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Most people suffering from anxiety think that it’s something they’ll always have to live with. But not only is this false, but it’s dangerous.

Excessive stress and worry literally poisons your body. Anxiety is stress and worry on steroids, making it even more deadly to your body.

In this episode, I’m tearing apart the dogma about anxiety and stress to help end anxiety, stress, and worry for good.

Here Are The Show Highlights:

  • Why the so-called “experts” are wrong about anxiety always being with you (1:24)
  • How a coma can give you tremendous joy (4:36)
  • The case for never worrying or stressing again (10:59)
  • How your obsessive thoughts poison your body from the inside out (13:00)
  • Why stress makes you stupid (13:58)
  • How to retrain your nervous system so stress, anxiety, and depression melt away (17:16)
  • The “Tiger trick” that instantly eases your anxiety (20:48)

To listen to my hour-long conversation about depression and the depression cycle with two of my clients, head over to http://thefreedomspecialist.com/depression and enter your email address.

If you want to radically change how much control you have over your emotions in as little as 20 days, you can go to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and sign up for the Choose Your Own Emotion course.

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

Read Full Transcript

It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F-word here: Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same—and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it. [00:27.9]

Bob: Welcome back to the “Alive and Free Podcast.” Last week, we talked about depressions demise, and today we're going to handle anxiety. And I know what some of you might be thinking, these are kind of the same, right? He's going to talk about his same process, handling the same kinds of things and so on and so forth. My friend, Yes and No. Really the reality is, anxiety is in many ways, very, very much the same as depression on one level, but very different on another level. And they're handled differently precisely because the person is experiencing them differently. So today I want to help you understand depression and anxiety and all that other stuff by thinking back to a Nerf game. No, I am not trying to trivialize this at all, but I want to help you understand where this comes from because a lot of people and many of my clients included who struggle with anxiety, who feel like, and if you haven't heard Carrie's own case study where she was struggling with anxiety a lot, and she came to me and she was like, no, you don't just handling anxiety. It's been there, it's always going to be there. You can just cope with it and whatnot. [01:43.5]

And so when I told her that, well, let's handle the anxiety too. She like, no, wait, hold on. And that was the thing that she was like, she had some other things that she was dealing with, but that was one that wasn't even on her radar as a possibility to be done with. So let me paint for you a picture of where anxiety fits. I want you to imagine, like if we could draw crosshairs or an X and a Y axis, right. A line horizontal and a line vertical. And this is how I want you to think about emotions. We go into this a little bit more in depth in the choose your own emotion course. If you haven't taken advantage of that, please do. You don't have to be struggling with depression, anxiety, or anything else. You can just feel stressed or worried, or just unsettled and all kinds of things in your life, and just want to feel a little bit better. And it will, it'll help you maybe even more than those people, because you don't have a bunch of other stuff that you've got to deal with. And that's thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow. [02:32.3]

Okay, shameless plug over. Let's move on this crosshair, which we go more in depth about in that, in that place. This is your emotions. Okay? The, the vertical line has to do with your nervous system. And it has to do with how much activation there is in the nervous system. So at the very bottom is death. There is no life in the nervous system. Slightly above that would be something like catatonic and so on and so forth right. Now, as long as you're alive, then any one of these things can be very, very powerful for you. So even in catatonic, zoned out states, how many of you have been zoned out for a moment and gone into catatonia and felt an incredible, like, isn't that a cool experience? It's, it's its own different kind of experience when you zone out and you're just there and you're experiencing life, not like with a total sense of observation and involvement, but from this place on the inside where you're just having this glorious experience of having been zoned out. That's okay too. [03:31.7]

At the top level is complete stimulation and activation. That means like you're, you're like jumping up and down. Like you just won the super bowl kind of stuff. It also means terror and fright like, when you're like, huuuh huuh huuh, like, but something in your system is complete. Your nervous system is very, very much activated and humans throughout the day go through various levels of nervous system activation. They call it the arousal in a lot of the terminology and the research terminology. I don't particularly use that term just because I deal with a lot of people who are struggling with porn and sex addiction too. And the word arousal gets confused. And so I want to, I want to talk about this in terms of like more or less activation in the nervous system or more activity in the nervous system. Okay. The thing is there is nothing wrong with any place on that vertical spectrum. If you love it, or if you hate it doesn't matter, those are your opinions. But any place on that spectrum can be a place where you experienced the most ecstatic level of happiness. [04:36.0]

