Top three issues causing you anxiety and what you can do about it starting TODAY!
Have you ever wondered where anxiety comes from?! It seems to manifest from nowhere and attach itself to different aspects of your life. It seems very irrational and therefore hard to control. It’s like trying to fight an invisible opponent, blindly swinging and hoping to land a connecting punch. But what if you could not only see your opponent, but also knew its weaknesses?! Would that change the outcome of the fight?! Well… let’s shed some light on anxiety so you know exactly what you are up against, and find out. Shall we!
Back in primitive times, we fought for our survival. We developed three primary responses that helped keep us safe. These responses were fight, flight, and freeze. We could either fight the oncoming threat, run away from the threat, or play dead in hopes the threat would leave. To this day, we are all born with these primitive responses already hardwired in our brain. The problem is that times have changed. We now face laws, morals, responsibilities, and consequences which prevent us from being able to fight people we are in conflict with, run away from our problems, and avoid doing the things we don’t want to do. In these modern times, we have adjusted how we deal with a threat; now fight equals anxiety, flight equals depression, and freeze equals procrastination.
When the mind perceives a threat, fight/flight/freeze (FFF) is triggered. The body responds by shutting down unnecessary bodily functions like food digestion, saliva secretion, and immune system function. The body then ramps up what is needed to protect itself; adrenaline is released, blood pressure rises, the liver releases glucose to provide energy to the muscles, the heart starts pounding, muscles tense up to the point they may start shaking, tunnel vision is experienced, and there is a loss of mental focus (this is just to name a few). Do these physiological symptoms sound familiar?! Yes, this is what happens during an anxiety attack.
So what does the body find such a threat that it triggers FFF?! The answer may surprise you! It is OVERLOAD. When the mind and body get overloaded to a point where they have a hard time functioning, the mind considers this a threat to our survival. It treats this overload equally as threatening as an actual crisis situation where FFF would actually make sense. Therefore, it seems very irrational when FFF is triggered due to being overloaded because there is not actually a life threatening situation happening. The mind gets confused and says “what is causing me to feel this way”. If you are in a closed space, the mind will say “oh, it must be this closed in space that is making me feel this way, closed in spaces must be a threat and it is important that I never enter a closed in space again”. If you are driving, the mind will say “oh, it must be this traffic that is causing me to feel this way, I must avoid driving so I don’t get put in this life threatening position again”. The mind has made a totally irrational decision of what caused the FFF feeling. It was just overload that caused FFF, but the mind associates what was happening at the time of FFF as being the cause. Then, any time in the future when you get put in the same situation, your mind and body will automatically trigger FFF to get you out of what it perceives to be a life threatening situation.
So what are the three biggest contributors to this state of OVERLOAD which cause us to go into FFF?! Here they are in no particular order of importance. One thing to note is that all of these are within your conscious control to change. If you work on improving these three areas of your life, you will experience less anxiety.
Lack of Quality Sleep -
The proper amount of quality sleep is very important to your mental well-being. Your dreams, particularly the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stages of sleep, are what allow your mind to clean out all the garbage information you took in that day and integrate the important information resulting in a fresh mental start the next morning. Without this mental processing as we sleep, we don’t start fresh in the morning but already slightly overloaded from the day before. If you do this day-in and day-out it will quickly catch up to you and be detrimental to your mental well-being.
So what are the biggest contributors to poor sleep?! Here are a few of the more important ones:
Not sleeping long enough. You should aim for AT LEAST 7 hours of sleep per night, 8-9 would be better.
Having an irregular sleep pattern. Don’t allow your sleep times to vary drastically, try to get to bed and wake up at the same time every night. The reason for this is so the mind can adjust the REM stages of your sleep to fit the amount of hours you sleep.
Waking up throughout the night. Avoid drinking water too late at night. Having to urinate is one of the biggest contributors to waking up during the night.
Drinking alcohol or depending on sleep medications to aid in sleeping. Our aim is quality sleep. When you have alcohol or sleep medications in your system, the quality of your sleep diminishes. Your mind isn’t able to process the information from the day efficiently and you will not be able to properly clean and organize your mind while you sleep.
Not having food for a long time before going to sleep. Your mind needs energy to think while you are sleeping. Without the proper foods it will not have the available energy it needs to do its work while you sleep. Try eating a small protein snack, cottage cheese for example, right before going to sleep. This is especially important for those people that awaken from sleep because of dreams or feelings of falling.
