I've recently had a couple of clients who had BIG shifts in their anxiety within a very short amount of time. I'm going to tell you about one of them today.
I'll call her Jackie.
Anxiety like Jackie's is very common. Not only do we live in stressful times, but our lifestyle is contributing to levels of stress and anxiety that are not just unpleasant to feel, but also negatively people's health, relationships and overall life enjoyment.
Jackie suddenly developed social anxiety; seemingly out of nowhere.
Happily married for many years, had a good job and a loving family; an overall happy life. But one day, Jackie's sister died, and shortly thereafter, she started to be anxious to leave her house.
Jackie had had mild anxiety before, but it was mostly kept in check with medication. My hunch is that the blow of losing her dear sister put her over the edge, and she was no longer able to cope with her anxiety.
In her own words,
"Before I started working with you – I couldn’t seem to be around people or go anywhere, as I was so nervous, I just wanted to stay home. This was affecting my life, because I am an outgoing person, and this problem was not just affecting myself, but my husband and my family also, as I would cancel any gatherings."
Clearly, Jackie's life and relationships were suffering. Even her work started to suffer because she simply didn't feel like her normal, positive self.
That's when she decided to do something about it and reached out to see if I could help.
Let me cut to the chase and give you the punchline:
Within just a few sessions, Jackie was able to dissolve her anxiety and enjoy her social life again.
In fact, after our very first session, Jackie attended two social events that she had been planning on skipping, and she reported not only feeling calm but actually enjoying herself!
So how did she go (so quickly) from being paralyzed at home to going out and enjoying it?
I want to share with you several critical things we did together, so you can get a glimpse of how you too can tackle anxiety if you have it:
1. We created a 'Well Formed Outcome' for her
This is about creating a vibrant vision of your ideal outcome.
When asked what they want, most people will answer something like, "oh I want to not feel anxious." A Well-Formed Outcome is much more than that. It's a thoroughly-crafted vision of the ideal outcome, involving all of your senses, emotions and rich detail.
This step gave Jackie's subconscious mind a destination towards which to strive. (The subconscious mind loves to be given a good quest.)
In many cases, I do a hypnosis/relaxation visualization to help my clients further embed their ideal outcome into their subconscious, and I send them the recording. Many people often fall asleep while listening to it at night, which is great because the subconscious mind stays engaged!
2. We deconstructed the voices behind her anxiety
We talked through the different things she subconsciously was subconsciously saying to herself as the reasons why she should be anxious.
It turned out that Jackie had an inner voice warning her that, "Something bad is going to happen.What if I'm not OK?"
3. She learned EFT and started using it whenever the anxiety popped up
I taught Jackie how to use EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to tackle the feelings, thoughts and sensations she was experiencing as part of the anxiety.
Even after the very first try, Jackie said she instantaneously felt more calm. She loved the technique so much that she kept doing it and successfully went to her two events even after just one session.
I had also given her the recordings of my voice as we did EFT together in our sessions, so she could have "me" available for backup support any time she needed it.
4. We created a list of self-care practices to boost her sense of confidence and inner peace
Another thing we did together was to help Jackie become the master of her own self-care. The more she stepped into her big shoes as her own best care-taker and advocate, the more confident she felt in her ability to care for herself and the more the anxiety continued to dissipate.
Some of the things we included in this list might seem unrelated to her anxiety, such as:
- Being more proactive and mindful about her food and moving towards a whole-foods diet.
- Educating herself on different health topics to have more informed conversation with her doctor and advocate for creating a plan to wean herself off some of her medications.
- Increasing her physical activity and connecting with the joy she feels when she's active.
- Making fun plans with her husband.
Again, though seemingly unrelated to the original anxiety, these actions solidified her inner identity as a competent and intelligent woman in good charge of her safety, happiness and wellbeing.
I will share with you another client's recent successes with a different kind of anxiety that was freezing her at work and sabotaging her career success.
Do you struggle with your anxiety sometimes?
As you can see here, I'd be delighted to help. Feel free to send me a note or set up a free discovery session so we can chat. You can create a dramatic change for yourself with the right tools.