anxiety

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What’s the Real Problem?


So often people come to me with global problems – I’m anxious.  I don’t communicate well. I Just can’t get going, etc.  Those are big problems, but they’re also not very specific.  One of the many things I learned teaching Clinical Medicine at UCONN School of Medicine is the way medical students are taught to help patients get specific.  You have headaches?  Where exactly in your head?  Behind your eyes?  Is it the same in each eye?  Do you have any warning signs that a headache might be coming on?  Nausea?  Blurred vision?  Is there something you’re often doing before a headache comes on?   Does anything make your headaches worse like rainy days or eating strawberries?  Better?

I think you’re getting the idea.

What if you asked yourself the same kinds of questions regarding a fear, anxiety or resistance to something?  It’s one thing to say, I never get around to making the phone calls I should for my business.  It’s another thing to realize the first call is the hardest, and,  after that, it gets easier.  If I really just sit with myself for a minute and imagine making that first call in the morning, I can feel my stomach tighten.  If I tap and breathe on that tightness in my stomach, I begin to have awareness that I’m not sure I’m ready to make contact with the outside world yet.  Oh, wow,  I’m worried I’ll get overwhelmed.

Now we’ve got a clearly defined target.  Maybe it’s not as important to tap on “It’s hard to make phone calls” as “I’ve come to feel worried about connecting to the world” or “The world sometimes feels too big and I get overwhelmed.”   I think there’s a very good chance you’ll get farther with something specific rather than global.

So . . . play doctor.  Ask lots of questions, When? How? How much? How often?  Imagine the situation actually happening and follow sensations in your body.     Tap and breathe and see what you find out.  What thoughts come effortlessly to mind?  At what point in the imaging does something in your body get tight or numb or shaky?  Just seeing how something works can be a relief.  And, it gives you choices about where you go from there.  If you decided to tap on the specific concern, go for it, focusing on just the right feeling at just the right moment.

Experience finding your “trail of breadcrumbs” October 8th – The Taproot of Truth – Workshop and Retreat