What is it, how it affects people and what you can do if you suffer from anxiety. If you have anxiety yourself, yeah and that was a bit of a mouthful there and how you could stop doing that now. It's interesting as a youngster growing up, the term anxiety didn't really exist. Certainly, the term social anxiety didn't exist. Generalized anxiety, specific anxiety didn't really exist and I wasn't aware growing up in the 90's of many people being on anti-anxiety medication where people are on antidepressants and stuff, but that's another story for another day. But as far as I know, there wasn't an awful lot of people suffering from anxiety or taking medication because it wasn't really a diagnosed disorder then. So, the way I look at it and anxiety now and I've been helping people deal with forms of anxiety for about 20 years now as a change worker, as an agent of change. Anxiety is not something that's done to you. It's not that somebody comes along and does anxiety to you, it's something that you do to yourself. There's some people who are gonna be like, "Oh my God, I can't believe you said that Luke. Why would I do anxiety to myself? This doesn't make any sense. Why would I do it? You're out of your mind." I'm not saying that you're doing it consciously, I'm not saying that you're sitting around your house saying, "You know what, I'm gonna make myself feel really shitty today." So, what I'm gonna do and by the way this is the formula for anxiety from everyone from every walk of life.
Here's how they do it, you ready? But they do it really, really quickly. This is how everyone does anxiety. You go out to a future of because you can only have anxiety by the way for the future, you can't have anxiety with stuff that happened in the past or for right now it's always future based. So here's how everyone in the universe does anxiety. You ready? Go out to the future to some event that hasn't yet happened, imagine it going shitty, look back towards now, bring all those shitty feelings back towards now and basically pre-ordain or set that compass inside to draw that to happen to me so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now you might say, "Well, why would anyone do it?" Well it's not something you do consciously and sit around thinking about but that's how people do it but they don't do it like that, they do it faster than that. Did you hear that? They do it faster than that because I know people do anxiety do it really, really good that they could do it in a millisecond. They go from zero to a hundred. Now you might ask, "Well, well, well, well, well, well, why? Why are we doing anxiety?" Now, every problem we have whether it's that we overeat, we're depressing ourselves, we have anxiety in ourselves on some unconscious level. We're getting what we call a secondary cane. we're getting something from the behavior. Now, I am not saying, I'm not suggesting you know what that is, and you sit around concocting that. I'm not saying what there is but on some level, you're getting something from it otherwise the problem would cease to exist.
It would almost like being poor having to pay the bills, having to make money to pay the bills yet going to a job for 40 or 50 hours a week as a volunteer and never make any money. At some point, you would have to stop and get a real job to pay your bills because you're not getting any money. You're getting something from your problem otherwise it would cease to exist. It's not something you're getting consciously, you're probably not even aware of it but on some unconscious level, you're getting some kind of payback from it. Now, for some people it might be that they get more attention from their family, from their loved ones, they're all there they're all anxious, "Tell me about all your problems." They start to feel significant because people start to listen to them. Perhaps they don't have to work anymore so don't have that burden, perhaps they get a check from the government because they've been diagnosed with anti-anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder and I'm not saying these people don't truly feel these things, that's not what I'm saying. Understand that but there's that added benefit that I get to stay at home or I get sympathy from people or people look at me different or people look at me as the anxiety guy and that's my significance in the world. One of my human needs is met just like that, just by having this disorder and people start to look at me a different way. I don't know what it is for you if you do suffer from anxiety but it'll be a reason, it might be one of those, it might be another reason.
And often times, I work with people with anxiety. They wanna tell me why I'm anxious but blah, blah, blau and I can always tell they're anxious from the way they're talking, it starts to make me anxious. You have to not get sucked into that reality because here's the thing, as a good change worker, I just need to know what your problem is. You suffer from the symptoms of anxiety, you suffer from the symptoms of depression, fear or phobia or whatever it may be. However, I do not need to know necessarily when it started, I do not need to know what the event is because you see I'm not a counselor, I'm not a psychotherapist, I'm not a psychiatrist, I don't believe that we need to go back to that memory. Necessarily, have you tell me about it so now I get traumatized and make you relive it over and over again by telling me about it three times a week for up to four years. As Sigmund Freud said, the father of modern-day psychology, "Someone could see me Sigmund Freud four times or three times a week for years and I couldn't even guarantee their problem would be lessened let alone gone." Ain't got time for that. I work fast with people and quite frankly I don't care why my client is anxious. I just care that they're hurting themselves, that they feel like shit and they want to stop and then I come in to help them stop. I don't care what the story is. I just care about getting them to end their fucking suffering so they can get on with their life and do whatever they want to do without this anxiety.
