By Jean Eljay, PhD, MS, CMT, CHt, NLPc, AdvCH, CHt
In these times of stress, anxiety, tension, depression, and uncertainty, negativity in one’s life has seized center stage. The consequences are major and life altering. Complementing our personal list of worries is the negativity being generated by major world events, e.g., the pandemic, a barbarous war, uncertainty of the economy, social turmoil, climate change, etc.
In practice, the definition of anxieties is “threatening lies from the future that are created in the mind”. Making matters worse is that the lie generates a disrupting feedback cycle that accompanies the lie. This feedback loop helps to force the mind to fixate on the negative; it is a fear of fear. Whatever the problem, it is reinforced by replaying it. It rapidly becomes a negative input that replays automatically over and over again. Unfortunately, this feedback occurs repeatedly and therefore reinforces the debilitating consequences of the original lie. The lie then seems real, indeed because of this repetition, the lie may actually become real. In turn, this new reality may propel the outcome from mere thought to physical and unhealthy consequence.
The question becomes, how can it be managed? What are the positive sides of anxieties? The example that best serves is the blinking red light on the dashboard of the car that informs the driver that the oil level is low or absent. This warning boded calamitous consequences for the engine if left unattended (add fresh motor oil). It was not until individuals in the Generation X and the millennials generations looked baffled that the realization occurred that it was a very dated analogy. The dated analogy probably reflects directly on a long road of experience and vast numbers of obsolete products. But the major point is that warnings [whether blinking red lights; detection of a virus (coded or real), sugar levels, blood pressure, physical or mental exhaustion, tendency to be overweight, addiction to unhealthy behaviors, etc.] are a positive way of changing a negative result into a positive one. This idea is so important when dealing with anxieties! There are two things to accomplish when getting control of anxieties: 1) learn to manage it and 2) short circuit the feedback loop and continued play button of anxieties’ reminders.
Simple? When the anxiety is recognized as a warning signal and it is handled in a positive way, the underlying problem causing the anxiety not only diminishes, but the feedback cycle that reinforces it is broken. The goal is to turn-off the warning signal by planning a course of action that keeps one safe. There are simple and straightforward personal practices that establish anatomical, physiological, and biochemical normalcy. These practices aid in modifying and mediating a positive and controlled response to anxiety. But in order to respond, one must listen to the warning signs and make the appropriate changes. Once recognized, the anxiety may be relabeled and re-framed into a step-by-step plan. At first this may require baby steps, but soon control will be reestablished. Sometimes professional help may simplify starting a plan. This plan will include a process to foster appropriate positive focus, utilizing personal resources, and creating a new positive energy. Once in place, this process will lead to a wonderful healthful change and renewed well-being. Is it time to regain control and take charge of your life? This positive path is simple and straightforward when you bring harmony and balance back into your life.