Something's Not Right

I Am Anxious All The Time

I once asked a client “How do you know you have anxiety?”

She sat and looked at me almost in disbelief and after a moment she said, “no one has ever asked me that question before.”

At 19 years old and having seen multiple therapists she ended up coming to see me. I intently watched her physiology. This question had surprised her. As a trainer of NLP, I listen very carefully to the language of my clients. All the answers you seek are in the questions you ask.

People who are trained in NLP know the importance of asking intelligent probing questions.

The questions we ask are not the normal run-of-the-mill “why do you think this or that?” “Why do you think you feel this way?” Why do you think you reacted like that? Blah, blah blah!

You see a “WHY” question is not an empowering question. This type of questioning opens you up to shoulder shrugs and simple ambiguous answers that go nowhere.

So, getting back to my client “How do you know you have anxiety?” Her answer “because a Dr told me.”

The Dr was the authoritarian, the person she believes had all the answers, and because he was a “Dr” he had to be right.

The authoritarian someone you look up to, someone whose words you believe without question.

So, after the “anxiety” diagnosis this beautiful girl wore her anxiety like a big heavy winter coat.

The anxiety was the reason for not playing out 100% in life.

I can’t hold down a job because I have anxiety.

I can`t go out because I have anxiety.

I can`t go shopping because I have anxiety.

I have no friends because I have anxiety.

I can`t leave my house because I have anxiety.

I can`t speak up because I have anxiety.

I have met countless numbers of people who just give up at life because of a diagnosis.

If you are willing to do what it takes, I know that the diagnosis does not have to be the forever reality of your life.

So let`s talk about anxiety from an NLP perspective.

Anxiety is associated with the negative emotion of FEAR.

Anxiety is created when you are focused too far into the future.

Yes, created!

As human beings, we can sometimes get so caught up in worrying about what might happen, what could happen, what if it happens again because it already happened in the past and this is how we create anxiety.

Examples “My last partner cheated, what if the person I am with now does it too?”

“He/she was home late last night maybe they were with someone else?”

“Where are you going, who will you be with, send me a photo to prove it?”

Instead of talking about a possible problem we worry and catastrophise and then obsess over it and then we become anxious.

“Anxiety is a warning from your unconscious mind to focus on what you want.” (Tad James)

The first very important thing that needs to happen is that you start focusing on the now moment. What is happening right now, not in 5 minutes time, an hour from now, 5 hours from now, tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. Just NOW because this is only now. In 5 minutes, it will be now, in an hour it will be now, and so on.

This also slows the mind and brings us into mindfulness.

The power of breath can also help regulate someone feeling anxious. STOP and just breathe.

Lets’ go back to those important questions.

I also asked, “What specifically are you anxious about?”

I once had a client who said “Everything!”

My answer “Everything, how long have you been anxious about everything?”

Her answer “I can`t remember not being anxious. I was an anxious toddler, I was anxious at primary school, high school, it`s always been there.”

Then she said “oh my Mum was scared about everything, she never let me out of her sight. She was overprotective.

So right here we have programming, this was her life, she was bought up in fear. For this client, it was a very important piece of her anxiety puzzle.

The fear was never hers in the first place.

The challenge here is that programming or the way we are brought up contributes to how our life pans out.

Remember “People do the best with the resources they have available to them at the time.

Her mother could not have known that the way she loved her daughter by being overprotective contributed to her having a life filled with anxiety.

The beautiful part of this story is that once my client understood where it came from, we were able to work on a solution and eventually letting it go.

When working with clients I use a combination of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Time Line Therapy® and Hypnosis.

I love this work so much and the results speak for themselves.

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