Thursday, December 27, 2012

Anxiety Free

Here are some of my notes from a book I read, I think it was called Anxiety Free (usually I am better at taking down titles and authors, not sure why I didn't here).  My anxiety has been almost non-existent for months, but the last few weeks it started kicking in a little, must be the holiday craziness, anyway I thought this would be helpful for me to review:

All our fears-no matter how irrational they may seem to us today-are in some sense survival based.

The key to reducing fear is to see that the fear you are experiencing does not apply to the reality you are facing.  And the way to see this is to actually experience that reality in a context of safety.  You need to practice your fears.

Evolution . . . wants us to be super careful . . . it instructs us not to relax our vigilance just because a ccertain peril we have been imagining has so far failed to materialize.  This is critical to our understanding of anxiety.  What we think of as an anxiety "disorder" -a kind of quirky deviation from the norm-is really not an aberation at all but simply the natural result of our evolutionary history. . . .  What we are being asked to do is to modify our primal insincts in a way that fits our present day reality. 

Security check questions: 1) what would most people do? 2) What would most people think is reasonable?  3) what are the probabilities that things will work out okay?

Old & New Rules:  1) OLD-detect danger; NEW-see things realistically; 2) OLD- catastrophize danger; NEW-normalize consequences; 3) OLD-control the situation; NEW-let go of control you are always looking for some way to take control because you fear that things will get out of control . . . but the biggest area of your control is your belief that you need to control your thoughts, emotions and sensations.  You try to suppress and neutralize any obessions you have-bad thought, stop that, or I didn't mean that.  It won't work . . . by practicing letting go of control you can learn that your thoughts, sensations and anxious emotions will decrease on their own.

Stand back and observe.  Observe.  Doln't control . . . gowith it rather thanstruggle against it.  Your anxiety is actually your resistance to your anxiety.;  You don't have to control it, you have to accept it.

4) avoid or escape your Anxiety NEW-Embrace your anxiety you have to go thorugh it to get past it.

Instead of waiting until you're "ready" for something, you'll look for opportunities to confront it right away.

you will learn that anxiety is not really a threat at all.  It's more like a false alarm going off, warning you of nothing - simply an irritating noise.

Your old rule told you that anxiety escalates the more you allow it in.  The new rule says that if you cease to feed your anxiety, if you stop giving it energy, it runs out of steam pretty quickly.

Anxiety is like a headache-iot lasts for awhile and then goes away.

Worry=preparation (trying to anticipate and avoid danger)

Worry was a tool and a strategy to avoid catastrophe.

Worry, in addiiton to being a strategy to fend off disaster is also a way of blocking your emotions.  You are thinking not feeling.  You are trying to think your way out of discomfort.

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