Anxiety is something that appears to be not only on the rise but is quickly becoming the most talked about issue.
BBC Radio 4 have been talking about anxiety all week. Inviting ‘experts’ and ‘ordinary people’ to share their thoughts and experiences. Don’t you just love the way the media differentiates between ‘experts’ and ‘ordinary people’, they’re experts at discriminating.
I’ve not really heard a convincing explanation of what anxiety is, so here is my view.
In my work as a coach and therapist I work with a lot of clients ‘suffering’ from ‘anxiety’.
Now I will put a warning in here. My views are my own and are based on 25 years of learning and development in the field of NLP and Hypnotherapy as well as 54 years walking this earth and having experienced just about everything life has in store for you. There will be many out there that may choose to disagree vehemently with my views. If you are one of those, remember you can choose to stop reading at this point.
What are you Anxious about?
When working with a client suffering from anxiety this question has to be asked in order to start understanding the nature of the issue.
Invariably the answer is related to something that has not yet occurred or it is something that the client knows is going to happen soon. In both responses the source of the present anxiety is a future event, either an event that will happen (a job interview) or a potential future event (I might get run over by a bus if I go outside).
Anxiety is a ‘future’ negative emotion. Some might say we cannot have ‘future’ emotions. Yet we can be excited about Christmas, even though Christmas comes round every year. Excitement is a ‘future’ emotion. You could say excitement is a ‘future positive emotion’.
Our experience of time is I believe central to how express our emotions. Emotions can be experienced as positive and negative.
An example of a ‘past emotion’ is Guilt. People experience guilt about something that has already happened. Sometimes a person feels so guilty about a past event that they do not want to do something in the future in case they end up feeling guilty about what might happen. Anxiety can be a result of a believing the same thing will happen again, in the future. Is there a connection between Guilt & Anxiety? I believe there is. If a person experiences such guilt about the past and anxiety about the future, they may well be extremely bored in the present. Unable to find anything to do in case they end up feeling bad.
The Language of Anxiety
If we develop our listening skills we can start to identify what we call the temporal nature of a client’s experience of anxiety. Before we move towards helping the client resolve or deal with their anxiety, it is important to fully understand what is happening.
What is the cause of the future anxiety? Is this connected to a past event? You will identify this through listening.
If we can resolve negative emotions and beliefs based on past events, and we can, we can also resolve future negative emotions.
The language we use describes our experience of Time. Time is a metaphor, it does not exist. We have constructed a dialogue using past, present and future language patterns. Understanding these patterns helps get behind the metaphor to access the core issue.
What causes anxiety?
During this week I have heard only one plausible explanation of anxiety. Naturally, since this did not neatly fit into the narrative that the BBC wish to push there was not any discussion about this. This metaphysical explanation was quickly dismissed. Yet this is precisely the point. Anxiety is a metaphysical issue.
Something happens external to us and we re-create an internal re-presentation of this experience. The external event and the internal re-presentation of the external event are not identical. We place our own meaning on our internal re-presentation of the external event. This meaning is ours and it is our choice. We then generate states based on the meaning we place on our interpretation of events. Emotions and beliefs are then embedded. Based on the meaning we choose, our emotions and beliefs will be positive or negative. Excitement or anxiety will then run.
Anxiety cannot be a ‘real’ thing if by ‘real’ we mean a tangible object. Given that anxiety is future based it does not exist thing. Anxiety is part of a person’s subjective experience, part of the construction they have created. Language is used to describe the metaphor they run about a connection between a past event and a possible future scenario.
What can we do to resolve anxiety?
Just like all other negative emotions we can re-frame the meaning we placed on an event and extract a positive learning. The more constructive learning we can elicit about how we chose to respond to an event the more we can collapse the negative emotion stuck on that event.
When it comes to anxiety we can future pace the possible future event and give ourselves a positive learning experience. Mentally rehearsing a future event, is a natural process for most people. Highly effective people plan ahead for an event and give themselves.
NLP Training will Transform your Life
Learning NLP through NLP Practitioner and NLP Master Practitioner Training gives you all you need to live a life free from anxiety.
What if you can master your emotions to such an extent that you are able to express positive anticipation about all future events. Knowing you are a proactive person that accepts they create their own future, you can choose to be excited by your future.
To find out more about our NLP Training click here and get in touch with us. There is no reason to ‘suffer’ from anxiety, you can live life free from anxiety. Proactive NLP Ltd is the home of Memory Re-Solution and we teach this in all our NLP training programmes. Learn our Re-Solution of Anxiety technique to conquer anxiety once and for all.