Your Automatic Anxious Mind?
Your Anxiety is outside of your control, it just happens automatically.
Or does it?
I don’t know of anyone that deliberately wants to feel anxious, to bring that awful feeling of anxiety on, so why does it happen?
It’s all down to your mind, or at least a part of it.
Of course in reality there is not a separate part of your Mind, this is just a metaphor I use to help my clients understand the mechanism of anxiety it’s not in anyway scientifically accurate.
Let’s call that imaginary part the Protective Mind
The Protective Mind or Anxious Mind
The Protective Minds job is to take care of you, to look after you, to make sure that you are safe. In other words to ensure your survival.
To make how this happens clearer here is an analogy that may help.
I wonder if you could imagine a lookout on an old sailing ship, high up in the crows nest on the mast.
The lookout’s job is to look out to sea and warn the Ship’s Captain of any impending dangers. Such dangers could be from pirates, shallow waters, rocks, icebergs or any number of other hazards which may affect the ships safety.
Night and day there is always a lookout on duty whenever the ship is at sea.
When a danger or possible danger is spotted the captain is informed and he decides whether the danger is real or just something to ignore. And if it is warranted he acts to avert that danger in the most appropriate way.
But what if the lookout didn’t tell the captain and just decided to take action himself?
He might get it right some of the time, on the other hand he could over react and cause more problems than he solved.
He would then effectively decide what happened to the ship and where it went, by passing the Captain and his sound judgement.
Your Protective Mind is like that lookout.
Your Protective mind is just like that rogue lookout, always on duty, always scanning for danger.
And if it finds anything it considers could be, or is dangerous then it sets off the actions needed to trigger anxiety, fear, panic attacks, stress and anything else it needs to do, to get you to avoid what it considers to be that dangerous situation.
Without informing the Ships Captain.
And that Ships Captain is you!
Your sound judgement of what is likely to be dangerous in reality is completely bypassed. You have no say in how you react. You are acting and reacting subconsciously, out of your awareness, automatically.
Your comfort zone shrinks as your Anxiety increases
But it gets worse than this because that rogue lookout now starts to find more and more things to worry about, to perceive as worthy of being acted upon with an anxiety attack or worse.
And so your comfort zone begins to shrink, and that which used to feel comfortable for you begins to feel unsafe.
And therefore your anxiety increases and spreads out into other areas of your life.
Put the Lookout in his place and take charge
All is not doom and gloom, because the good news is you can put the lookout in his place and take back control of your ship, or in reality take back control of your Mind.
You can take back control of your thoughts and melt your anxiety away.
Just by beginning to becoming aware of your thoughts you can make the value judgements consciously.
You can decide if in reality there is a real danger or was it just the lookout taking charge again.
But how do you do that?
Start to question your thoughts, what is happening in reality?
You won’t catch them all at first, but with practice you will start to notice more and more.
I will explain more about how your mind makes those decisions, good or bad next time – plus….
In part 2 of this blog – coming soon
In the next blog we will explore how you can start reclaiming your life from anxiety, take back control from the lookout, and be the Ships Captain once more.
With your peace of mind in mind…
I hope that this Blog helped you, please feel free to share it.
If you have anything that you do to deal with anxiety and think it would benefit others please feel free comment and share or email me directly.
Anxiety help locally and worldwide
I specialise in helping people who suffer with all types of anxiety.
I am based in the beautiful market town of Petersfield in Hampshire, in the UK.
I also offer sessions via Skype if you are unable to travel to my Petersfield UK offices.
Locally I cover Petersfield, Portsmouth, Southampton, Winchester, Midhurst, Chichester, Liphook, Clanfield, Waterlooville, Horndean, Liss, Alton, Havant, Rowlands Castle and the surrounding areas.