I am going to use my blog as a sounding board for an idea. I gladly welcome comments on what I write over the next few posts and with permission would like to use relevant stories. If you post a comment please bear in mind it may end up published elsewhere.
I have decided to write an e-book about panic disorder.
While this book is a ‘left field’ look at what I have figured out about me, it may just work for you to. I invite you to listen to my story and take what’s useful and leave what’s not behind.
This blog entry will form the basis of chapter five.
My Grandad taught me problem solving and he believed the simplest solution is always the best one.
My experience in life has taught me the simplest solution is nearly always the best solution. How I end up there however is to over-think the solution and try out all the complicated solutions first.
Once exhausted, in a desperate bid to fix the problem, my brain usually throws up something really simple.
So lets look at anxiety and panic disorder as a problem which needs a solution and apply my Grandad’s theory.
What is anxiety? And how do we simplify the problem?
I told you a part of my story and looked at the physiology of panic attacks. I looked at the idea that people participating in extreme sports are experiencing roughly the same set of neuro-chemicals and are enjoying them. I also looked at the idea that these neuro-chemicals are habit forming.
Now it is time to look at things logically. Looking at things logically and simplifying them is what I do best.
If we remove all variables what exists is a neuro-chemical response.
Different people have different levels of response to different things, however the response can be considered to be roughly the same set of neuro-chemicals in anxiety or excitement.
The unchangeable element that we have to accept, what is there, the physiology of being human is the response.
To a certain extent you can control your physiological response by avoidance, if you don’t like something, to immersion if you do.
Human beings can also learn to control their physiological responses to their environments through meditation. However given Tibetan monks spend an entire lifetime learning to master themselves the likelihood of achieving anything close to master in western society is slim.
The first step of any solution is to accept what is happening to you physiologically.
The only way I have learned to do this is to remove all the stories, to literally unravel the mind back to nothing.
Then at that point whatever situation you are in, remind yourself…
Simple facts are:
What is there?
The simple answer is:
At some point you made a decision about what it meant to be experiencing the reaction. And with therapy you may retrain and recondition yourself to have a different response.
The problem however is the definition of the problem itself, because your focus will always be in the paradigm of fight or flight.
Somebody made this concept up. And for many it is a limiting belief.
We have had this popular catch phrase driven into our consciousness for around twenty years and because society focuses on it, we get more of it.
This set of choices is called a paradigm.
To get out of this paradigm you need to focus only on what is there. The neuro-chemical response. That is what is real. Everything else is made up.
Given that more and more people are having this neuro-chemical response, it is probably a really important part of human evolution, so we need to redefine it. Who knows, our future may even depend on it.
My key realisation has been to give up thinking of it as bad.
In my case it is not going to go away. I can manage it by wearing dark glasses and earmuffs, or I can accept it.
I choose to accept it.
I had an interesting moment today when I nearly had a car accident and without this neuro-chemical response I probably would not have had the focus to avoid hitting the car which pulled out in front of me.
Once I had avoided the car I was left in a physiologically altered state for several minutes.
I could choose to focus on it, worry about it, even create a generalised anxiety about it.
In every case now, I choose to accept it as normal. Once I have accepted it, I can recreate my experience.
If I expand my nuero-chemical paradigm to include the possibility of excitement, how I feel physically is no longer a threat; in fact it can become fun.
With a simple shift in perception, supermarket shopping suddenly becomes an extreme sport. I actually get a thousand dollar snowboarding holiday rush for free every time I go shopping.
My personal shift in consciousness was to redefine adrenalin and create a possibility of excitement, which has completely overridden fear.
In contrast to a lot of people with Aspergers, I can simply choose to switch attitude and embrace excitement as a possibility.
In The Logic Of Attraction, I define this shift in consciousness as divergence, the z axis. For people who wish to solve other problems, there are more examples in the book.
It is extremely simple as a solution and it works.
I was able to change the way I was doing things; I was also able to change the circumstances I was attracting and this changed my entire life.
In the final chapter I am going to look at the benefits and at other natural ways to manage anxiety.
See you on the other side of the looking glass,