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How Anxiety Works & What You Can Do To Dissolve It

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I work as a family doctor and I often see patients complaining of anxiety and panic attacks. At one time, my local counselling service was very slow and the only help I could offer those people was a promise that someone will contact them in 2-3 months.

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It did not sound right to me. I was letting my patients down.

I had to find a way to help them during my appointments. I had 10 minutes for one patient and I quickly realized that it was impossible to have a lengthy discussion about anxiety within this time. Problems related to anxiety were always complicated and took time to explain.

I had to find a method of helping them without listening to the story.

I started researching it and I was surprised to learn that there are quite a few such methods around. I tried one of them on my friends and my family and I found it very effective. It did not suit everyone, but there was a good number of people reporting a significant improvement. And it really did not matter what they were anxious about. The story was not important. What mattered was HOW they knew they were anxious.

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THIS IS HOW I HELP MY PATIENTS TO REALIZE HOW ANXIETY WORKS

First I ask them to become anxious about this ‘thing’ while they sit in front of me. It is usually very easy. Then I ask them to grade the anxiety on a scale from one to ten. It takes a few moments. Once the number is decided I ask them to become a bit more anxious and jump one point higher on the scale. They are usually surprised with this request but after a short while everyone does it.

When they finish, I ask how they know the anxiety has become worse. They seem confused and usually say ‘I just feel it.’ Then I ask, ‘But what exactly do you feel?’ They look at me even more confused and they do not know what to say.

Then I explain – ‘The moment you try to become more anxious you think about someone or something that triggers the anxiety. At the same time, you sense the physical tension growing somewhere in your body, like a lump in the throat or knot in the stomach. It is a spasm of the muscle group reacting directly to the anxious thinking. Once the spasm gets stronger you know that the anxiety has worsened.

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THEN I EXPLAIN MORE

A physical sensation related to anxiety is caused by a spasm of a specific group of muscles and helps us to recognize how we feel.

For example, muscle spasm can be felt as:

Tight band over the head – this is caused by a tension of muscles located on the skull. Longterm tension of these muscles can cause tension headaches. It is because a cramped muscle cuts itself from a regular blood supply and becomes unhealthy.

Lump in the throat – it is triggered by muscles located in the throat. They are responsible for swallowing and speaking. People who suffer from anxiety which affects these muscles have problems with public speaking, and eating in public places.

Butterflies in the stomach – it is a spasm of muscles which are in the bowels. These muscles are used to push swallowed food down along the digestive system. They form something called a peristaltic wave. It has to be very precisely coordinated. Anxiety makes the peristaltic wave very chaotic, causing poorly digested food to become stuck in the bowels. After some time it ferments (like a compost in the garden) and starts releasing gases which have nowhere to go, causing us to feel bloated. This is how Irritable Bowel Syndrome starts.

Knot in the stomach – knot in the stomach is caused by tension of the diaphragm, which is a flat group of muscles dividing our body into to a chest and an abdomen. The diaphragm is the main muscle we use for breathing. When anxiety is located in the diaphragm it does not move properly we can feel short of breath, lightheaded, or faint. Extreme tension of the diaphragm is responsible for panic attacks.

.You can watch a clip below to understand it better.

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.This explanation gives my patients profound insight into the mechanism of anxiety.

The only thing left is to show them how they can relax the cramped group of muscles and dissolve their anxiety. This is when I lead my patients through the dissolving anxiety exercise you can find here.

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WHAT ELSE CAN IT DO?

The technique of dissolving body sensations can be used for various feelings that are making life more difficult. For example, I dissolved a body sensation related to the desire of having a good-looking car and I am now very happy with my 10-year-old Toyota. It is a very reliable car but it doesn’t look good anymore. I felt a growing need to buy a new one only for that reason. Then I realized that this feeling is just another feeling I can dissolve. I detected a sensation in my body related to wanting a new car and then successfully dissolved it. Now I am very happy with my Toyota and I do not need to work longer and harder to buy a new one.

I successfully dissolved so-called ‘Sunday evening blues’ and the frustration of having to return to work after holidays. I also dissolved the guilt of not coming to work when I felt really ill. It was stopping me from waiting for full recovery before returning to work, making my life more difficult.

The same technique can be used to stop worry about future or past events. When the present life is affected by a traumatic event from the past, like a car accident, and someone still feels upset about it, one can dissolve this feeling by using the exercise. The traumatic event will still be remembered but it will not trigger upsetting feelings anymore.

If someone feels anxious about something which is going to happen, like a coming exam or important presentation, one can dissolve this feeling using the exercise. This enhances confidence and readiness to perform.

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Consciousness

Ex-Government Physicist Shares What He Knows About ‘Activating’ ESP (Psi) Dreaming

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dale E. Graff, a physicist and former director of the US government/Stanford remote viewing program shares his knowledge about dreaming, and how we can all experience what he calls 'Psi' dreaming.

  • Reflect On:

    How much have our governments and black budget programs really discovered within these realms? How much is known and why are they keeping t classified?

The most astonishing fact about studies within the realm of parapsychology (Psi) is that they are often shunned by the mainstream media and this comes despite the fact that they have extremely high amounts of credibility within the realms of academia. Parapsychology deals with phenomena like pre-cognition, remote viewing, telepathy, mind matter interaction, and more that fall under the label of extra sensory perception (ESP), and the truth is, there is no reason why these topics should not be studied openly within the mainstream. Why is it that they are ridiculed in that realm, but have been studied at the highest levels of government for decades with high amounts of success and credibility? The US/Stanford University STARGATE project is one of many examples that confirm parapsychology’s legitimacy.

These programs usually run and are funded by the black budget. Find out where trillions of our tax dollars are going here.

Dr. Jessica Utts, the Chair of the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Irvine makes a great point on the show Talking Points, further emphasizes my point.

“What convinced me was just the evidence, the accumulating evidence as I worked in this field and I got to see more and more of the evidence. I visited the laboratories, even beyond where I was working to see what they were doing and I could see that they had really tight controls… and so I got convinced by the good science that I saw being done. And in fact I will say as a statistician I’ve consulted in a lot of different areas of science; the methodology and the controls on these experiments are much tighter than any other area of of science where I’ve worked.” (source)

Based on all of my research into the field of parapsychology, the information seems to be shunned away from in mainstream academia simply because it has an association with superstition, spirituality, metaphysics and ‘magic’. This alone, no matter how strong the evidence and how significant the results when studied in a scientific setting, instantly have closed-minded ‘non-believers’ yell out pseudoscience. There is instant condemnation without investigation and sometimes, “protecting against this possibility sometimes seems more important than encouraging scientific exploration or protecting academic freedom. But this may be changing.” Said Cassandra Vieten, PhD and President/CEO at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (source).

One realm within the topic of parapsychology is the study of our dreams and there is no better person to learn about dreams from than than Dale E. Graff.  Graff is an MS in Physics and a life long investigator of Psi phenomena specializing in a variety of extrasensory perception (ESP) topics including remote viewing and precognitive dreaming. He has a scientific background in the aerospace industries and in technical intelligence assignments for the Department of Defense. He was also a director of the STARGATE program mentioned above.

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In the lecture below, he answers the following questions: What is Psi dreaming? How can individuals experience Psi dreams? How can Psi dreaming be researched and evaluated scientifically? What can we do with Psi dreaming? How can Psi dreaming be understood relative to other forms of Psi, such as remote viewing and some types of intuition?

He provides information about how Psi dreaming is accomplished, and goes into the evidence and investigations that have shown evidence for the reality of Psi dreaming. He talks about how Psi dreaming may occur and provides exercises to assist in dream recall, among other things.

The Takeaway

A great quote that’s often attributed to Nikola Tesla reads as follows, “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”  This is true I believe, just take a look at quantum physics for example, it really opened up the collective mind about non-physical factors of reality and how it may influence material physical reality. It also demonstrated that matter itself, which makes up all of physical reality, is not really physical at all, that it’s mostly comprised of energy. Just look at the atom, the smallest observable piece of matter, it’s what everything else is made up of. An atom is almost all empty space, more than 99 percent of it to be exact. The kicker? That empty space is not useless, and from what we know now, “empty space” is really not “empty” at all. This is why I’ve always stressed the importance in many of my previous articles of this quote from theoretical physicist John Wheeler:

No point is more central than this, that space is not empty, it is the seat of the most violent physics.”

