Thursday, 10 July 2014
Anxiety - when what we know and what we believe are not the same
One of the biggest causes of anxiety is a mismatch of what we know to true and what we believe to be true, to make matters even more confusing sometimes the belief is a subconscious one and out of conscious awareness. This mismatch of knowing and believing can cause phobias, Ibs, various anxiety disorders, and a host of other things. Someone who has a phobia knows that their trigger cannot harm them, they know that a particular thing or situation isn't actually threatening, they can be completely logical and rational - until the moment they are faced with the thing or situation they are phobic about. At that moment logic and reason are pushed aside by the fight-flight response and fear and anxiety take over, why? Because they believe at some level they are in a truly bad situation and are in danger. The subconscious mind has a lot to answer for in this situation, we can hold onto faulty beliefs all our lives, just because of a throw-away comment made by someone when we were young, something we saw on TV or even just by watching someone else react with fear to something that had never bothered us in the past. I find it astounding that the most prominent power of our mind (the subconscious) can in fact be so illogical and so easily filled with faulty information. People also often know that they are good, kind people, but at some level believe themselves to be inadequate in some way, causing issues such as anxiety, social issues and low self esteem. So the next time you find yourself feeling anxious - ask yourself what do I know and what do I believe ? If there is a mismatch you then know where your anxiety has come from, which is a good place to start moving forwards.