Anxiety is your friend!- Matthew Tweedie Blog 1 of 3
This blog is all about anxiety, and the fact that anxiety is your friend, believe it or not, now that does sound a little bit ridiculous on the surface, but you know it's all about a matter of perspective. Isn't that what reality is all about, your particular procedure of processing information and assembling it in a fashion that will make sense, the lang- gauge and the way you use language, how you actually put labels to things, the symbolic imagery that your unconscious mind processes to get you into that state of now.
Anxiety is your friend; believe it or not. Do you know someone with anxiety or anyone that suffers from panic attacks or OCD? What about a fear of heights or an irrational phobia. So, anxiety on the surface doesn't look like our friend until we look at it from a different perspective. I am going to break this down step by step until it makes a lot more sense. This new way of perceiving reality begins to allow one to understand how anxiety works inside of your deeper mind. I am going to break the mould letting you in on a little secret. Anxiety is not a 'chemical imbalance', not at all; it's behaviour. Knowing that it is a behaviour and something that we learn is genuinely empowering. Why you may ask, because anything we can learn we can unlearn, or more to the point, we can learn something else too so to replace it. We can also look at anxiety as symbolic feedback from the deeper mind; your unconscious mind does communicate with you in many different ways.
One of the significant ways is through symbolic feedback. So, imagine an iceberg, everything above the water representing your conscious mind while the rest your unconscious. So that's a 5% versus 95% split and everything below the surface is your unconscious mind. Now your unconscious mind is so powerful, so profound and it has such a big job and so many things to do. Millions of processes, all at once, and the one that this article is focussing on is symbolic feedback and deciphering the messages from within. Now again, in psychotherapy, and the school that I come from, there is a metaphor, known as the sentry or the guard. Everyone has a guard or a sentry within the deepest part of their mind. Now, if you know any people that have anxiety some of them might be slightly obsessed with security. This is equally true for the metaphorical sentry or guard. It's always on the lookout for danger scanning scan.
It's the type is the mechanism that's continuously scanning out and looking for danger. There is also a subjective scale of stress that the sentry operates on; a scale of stress between 0 and 10. Now, on average, most people have a threshold or tripwire for the alarm system, and that that's sitting at eight out of 10.
If your stress levels go beyond a level 8 out of 10 then it will trigger the alarm, putting you into a fight, flight or freeze mode. This particular shift in the body-mind is all regulated within your autonomic nervous system, and the guard is sitting at the helm, ensuring that threats don't get too intense and ensuring to look out to keep you alive ultimately. So that's his primary function, all it cares about is keeping you alive. When the body is in balance, then stress levels will have to go beyond that 8 out of 10 to trigger the response. Of course, the body is not always in balance, and this is where some issues can begin to crop up.
This article is part one of a 3 part series on this topic. Look out for the next blog, where I will go deeper into what happens to the guard when things are not quite in balance in the body-mind.