This is my favorite quote that also explains my general philosophy toward treating anxiety, OCD, phobias, panic. It is a seemingly simple statement that is actually quite powerful and is the essence of how we treat anxiety.
Courage is not the absence of fear; courage is feeling afraid and doing it anyway.”
Manage Instead Eliminate
I CAN HANDLE IT!
You will learn the power of saying to yourself: This is hard. I am afraid. But I’m going to do it anyway. I can handle it!
The goal is not to try to eliminate or fight feelings of fear, worry or anxiety, but to recognize, accept and allow those feelings while using strategies to handle and move through the distress. At first this concept seems counterintuitive, after all, our natural response is to try to fight uncomfortable feelings with everything we’ve got! In fact, our limbic system is programmed to do just that. But we will learn that our brain sometimes tricks us into thinking a fear-based stimulus is actual danger which leads to feelings of anxiety, panic and avoidance. However, we will learn to let go of trying to fight it, how to gain control over that emergency center of our brain, and instead lean into those feelings and taking action to move through them and achieve the immense satisfaction we get from freeing ourselves of the burden of worry and fear.
HOW ANXIETY IS A MIND TRICK
Everyone experiences anxiety, worry or nervousness from time to time. In fact, it is an important adaptive response our brain uses in order to protect us from a direct threat to our safety or well-being. So simply experiencing anxiety itself is not a problem. In fact, fear and the associated instinctual responses of fight/flight/freeze – protects us from an actual danger.
It’s when our brain tricks us into thinking that we are in danger in situations that are actually safe but just emotionally distressing, that anxiety becomes problematic (i.e. singing on stage, talking to a large audience, taking a test, riding a roller coaster, staring into an empty pool [that one’s mine, I’ll tell you about it sometime, my kids love to tease me about it!])
CHANGING OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH ANXIETY
The path to overcoming chronic anxiety disorders is to change our relationship with worry. I will teach you my 4 step RAAR approach to managing anxiety and fear, which will lead you to feeling more empowered and able to handle even the most difficult situations, where “I can’t” turns into “I can” and then “I will” and finally “I did”!. I pronounce it “ROAR”, where we learn to feel powerful over anxiety like a lion, I just couldn’t think of an “O” word so it’s RAAR!
I will teach you how to change your relationship with anxiety, and you will feel accomplished, empowered and free to live your life not on anxiety’s terms but on your terms.