Worrying a little too much? Do you have anxiety?
Anxiety can be describe as: worry, nervousness, unease about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome which give you feelings of being on edge, fearful, afraid, anxious, and nervousness. You also may fear of the future, have trouble relaxing, or suffer from IBS.
Anxiety is time related and is measured in how many times we feel these feelings on a continuum from less regular to all the time. Depending on your level of anxiety you may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. The levels of anxiety recognized medically are:
Generalised Anxiety – anxious about a number of things most days over 6+ months
Social Anxiety – fear of attending public events
Panic Disorder – panic attacks, loss of control over body and emotions, feel sick, dizzy, short of breath and in great danger
OCD – obsessive compulsive disorder – intrusive thoughts and fears which cause anxiety and lead to specific behaviors or rituals
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – traumatic event that causes anxiety that lasts for more than a month after the event and include bad dreams, flashbacks, and avoidance of things related to the trauma
Phobias – fearful about a particular object or situation which interferes with life
Agoraphobia – fearful of crowded spaces or enclosed public places
Recognizing that you may have anxiety is the first stage. You start by being conscious that you are exhibiting anxiety often by thinking of an event coming up and consciously thinking about everything that could go wrong. Next, you get better at anxiety and instead of consciously thinking about it, you have an event coming up and unconsciously feel anxious but don’t “know” why. The next stage is that you become anxious about possibly having anxiety. You are conscious again but only about something that may be something to worry about. The next stage is having anxiety about having anxiety. This means you are anxious most of the time. The next stage is the fear of being caught in a place where you’re anxious so you will start sitting near exits and the ends of rows of movie theaters so you can exit easily. If anxiety continue, IBS hits next where you may experience constant bowel issues or you have panic attacks which often feel like a heart attack. The next thing that happens is you start limiting the places you go, avoid flying or motorways, then roads and then smaller roads. Lastly, you don’t leave your house.
The medical community often prescribes drugs such as serotonin re-uptake inhibitors or anti depressants to people with anxiety issues. In NLP we do it differently.
First you need to understand how you motivate yourself. Do you motivate yourself away from negative stuff or pressure build-up? Or do you motivate yourself toward positive stuff like desire, wanting something or achieving a goal? If you have hobbies, these are are often “toward” motivators. Taxes are often “away-from” motivators. If you’re “doing it” because you have to, then it’s an “away-from” motivator. The more away-from motivators you have, the more anxiety you will feel.
The second thing you need to understand is how you make decisions. For normal people, who make decisions easily, there comes a point in time when there’s a decision to be made and they make it. For someone who doesn’t have a good decision making strategy, they come to that same point in time when there’s a decision and instead of making the decision, they first look for options. They may feel there’s not enough information and they may add more factors which complicate the decision. What they are actually doing is unconsciously avoiding making the decision. Now, because the decision hasn’t been made, pressure builds up and the worry about it continues. As pressure continues to build with time, the person goes off to do other tasks to alleviate this pressure – we call this procrastination. This is where the excuses begin and you’ll here things like:
“I like to think on things”
“I just like to mull them over for awhile”
“I like just putting things in the back of my mind and think about them for a bit”
While they are doing other tasks (procrastinating), the pressure builds until they make a decision OR out of not making a decision, the decision is made for them. But wait, there’s more… There’s one more step! This is the step where they question whether or not they’ve made the right decision! They may give themselves a new deadline to “rethink” the situation or they will continue to mull over not making the decision.
And all of this was happening inside their head about 1 DECISION. It takes up so much of our brain’s energy because there isn’t one decision going on in a single day, there are several.
If you want to stop your anxiety, you need to learn how to motivate yourself with goals that are exciting to you as well as learn how to make decisions effectively.