How to heal anxiety
3 key components of OCD:
1) Feeling like there is an imminent danger
2)Fear of death and strategies of control to avoid it
3) Fear of doing mistakes
How can we make things better?
1) Reconnect to your inner child in order to understand where that sensation of danger, that fear of death, that need for control and that fear of making mistakes come from. Doing this will allow you to understand that the danger is not in the here and now but in your past. The more you will manage to reassure your inner child the more your today's fear will diminish.
2) Become more conscious of the irrational side of our OCD behaviours. Push on the pause buttons to step back and take some distance with your behaviours.
3) Take control on those behaviours. Which means that when you do have a frightening thought, do not react right away. Either you delay the behaviour or you try and diminish it. Train, little by little, on diminishing the behaviours linked to the "scary thoughts".
Little by little, this is what you can do when you have an anxious thought:
- Take some distance and press on pause
- Find the connection between that anxiety and your past
- Don't just react right away by doing the behaviour linked to the anxiety. Try to delay it or diminish it.
Do not hesitate to contact a psychotherapist to help you work on those different aspects.
Someone who has a phobia really has the impression she/he is in danger and that she might die. She/he will shift in the fight/flight/freeze mode.
TThe first step in dealing with phobias is to understand that your head & body are leading you to believe that you are in massive danger BUT you are not. So a little clarification because in the podcast I took a lot of examples of phobias related to harmless things (bird, fly, etc.) while sometimes we have a phobia of something that could potentially be dangerous. Dogs for example. A dog can be dangerous, but ALL dogs are not dangerous. The nuance is there. Just like the fear of flying. A plane can crash, but not all planes crash. In phobia there is a kind of generalisation of risk. All the dogs will bite or kill me, all the planes crash, etc.
So what can we do?
Give a new experience to our body and our mind which will allow them to associate something other then fear and panic with the phobic element. Move out of helplessness and experience that we are capable of facing our phobias.
Through progressive exposure. Start by looking at an image of your phobia. Train switching from that phobic image to a safe place. Gradually learn how to bring safeness and security in that experience of being confronted to an image of your phobie. as soon as you feel comfortable with this exercice, move to the next step which is confronting yourself physically to your phobic element. Take your tool kit (cardiac coherence, regulation of eye movements, reactivation of the prefrontal cortex, feeling of security) and help your body and your mind build a new experience here and overcome your phobia.
The origin of your phobia
If you know where your phobia comes from, then I suggest you go and confront this difficult event. Try to go through that event again, thinking of the before, during and after. Release the emotions associated with this difficult moment (cry, tremble, scream, etc.). It must have been a very scary moment! Once you have validated the emotions of this inner child and comforted him, remember the after. The "after" is that you are alive and kicking. You were very, very scared but you survived it all. This chronology of events is very important because often in trauma, we stay stuck in the moment of fear and we do not manage to see the after.
If you do not know the origin of your phobia or that the event that generated this phobia ended badly (injuries, death, etc.) then do not hesitate to contact a therapist to help you get through this phobia.
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