Monthly Archives: October 2015

Managing Anxiety and Why Women Worry More than Men.

DTS_Photography_Movie1small“The amygdala, once triggered, sends distress signals to the other key parts of your brain.”

During an argument this week, my frustrated man asked, “Why are you so negative? Why do you always want to talk about what bad things might happen?”

I did not have an answer for him.

And to prove him correct, I immediately mentally checked-out of our conversation and began worrying that I must be flawed somehow. Something must be wrong with me and my way of thinking to make me worry so much. Is it a childhood thing? I wasn’t breastfed, after all.

I’m just naturally pessimistic? Mercury is retrograde? I’m too old? Too young? The moon is full? Maybe it was the recent eclipse! Is it because I didn’t have enough fish oil this week? Too much B12?

Didn’t get enough sleep? Too much sleep, maybe? My chakras are unbalanced? I ate too much starch? My moon is in Taurus? I lost my keys, my cat ran away, the sun got in my eyes, my shoe came untied, and I was really missing my mom that day?

Oh my gawd! What if I have a brain tumor?!

Ladies, sound familiar?

Enter the Amygdala

“The job of the amygdala is to manage the storage of memories according to the strength of the emotional reaction associated with the memory.

The right amygdala, primarily responsible for action, is generally more active in men than in women. The left amygdala, on the other hand, is primarily responsible for storage of the details of traumatic memories and prompts more thought than action. This amygdala is more active than the right in women, and in persons of both genders who have anxiety disorders.

The amygdala, once triggered, sends distress signals to the other key parts of your brain.”

Ahaaaa! Well that certainly sheds some light on the situation, doesn’t it?

With this knowledge, you are already miles ahead of everyone else when it comes to managing anxiety/fear/worry.

Your Personal Toolkit

Anxiety related issues present themselves in nearly all the clients I see. For anyone (not just women) who is experiencing inappropriate anxiety, arm yourself with this amygdala knowledge and come up with your own personal worry/anxiety toolkit.

When the worries/fears begin to get out of control you will want to interrupt the anxiety pattern.

1. Say to yourself, “Stop. This is just the product of my overactive amygdala/brain.”
2. Do some bilateral stimulation—whether physically or audibly. Watch Melissa’s video below to learn how to do it and/or Youtube is full of great music to do this very thing if you listen with earbuds. Listen to it while reading, meditating, checking your emails, etc.
3. Don’t feed the fears by continuing to think in that anxious direction. Distract yourself with other, good, thoughts or activities. Have some ready to go. Make a list so you can have a ready, go-to distraction. Read them. Let yourself relax into the good feelings for a while.
4. Use Brene Brown‘s latest life hack out of her book, Rising Strong: Gently talk about the story you are making up in you own head and get feedback from the other person to clarify and learn what both of you are really feeling/thinking.
5. Consider reprogramming your habits easily with an effective therapy tool like BrainWorking Recursive Therapy (BWRT). It works completely and quickly. It’s my favorite tool—for myself and clients.

For Our Male Counterparts

…women tend to think that whatever bad thing that is happening now will continue forever. While they often think a good thing will disappear in a moment. We lack perspective since the worry part of our brain – the amygdala – is more active than in men. It can make us lose faith. ~The Queen’s Code, by Alison Armstrong

Yes, I can relate to the “make us lose faith” thing—much to the frustration of my sweet, patient man who is always kindly reassuring me. Thank God he is such a good man.

Gentlemen, this is very important!

Just listen. Don’t argue. Don’t try and stop us from getting “out of control.” Don’t take it personally. It is not personal—even when it seems that way.

Well actually, we do think it’s personally about you, and we will present it that way. But really, it is not. Please extend grace to us in these situations.

It’s our bloody amygdala!

Simply let us rant, cry, worry and complain—even if it seems to be directed squarely at you—then take us in your arms, let us cry/yell/sigh/etc. and then resolutely and with supreme confidence, say, “Baby, it’s all going to be alright.”

“One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman’s emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax.” ~ David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man

And when we whine (or yell), “No, it won’t be alright,” say it again. Hold us tight so we can feel your strength. Let us unwind in your arms.

An argument will be diverted and our amygdala will thank you.

So whether anxiety is a pattern for you or if you are simply experiencing some stress/anxiety because of a specific, temporary situation, experiment with these tools and let me know how you fare.

A version published at elephant journal.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo.

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Reprogram Your Habits and Fears.

Death_to_stock_photography_Vibrant (10 of 10)smallReprogram your thoughts and reactions to emotionally charged issues to the preferred response of your choice.

Have you ever tried to reprogram your own mind only to find that your mind has a mind of its own? No matter what problem you have or how long you’ve had it, re-configuring neural pathways your can help you go forth into the future without that problem.

Problems just melt away as if you’ve never had them. It is a way to reprogram yourself into the person you have always wanted to be. And yes, it seemed too good to be true to me too, when I first heard about it. But I have been using the therapy for over a year now and have experienced a 100% success rate—for myself and all my clients.

Reprogramming/re-configuring your neural pathways is a fast, easy way to permanently reprogram your thoughts and reactions to emotionally charged issues/beliefs/habits/addictions to the preferred response of your choice.

The benefits are:

1. The therapy is content-free. I, as the Practitioner, do not have to know what you are reprogramming. This is extremely valuable, because some things are so shameful and embarrassing that they cannot be spoken of out loud. This method allows you to repair the issue without ever telling me what you just worked on.

2. It is fast. The education/prep for the process actually takes longer than the process itself. You can expect to be permanently done with most issues in less than one hour. Indeed, the process itself usually takes about 10 minutes.

3. You get to choose your new reaction to the formerly troublesome (traumatic) memory/habit/belief. Some folks choose to be neutral. Some choose happiness and peace. One client programmed herself to want to exercise, so that she now gets up every morning cheerfully looking forward to her workout.

A partial list of problems this therapy has cured:

~Addictions
Smoking
Porn
Binge eating
Hording
Hair/eyelash pulling
~Phobias and fears
Spiders
Claustrophobia
Public Speaking
~Confidence issues
~Sexual Issues
~Anxiety and Panic Attacks
~Post Traumatic Stress
~Future Traumatic Stress (worry about bad things that might happen)
~Depression
~Relationship issues
~Past Abuse Resolution
~Habits
~Destructive/Negative Beliefs
~Weight and Health Management
~Performance Enhancement
Dance
Sports/Athletic
Public Speaking

This is my favorite tool for resolving issues—both for myself and for my clients, because it is quick, easy and content-free. As a survivor (thriver!) of past abuse, I use it for myself all the time and love it. It is just so nice to be free from worries, fears and memories that used to cause me so much anxiety, fear and pain. That it was so easy and fast to fix them is such a relief to me.

I have also used it for myself and others to enhance dancing/athletic confidence and abilities, so that now I am enjoying an anxiety-free experience in Argentine tango dancing.

Contact me for more info or to set up your in-person (Fort Collins, CO, USA), phone or Skype session.

No matter your tools and path, may you know happy, easy, peaceful self-growth! Godspeed.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo.