Ian Cleary

Anxiety and the Lightning Process

February 19, 2014IanDepression, anxiety and other conditions, In the News & Research, Inspirational & General InterestComments Off on Anxiety and the Lightning Process

Time to bust a myth around anxiety.

MYTH – Anxiety is all in the mind

If you approach anxiety like it is ‘All in the Mind’ and just about anxious thoughts you miss the fact that it is just as much about a habitual physical response. Anxiety is not just about thoughts. Trying to beat anxiety with a purely ‘thought based intervention’ can be hit and miss. The premise behind this intervention is that if you stop the thoughts you stop the anxiety. The problem though is that once the physical response becomes habitual then anxiety can be produced without any conscious thoughts. A physical stress response can be triggered by a smell, a sound, a place or person. This fast brain response is below the conscious level of thoughts. Therefore approaches like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy will only be addressing the habitual thought elements of the problem. For some this is enough. But for others it does’t seem to work. It will feel like just looking at thoughts isn’t enough.

My work looks to retrain both the brain and the body into responding more appropriately.

Anxiety is not logical. Rationally talking yourself out of it is rarely that effective. At a subconscious level your brain has detected a threat to your survival and is trying to protect you. Telling someone with a spider phobia that its not actually a dangerous spider does not cure them. They often already know that. The response is so unconscious. The change that needs to occur is not at that level of awareness. So the work I do retrains people out of unconscious and conscious responses.

Anxiety is an issue for many people I see. Some come to me purely for anxiety (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or a range of other anxieties and phobias). Other find that anxiety has become part of their condition. Anxiety is learned so any unpredictable chronic condition can create anxiety. For others they recognise anxiety was part of their lives well before the Chronic Illness took hold.

Regardless, anxiety keeps people stuck in their health and well being. You don’t have to merely learn to ‘manage’ your anxiety. You can train yourself out of it.

The UK paper the Independent this week has an article about a famous UK singer, Laura Mvula, who used the Lightning Process for her anxiety. You can read about the Lightning Process and anxiety here.

“Change your brain and you can change your life”

 

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