiety likely affects you or someone you know!
The term "anxiety disorder" refers to specific psychiatric disorders that involve extreme fear or worry. There are many types of anxiety disorders; the main one being generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Other forms include panic disorder, specific phobic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, and separation anxiety. As noted above, the statistics are harrowing. There are millions of people worldwide that are experiencing deep emotional pain associated with anxiety disorders of all types. That begs the question: What is the root cause of anxiety?
This epidemic is affecting people across the planet. As diverse as each person’s background is, the way they process stress is just as varied. Stress related to family issues, money concerns, relational challenges, to name just a few triggers, go hand in hand with our anxiety. On the surface all of these factors look like they cause our anxiety and are affecting how we process it. What if I told you your subconscious mind is the thing causing the disorders? Further to that, what if it all stems from existing programming inside your mind, and this is determining whether you have anxiety?
95-99% of your “thinking” comes from your subconscious mind. That means that your active, present moment, goal setting mind is only operating 1-5% of the time. Inside your subconscious mind there are neural pathways and core beliefs running all the time. Within those there are limiting beliefs and patterns so strong they have the potential to create anxiety. And these limiting belief systems control your behavior and make you believe certain things that may not even be factual. In effect, your subconscious mind is creating the story-line of your life; a chronicle that may not be ‘true’ but seems real to you. You believe what your mind is telling you to be the absolute truth, which becomes your reality, and can give birth to anxiety.
In no way am I suggesting you are at fault, and there is no need to blame yourself. It comes down to programming. Your mind is like the hard drive on your computer and you are not the software designer. Consequently, belief systems have been downloaded from your earliest moments–from what you experienced and heard from your parents, friends, and community. Everybody impacted your life. All those times contributed to your core beliefs and your life’s narrative.
So if your childhood was ‘good’ why are you experiencing anxiety now or enduring bouts of chronic stress, worry, or depression? Perhaps your day-to-day routines are challenging and it fills you with fear, you cannot concentrate, or you feel distracted and irritated, and having physical symptoms too such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and aches. Is there a way to redesign your software and go into the hard drive to delete the damaging files? Yes, there is! Old pain can be released, and anxiety can be done away with. I have had the pleasure to support many on their journey of living an anxiety free life–one where panic and social disorders, and traumas are things of the past. Imagine ‘booting up’ your hard drive and having new operating belief systems. By no means is life going to be without its challenges or stress–that is the reality of the world. Stuff happens. But, imagine waking up to the possibility of a more peaceful and manageable life, without automatic triggers. The neuro-plasticity inside of our brains can be altered and we can re-wire neural pathways to create new themes for our lives that are anxiety-free!
It’s time! Are you ready for the shift?