This may surprise you, but oftentimes, we NEED to stay stuck in our dysfunction. Or at least our brain tells us to.
You really want relief, to feel better, and to “get over it” (despite wanting to punch people out who tell you this).
No one wakes up in the morning and says, “Oh boy, I am soooooo glad to be feeling stressed, anxious, depressed today!” You know you are tired of feeling this way, and you know what feeling this way has cost you.
Maybe you have missed out on enjoying time with friends, family, your children. Or you have been unmotivated to take that next step with your career despite deep down, knowing you really want to. Maybe you are procrastinating on doing something you once loved because it now is associated with something bad.
You have tried many things but you keep falling back into your old self-sabotaging patterns.
You may attempt to just “push” your crappy feelings out of your mind. But if it were as easy as that, no one would be stressed or worried, ever. Some people bury their feelings, but then wonder why they have pain all over their body with no medical explanation.
Self-help books are great as they really do provide some great tools for refection and self improvement. You probably have implemented some of the recommendations, successfully at first, but then found yourself slowly slipping off the wagon. This is akin to weight loss and the whole “roller coaster” dieting thing. You do well at first, patting yourself on the back for showing great willpower, then the next thing you know you are stuffing your face with Cheetos and Ho-Hos. Sigh.
I spent the first part of my counseling career working within the traditional “talk therapy” framework. Again, my clients would do well at first, but after we ended sessions or something new came up, they would fall right back into their old puddle of poo.
So why does this happen?
See, your subconscious tends to use your problem (anxiety, stress, depression) to fulfill an emotional need and keep you “safe”.
Unfortunately, our subconscious is missing an automatic update feature. Too bad it is not an app.
At one point in our life, your stress response might have been warranted. But it keeps getting in the way of your present life, even though you no longer need it.
For example, let's say that you were mugged in a dark alley at the age of 16 on the way home from dinner with friends. In that alley, your fight or flight mechanism kicks in to basically help you survive a very dangerous situation, which is super important at the time. But flash forward 20 years, and you are still struggling with a fear of the dark and high anxiety when in social situations.
Because your subconscious is protective, it has associated all situations in the dark with danger. It also associated going out with friends as the event that put you near that exact alley, which also equals danger.
Now movies are dangerous. Bedtime is dangerous. Dinner at a restaurant with friends is dangerous.
If your body creates enough of whatever uncomfortable feelings you get, you stay home, you hide, you procrastinate, so you never technically put yourself in harms way again.
This keeps you stuck in the problem.
You can't simply “out think” your subconscious because:
- you are in a physical crisis mode every time your intense feelings kick in
- it is this exact thinking and association that got you stuck here in the first place.
Again, if it were easy, no one would feel stress, anxiety, worry, or depression, ever.
Here's the solution – ReBoot your subconscious.
This is why I love Tapping (aka Emotional Freedom Technique).
First, Tapping gets rid of the heightened emotional response. It turns off your “fight or flight” response and then puts your body in a calm state. This part is super important because rational thought does not ever happen in crisis mode. Your physical stress response will ALWAYS win.
Once crisis mode is turned off, you are finally ready to start processing the old, unhelpful beliefs and triggers so you can re-program your thoughts. Your logic now kicks in and you tell yourself that the dark alley incident was over 20 years ago, that you are an adult now, much wiser, and can protect yourself better than at 16. You can finally dis-associate every dark or social situation with anxiety and fear.
Try it for yourself!
Watch the video on this page to learn how to Tap.
Sit comfortably and bring up your uncomfortable feelings. Go through the Tapping points, verbally stating these feelings and where you feel them in your body. Note what happens after a few rounds. If you have truly tuned in to the problem, you should feel relief in your body.
Need help or want more?
Schedule a 20 minute phone consult with me so we can figure out a plan together.