So, there's many, many different things you can do with anxiety, many, many, different things you can do to deal with anxiety. Do I believe that talking about it over and over again helps and maybe 10% of the time it does but oftentimes it just reinforces it over and over and over again. There's very many different techniques you can use whether it's a kinetic shift technique, something that Kyle Smith uses out there. Famous hypnotist for a very powerful technique there's different forms of techniques from neuro-linguistic programming or hypnosis to really help people shift intense anxiety. I have had clients that come into my office. There was a chap and I won't say his name. This was quite a while ago but he is an older gentleman and he comes into my office because what would happen is I don't know for the last 20 years I think it was he'd been reporting that when it came into the autumn season, winter seasons and the night started to get darker and darker and darker. Out of nowhere, he would...was just had this cloud that has essentially appear metaphorically would say over his head and just made him feel really, really sad and also really, really anxious and his sense of loss would take over him. Now there's no logical reason for any of this. Nothing happened yet this real bad feeling of anxiety and depression all mixed into one and his doctors had given him some medication and as long as he used the medication, he was on a nice what do you say? Nice clean path.
Well, the problem is he didn't want to take medication for the rest of his life. He'd been on it way too long and it was affecting him quite frankly sexually, couldn't get it up anymore and he just didn't want to rely on medication. So, he came to see me and then I don't ever work with clients on medication because obviously I'm not a medical doctor and I'm not here to disperse medical advice in any way, shape or form. I asked him to discuss with his doctor and his doctor was happy to start to reduce his anxiety medication and he started coming and he booked eight sessions with me and I wasn't sure how long it's gonna take. If he's gonna take two sessions or eight, eight is a very, very, very, very extreme situation, very ready do sessions go away. We usually do things about this for two to four but I gave him the option and he wants to come and see me for eight so I'm okay. So, he came into my office and the first session was an hour. We did a technique with him and his anxiety disappeared. It went. Not just in the office at that time because I set the anxiety off in the office because I wanted to see him go into his negative state so at the end we knew they had worked because he wasn't feeling that way anymore. He came back a week later on as I do with all my clients, I simply asked him, "So hey, how's your last week being report? What's happened?" Because all my sessions are based on finding out...getting a reality report from my clients as to what happened between session one or two whatever the numbers of sessions are rather than me going there.
The preordained notion of knowing exactly where they are because I don't until they come in, they report what happened over last week. He's like, "So I'm ready to go to step two with the anxiety." And he's like, "Let's go." I'm like, "It's gone." He's like yeah, yeah it's gone. He's like the strangest thing happened on that Friday after our session I went home. I couldn't sleep that night too. I was up the whole night and all those triggers that we discussed in the session with one another that came up one after the other after the other. I couldn't sleep, all the triggers came up, all the memories came up but I had no emotional reaction to them at all. And I'm like, "Wow, isn't that amazing?" He's like, "Yeah look, what do you wanna do with the next seven sessions?" And I've never had a client pay for a problem to disappear and it went away too fast and they hadn't been too upset about that. They're always really, really happy to quickly get rid of it. Be at seven sessions left he's like, "Well, you just reinforce this somewhere." Absolutely, we're gonna do that anyways and he's like and he's an Italian chef and he's like I eat too much bread, I might eat too much pasta. So, can you do some work over this? I'm like, "Yeah, but will you still be a true FBI, full-blooded Italian if we get rid of your bread and pasta?" And he laughed and he said, "Yeah." I said, "Listen, I mean is it something you wanna reduce or is it something that you just want to stop completely because it's a lot easier to stop doing something than it is to control it." And he goes, "Yeah, I'd actually like to stop it all together."
Stay tuned for the second part next week. Same Luke Time, Same Luke Channel!
Remember to Like, Share and Comment 🙂
Luke Michael Howard Ph.D
Clinical Hypnotist Toronto