Poor eating habits -
We are specifically talking about eating habits as it pertains to blood sugar levels. Considering the brain uses sugar for fuel in order to work properly, keeping the blood sugar normalized and stable will allow you to think at optimal levels. In conditions where the blood sugar drops below normal, this causes us to not be able to think clearly. Actually, it is one of the biggest contributors to FFF being triggered because the mind starts to panic when the brain has no fuel. Your mind considers low blood sugar as a threat to your survival which is why FFF is triggered.
So what are the biggest contributors to blood sugar level imbalances?! Here are a few of the more important ones:
Consuming too much sugar. Not only does the blood sugar level spike up when a person eats sugars or simple carbohydrates, their pancreas then tries to compensate to bring the blood sugar down by shooting insulin into the system. This can reduce blood sugar levels below normal causing low blood sugar levels.
Not eating enough protein. Protein contains sugars that can be drawn from when the body needs them without a spike in sugar levels. Even if a person eats enough during the day and avoids sugary foods, their blood sugar can drop. Protein is important to have in the system consistently for the body and mind to use as fuel when needed.
Not eating often enough. If a person doesn’t eat often enough, the blood sugar will naturally drop over time.
To maintain a stable blood sugar level it is recommended that you eat a small meal every 2-3 hours. This can consist of three meals with a snack in-between. Each meal should include a portion of protein and a portion of complex carbohydrates.
Important disclaimer: No employee of Subconscious Mind Tools is a doctor or nutritionist. The above food information and suggestions are only a recommendation based on positive results from past clients. As we tell all of our clients, please consult your doctor before altering your diet in any way. Your safety is our main concern.
There is no doubting that most of us lead pretty stressful lives. There is a lot to think about, remember, and stress about each day. Most of us have a job (or two), a family to provide for and take care of, bills to pay, and maybe even schooling to attend. Our minds are pretty taxed most of the day. So what areas of our over-thinking can we minimize in order to allow our mind more space? Here are two which zap us of most of our mental power:
Expecting a worst case scenario. We tend to expect the worst possible outcome to any given situation. We ponder numerous ways we will fail, every scenario resulting in total embarrassment and laughter at our expense. Our minds are probably just trying to protect us by making sure we are prepared for any situation. But if you really think about it, when was the last time something went as horribly wrong as you expected it to. And even if it did go as wrong as you expected it to, when was the last time any of the preparations you made in your mind actually assisted you as you imaged they would? Your answer should be, HARDLY EVER.
Stressing about situations you have NO control over. Many of us stress out about things we have NO control over. For example, we can’t control other people. We can try to influence them, but in the end, we have no actual control over them. This means, no matter how hard or how long you think about ways to change someone or make them do what you want (like love you, for instance), it is ultimately their decision. If they don’t change the way you want them to, you will still be upset and/or stressed. You will have wasted all of that mental energy for absolutely nothing.
So do yourself a favor, begin to stay mindful of your thoughts during each day. If you catch yourself forecasting negative future scenarios, say the word “STOP” in your mind and shift your thoughts to positive ones. See things going perfectly. Rehearse in your mind, over and over, things going much better than you ever imagined they could. Expect that everything will work itself out for the positive. Also, pay attention to what your mind is stressing about throughout each day. As you notice each stressful thought stream, say to yourself, do I have the ability to control the outcome of this situation. If you do, great, your thoughts are not being wasted, but if you don’t have control, say the word “STOP” in your mind and shift your thoughts to something you do have control over.
It is a great idea to make the above changes at the subconscious level. By far, the most effective tool that can create this change is hypnosis. There are many anxiety reduction hypnosis products online. Click here to follow a link to a product called Beat Fear and Anxiety Hypnosis Pack which we recommend, or you can do your own research to find products that better suit you. This hypnosis product will definitely help you to reduce your anxiety but it is not nearly as powerful or effective as customized private hypnotherapy sessions. Our lead hypnotherapist Scott Kee is available to anyone in the world via online Skype hypnotherapy sessions. Skype hypnotherapy sessions are a very powerful way to alter your subconscious mind and are nearly as effective as in-person sessions.
If you are interested in booking a Skype hypnotherapy session with Scott Kee right now, give him a call at 951-501-9325 or click here to fill out our contact form that will be e-mailed to him immediately.
We wish you success in reducing your anxiety!
Here is a video about using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to reduce your anxiety in less than 10 minutes. This is an amazing tool! Just follow along with the video and we promise you anxiety relief.