WARNING: The information here is counter-intuitive.
In fact, so is most of what we teach at Unchain Your Mind but the simple and straight-forward truth is this:
Most other therapies are about trying to manage conditions like anxiety.
That’s NOT what we’re about.
We have a very different objective in mind when we work with someone face-to-face, over video call or through our teaching material (like this blog post).
Here’s what we want to do:
We want to put an end to your anxiety once-and-for-all.
We want YOU to seize control of your mind AND we want you to achieve the extraordinary potential that lurks like a ravenous tiger inside the cage of your anxiety.
If YOU want that too then you need to swim against the tide of popular opinion.
AND you need to understand one thing before anything else if you want to be completely free of anxiety:
Most people suffer very serious anxiety (by our standards).
So you can’t do what most people suggest, EVEN if it is somewhat effective.
If you’d like to know how hypnotherapy can eliminate anxiety from your life then use the button below to book a 30-minute telephone call with an expert hypnotherapist today.
“What should I do instead?”
… We hear your cry!
Let me tell you:
The intake form we use for anxiety at Unchain Your Mind contains this question:
“What makes the anxiety better?”
The answer in at least 70% of cases includes some form of ‘distraction’.
Maybe it’s sudoku puzzles, household chores, or YouTube videos. Whatever it is, it always has the following elements:
- It occupies the conscious mind
- It directs attention away from troublesome thoughts or feelings
- It is menial
So what’s the problem with this?
“2. It directs attention away from troublesome thoughts or feelings”
And why is that a problem?
Isn’t THAT exactly what you want… less anxiety, more of ANYTHING ELSE?
I don’t think so.
If you want to actually beat anxiety then you need to understand what actually causes anxiety.
More importantly you need to understand the causes which are UNIQUE TO YOU.
You can’t find that out by distracting yourself from anxiety.
Anxiety is a warning signal. It’s like the fire alarm going off. It’s the check engine light coming on.
Can you ignore those signals. Sure you can. But is it wise?
Do people ignore the check engine light and carry on driving?
And do they stay at their desks tapping away at yet another email (which is frankly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things) even when the fire alarm is going off in the office?
Strangely enough, they do.
However, if YOU want to completely escape from the shackles of anxiety then YOU have to start paying attention to those warning signals.
1. Start listening more carefully
There are voices in your head.
You are not mad.
In fact, having no voices in your head would be a far stranger situation.
Perhaps that’s what ‘enlightenment’ is like, but it’s a little outside the scope of this blog.
So let’s assume that those voices are there for a reason and that they mean something important.
The thoughts and ideas in your mind – the internal dialogue – is not random.
We’re not a random species.
Look how successful we are at almost everything we attempt. That’s not random, it’s highly structured and efficient.
Your brain accounts for 20% of your total energy usage.
No species survives by throwing away 20% of its energy on meaningless activities.
Therefore, NONE of the thoughts in your head are meaningless… but they don’t necessarily mean exactly what they appear to say.
The rest of this post will help you to unpick what those thoughts really mean – so read on!
2. STOP thinking that it doesn’t matter what you say to yourself
You are in a relationship with yourself and your conscious mind is a part of that relationship, just like you are a member of your family.
When you have a conversation with yourself it is literally happening. You are speaking to another part of yourself.
That’s why you are capable of arguing with yourself. It’s why you can get so frustrated with yourself and it’s why you have doubtless lost your temper with yourself at some point.
Here is the crucial thing to remember:
You know that you can’t say whatever you want to your partner/boss/mum and it won’t make any difference.
You need to be INCREDIBLY CAREFUL what you say to the people you love the most so you don’t wreck your relationships.
What does that mean?
It means that you need to be equally careful how you talk to yourself – no matter how frustrated you may be with yourself.
That is the GOLDEN RULE!
Simply adopt this one thing into your internal dialogue and notice your life transforms itself into something extraordinary.
Don’t take my word for it.
3. Be more playful
I mentioned that there are some other ‘parts’ to your personality – parts which contribute to your internal dialogue.
To help you understand a little more what this means, let me put it this way:
You’ve probably noticed that there are some thoughts you can create and control in your mind. Then there are some which carry on without your input.
These other thoughts come from parts of your personality and they respond to your conscious thoughts.
If you shout at them, they get upset (or they shout back).
If you ignore them, they try even harder to get your attention.
If you try being reasonable and logical then you’ll soon discover that they have their own point of view which might be wildly at odds with your conscious mind.
So what can you do?
If you want these thoughts to change into something more positive for you then you need to try something else.
You need to build up some trust because these parts hold the key to beating anxiety once and for all… but they are used to you ignoring, arguing and shouting!
Let go of that behaviour and start to allow something more fun and childlike to play out in your internal dialogue.
You see those words “Internal Dialogue”.
There’s a conversation going on in your head.
Make it playful, the rest will follow.
4. Be more compassionate
Age old advice.
But no-one ever tells you HOW to do this rather challenging task. It’s rather like when people tell you: ‘Just be yourself’.
Sometimes it feels like a cliché that has no true utility but it’s more than that.
To be compassionate with yourself you need to recognise that you may have been acting like a bully to yourself and it needs to stop.
Or maybe YOU are the one being bullied by your own mind?
In that case the best thing you can do is… be compassionate with yourself.
You can walk away from anyone and anything, but you can’t walk away from the conversation in your head.
Have you ever tried hanging up the phone on the voices in your head?
It doesn’t work!
You have only one option, no matter what happens in your life. You have to continue the relationship in your head with the parts of your unconscious mind.
That conversation (the inner dialogue) WILL continue.
If there’s an element of it you don’t like then the only option is to kill it with kindness.
Arguing doesn’t work.
Shouting doesn’t work.
Ignoring doesn’t work.
It’s the only thing that works, which is why it is such age old advice.
5. Be more specific
Is there something about your inner dialogue you don’t like? Is there a part that criticises everything you do. Does a voice tell you that you’re not good enough?
And you’d like it to stop, right?
And you’ve asked it to stop, right?
And I’m guessing, because you’re still reading this, that it hasn’t stopped?
I can’t tell you exactly because it’s unique to you. But that means that the answer to this exact problem is within you.
You might get some insight from searching Google. You might learn something useful from reading this blog (I certainly hope so!).
However, if you want to know what changes need to happen in your life to stop the shrieking alarm of your anxiety then you need to listen to your unconscious mind and you need to ask specific question.
I can’t exactly answer that for you either because only you can know. But I can give you one last, hopefully invaluable piece of advice:
Listen and ask. Have a conversation. Do NOT go into detective mode.
Don’t try to figure out, based on everything that’s happened to you over the course of your life, what has messed you up.
Take it from me, that kind of thinking will only MESS YOU UP MORE.
The unconscious mind is incredibly complex and powerful. So complex and powerful in fact that it knows how to answer your questions.
If you’re not getting any useful answers from the questions you are asking… you are asking the wrong questions.
Be open in this process. Be prepared to talk about the things you ‘don’t talk about’.
I guarantee that the things you don’t talk (or think) about are causing a great deal of the anxiety.
Open up to yourself with playfulness, compassion and attentiveness.
If you’d like to know more about the hypnotherapy we use at Unchain Your Mind and how it can help you then schedule a free 30-minute call with one of our experts.
About the Author
Matt Cullen is a Clinical Hypnotist, Speaker, Author and the Founder of Unchain Your Mind. His techniques and philosophy of personal development form the backbone of all the change work that happens here.