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The invisible elephant in the room

Can you smell it?

It’s fear. Although we don’t usually call it by its real name. We call it anxiety. Over 300 million people are living with it. Are you one of them? It’s hard not to be. Fear is often taught in our cultures and families.

Google provides over 2 billion results when you search anxiety. You’ll find more tools addressing anxiety than you’ll know what to do with. For the most part they are all really good tools! I’m a dedicated partitioner of many of them and train my clients in them as well. Yet with all these resources readily available, why is anxiety still the most common mental illness in the America?

Anxiety continues to maintain mental illness top status because the tools used to ‘treat’ anxiety are targeted at the symptoms and not the root cause. Trembling, sweating, pounding heart, and hyperventilation are not anxiety. They are symptoms created by our mind and body responding to fear. Fear is the invisible elephant in the room.

Let’s change the elephant into a lion. Lions are scarier. If there was a real lion in the room with you, your fear would be real. Imagining (thinking about) a lion will not require stitches. There is no actual threat. Anxiety is a fear experience without an actual physical threat.

Our fear response is controlled by our autonomic nervous system. The subconscious portion of your brain cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined. When you imagine (think) the worst, your body will respond as if it is actually experiencing the worst.

Anxiety is a fear experience without an actual physical threat. Healing anxiety requires healing the beliefs that create our fear.

Attempting to heal (change) a belief while experiencing anxiety is like trying to change a flat tire without stopping the car. Tools to manage and reduce anxiety are useful - we’re not throwing them out. Use your tools to reduce the intensity and frequency of your anxiety symptoms. When our symptoms are low we do the work of changing (healing) our beliefs.

Changing our beliefs changes everything. Beliefs create the emotional energy that fuel and drive our behaviors.

Transformation requires courage. Congratulations. Most people would stop reading after the first paragraph. You didn’t. I will always speak truth to you. Courage without effort will not take you anywhere. Transformation requires effort, action, dedication, and time. If you make the choice to pursue a healthier version of yourself with those key ingredients, you will become that person.

Healing your beliefs about yourself will heal your anxiety.

Be your best.

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