Another great quote from Tesla:

“All perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the akasha, or luminiferous ether, which is acted upon by the life-giving Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in never-ending cycles all things and phenomena.” – Nikola Tesla, Man’s Greatest Achievement, 1907

I go into a deeper discussion regarding non-physical reality within this article if you’d like to learn more: Scientists Call Out “Dark Matter” – Have We Been Wrong About It All Along?

The point is, non-physical reality, and the metaphysical world is not limited to philosophy, but it’s been subjected to rigorous investigation and science. The collective mind seems to be opening up quite rapidly, but just as we look back in the past to some concepts now accepted as truth that were once considered blasphemy, it’s important to remember that this type of resistance still exists today.

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Consciousness

How To Stop Self-Sabotage & Get Out Of Your Own Way

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    While we all have our fair share of obstacles to overcome in life, in many cases, we are the biggest obstacles standing in our way. Thankfully, there are things we can all do to cut back on self-sabotaging behaviour.

  • Reflect On:

    How much am I holding myself back from? What, if anything, am I getting from keeping myself in the state I am in?

Whether or not you consider yourself a creative person, we are all creative powerhouses. Proof of this lies within our minds, which are consistently concocting ideas, scenarios, goals and so much more that all play a prominent role in the life that we live.​

While some of us thrive at making the most of the constructive impulses that come our way, the vast majority of us instead seem to excel at running with those that are instead destructive in nature. We may feel as though we live in a world filled with ruthless competition, but in reality our biggest competitor both operates and exists within us.

“Addiction, self-sabotage, procrastination, laziness, rage, chronic fatigue and depression are all ways that we withhold our full participation in the program of life we are offered. When the conscious mind cannot find a reason to say no, the unconscious says no in its own way.” – Charles Eisenstein, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible

Here are some of what I’ve found to be the most common ways in which we sabotage ourselves and what we can all do to get out of our own way:

The Problem With Overthinking

One of the most common ways that we sabotage ourselves is by overthinking. Don’t get me wrong, there are a number of situations and scenarios in which reflecting on something extensively is not only beneficial, but often the best course of action. However, the number of times where that is the case is far outweighed by the number of times we opt to overthink.

One second we are excited about a new idea, and within hours, or sometimes minutes, we’ve concretely established three worst case scenarios, two of which have a 0.001% likelihood of ever occurring, and we’ve sold ourselves on the conclusion that we shouldn’t even bother. Sound familiar?

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If overthinking is an issue for you, I recommend that you try adding journaling into your daily life. I personally like to follow the protocol outlined in the infamous book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, which encourages you to journal first thing in the morning, but taking any time out of your day to allow your mind to metaphorically dump onto the page can be life-changing. Let yourself write literally anything and everything that comes to mind. It may feel counterproductive at first, but you’d be surprised at how often writing things out can make your thoughts feel heard, allowing you to more easily assess the healthy from the unhealthy and move past those that would have previously sabotaged your creativity.

Cut The Comparison

Another common way in which we frequently self sabotage is through comparison, especially in our social media driven world where measuring ourselves against others has never been more prevalent. With a couple of swipes and scrolls we can easily compare ourselves to hundreds of other people, most of which are portraying themselves and their lives inaccurately.

If comparison is your “Achilles heel”, there are two things you can do: 1) cut back on how much time you spend on social media, and 2) actively challenge yourself to celebrate rather than compare yourself to the accomplishments of others.

For example, I could very easily look at the work of someone like Jay Shetty–whose content falls largely under a similar umbrella to mine–and see that it’s being seen by millions of people compared to the thousands that mine is typically consumed by, and allow myself to get down because of that. Or I can alternatively look at his accomplishments, including his recent appearance on The Ellen Show–a longtime goal of mine–and instead be happy for him, seeing his success as living proof that there is an audience for this content.

Sorry, I Was Distracted

A third lesser-known way in which we sabotage ourselves, occasionally even subconsciously, is through distraction. Rather than taking immediate action or even the smallest of steps to further establish the healthy neural pathway that is trying to form, we closet that creativity by opting to distract ourselves from listening to it.

Common ways that we do this include picking up our phones and checking social media, or using our fatigue to justify sitting on the couch and watching some TV, both of which always provide more than enough content for us to engage with in a far less creative manner.

If distraction is your self sabotage speciality, consider setting aside set periods each day where you do not allow yourself to engage with any form of technology. Whether you opt to read a book, meditate or spend some time out in nature, give your mind the daily opportunity to reacclimatize to what that experience feels like, and you may be pleasantly surprised by what it leads to.


For more brutally honest personal development content designed for those who actually want to change be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and to follow me on Instagram. And to receive my free eBook on 5 Simple Daily Hacks For A Genuinely Happier Life click HERE.

Article originally written for and published by Ideapod.

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Consciousness

My 3 Weeks Listening To Only 1 Song & What I Learned About Focus

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Music impacts us in more ways than we likely think. It turns out that purposely listening to a single song or playlist could work wonders when it comes to creativity and focus.

  • Reflect On:

    What music do you regularly listen to, especially as you work? Pay attention to how every song you listen to makes you feel both during and after playing it.

In the name of personal development and health, I’ve always been someone who has enjoyed challenging myself and trying new things. And while you think that I would have logically taken at least a bit of a break after recently going 400+ days without candy (read about that HERE), I opted to instead jump immediately into my next adventure.

This time I challenged myself, an avid lover of music, to only be able to listen to one song of my choosing for what turned out to be three straight weeks.

While the idea behind this may sound crazy to many of you, I’m not the first one to do it. In fact, my inspiration stemmed from the bestselling book Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by infamous life-hacker Tim Ferriss. In one of the many sections that the book is broken into, Tim reveals that a number of prominent individuals have purposely chosen to listen to just one song or soundtrack on repeat while working on a given project.

Free solo climbing phenom Alex Honnold, the lead developer of WordPress Matt Mullenweg, and female obstacle course racer Amelia Boone are just 3 of the many examples that the book outlines.

Currently having a lot on my creative plate, in addition to running my company, I decided to try it out. The song I chose was ‘Time’ by Hans Zimmer, a song most infamously known for its place on the Inception Soundtrack.

Now, I will fully admit that this was not the only song that I heard over the course of these three weeks, since I opted to: A) not shut myself out from the rest of the world to ensure this was possible, and B) not be the person who approached the employees of every public venue I went to requesting that they change their current playlist for a classical song on repeat. But aside from those times, it was all that I heard.

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I listened to it while working, driving, working out, cooking and more. Here are some of my key takeaways:

The Song Never Got Old

The most surprising takeaway for me from this entire experience was that I can honestly say that I never got tired of listening to the song I chose. According to my iTunes, as of the moment I am writing this sentence, the song has been played a whopping 473 times and to be honest I wouldn’t mind hearing it right now.

It Becomes A Form Of Musical Meditation

In my experience, having the same song play on repeat allowed it to become a form of musical meditation. My mind always knew what to expect and it was able to coast on autopilot to that expectation while focusing on whatever primary activity I was engaging in at the time.

As someone whose musical taste is typically quite eclectic to say the least, having a level playing field was honestly a pleasant experience. Not to mention I didn’t waste any time or lose focus by frequently searching for or skipping songs as I normally would.

Song Choice Is Critical

As much as I love ‘Time’ by Hans Zimmer, no part of me would have listed it as my favorite song of all-time prior to this experience (and for the record it still isn’t). That being said, for these purposes it was exactly what I needed.

I’m not suggesting that we should all listen to the same song that I did, but to instead make our selection based on what we know is most likely to work with us. In my case, I knew that only something in the classical realm with no lyrics stood a chance at being the only song played for more than 24 hours.

Ultimately, if you have something to focus on, I highly suggest trying this out. I personally enjoyed it so much that not only did the initial challenge evolve from what was supposed to be one week into three weeks, but I am also still listening to it whenever I need to focus on a specific task at hand (such as writing my book). I allow myself to listen to the other music I love whenever I find myself doing things that don’t require so much of my attention, but when it comes to locking in, Hans Zimmer’s Time is my anthem!


For more brutally honest personal development content designed for those who actually want to change be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and to follow me on Instagram. And to receive my free eBook on 5 Simple Daily Hacks For A Genuinely Happier Life click HERE.

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