There are people who enter deep states of meditation, where they appear dead and breathless. Literally their breath rate has dropped so low that it's almost like they're in a coma and they're in deep states of meditation and they are experiencing the most transcendent joy that you can, you can feel them, than you can think of. And I've had people argue with me on this because their belief is no, you have to be doing something in order to be happy. That's a different type of happiness that we're talking about. I'm not talking about the roller coaster of emotion, happiness, that's this thick excitement that comes and goes. I'm talking about an underlying state of being, which is always there if you just tap into it. So in deep meditation, people have experienced this. There is also such a thing as ecstatic dance, where with tremendous movement and involvement, people are experiencing these glorious States of, of bliss and excitement and ecstasy as well. And that's okay too. [05:30.2]

Even sex is an amount of movement associated with nervous system stimulation and other things. And some people experience tremendous amount of ecstasy. Other people don't experience it that way, but the point is having this deep fulfilling happiness can happen at any level. You do not have to always be busy, you do not have to always sit and meditate. Any place along the line, whether you're cleaning the toilets, feeding the dog, taking a dump or going out and like conquering the world and running a business and helping people in fulfilling a mission or a cause or any of those can be ecstatic experiences of life. So what is it is this horizontal line. The horizontal line has to do with how negative or positively you see that level of activation. And this comes from our life experience. You get activated in a certain way, in a certain circumstance and you don't like it. Then you will interpret that as negative and every time your system goes through that level of activation, a little bit of that negative negativity might linger there if you saw it as positive, same thing. [06:32.1]

So what's interesting is in the human brain, according to functional brain scans, nervousness and excitement look the same, the brain fires in the same way. And so it's not a physical thing. This negative experience it's literally made by the person, how they decide to interpret that level of activity determines the kind of experience and reaction that their body has to that level of activity. And that's important to note. So last week we talked about depression. Well, where would depression fit on this scale? Well, oppression is one that holds a person down. So that means there's very, very limited amount of activity. A person who's depressed, at least when I was struggling with depression, I didn't want to do anything. I just wanted to sit in my corner, I wanted things to happen to me. I wanted to be entertained or I wanted people to come and find me and save me and hug me. Or I wanted to be by myself completely by myself, a lot of the times. And I just wanted to sit and just wallow in it. Like there was very, very little activity that way. [07:31.7]

And so I didn't want to move, but I saw it as a very negative thing. And because I saw it as a very negative thing, I experienced it as depression, this need to be alone. Is being alone a positive thing? Yeah. For many, many people being alone is a really positive thing. It allows you to process things. I mean, we're alone every night when we sleep for crying out loud, we're not conscious of it most of the time. So we don't get to experience it. But being alone isn't necessarily a negative thing. So depression sits down there like bottom of the barrel, but it goes all the way to the negative side. Whereas anxiety, it's, there's more activity in it. If a person hasn't given up hope, anxiety is a person, literally fretting trying to work things out, right? And you get to the level of panic, like panic attacks, that is way more activation and way more activity going on. Right. And then all the way to the top on the negative side might be terror. [08:25.7]

Where on the positive side, you might have like excitement and celebration on the top, where though you and your team won the super bowl kind of thing. And on the bottom, you might have, you know, peace and calm and meditation and things like that. And then all other activities kind of fit in between and how positive or negative you see them will determine where on these crosshairs, you're pegging this. Why am I telling you this? Because if you can see an emotion, not as a thing in itself, but just a place that your system is going through like a dot on the, on the spectrum, then you can like start to analyze and see, Oh, look, there's a way out. Depression isn't itself a thing, anxiety, isn't itself a thing. It's a word we're using to describe the fact that a person, their nervous system is activated in a certain way and they don't like it. Right? If your nervous system is activated in the same way, and you do like it, meaning you're busy thinking about things and whatnot. These are people who are planning for future events. They're like, Oh, we could do this. Oh, we can do this. Oh, and what if this happens? Oh, that'd be gone. And then we could do this and then we can do this. [09:27.5]

Same level of activity and yet on the positive side, they're loving it. And they're diving into all of this mental rumination, whereas a person who's struggling with anxiety on the negative side, their mind is ruminating on, Oh, well, what if this happened? And I'm like, gosh, this is going to happen. And you know, ah, you know, and they're catastrophizing about the future, but from a place of helplessness, from a place of a victim mentality where everything's happening to them, as opposed to them being the agent in it. And then if you get all the way to the level of panic attack where a person is literally now just freaking out and then don't even have control in their body is taking over on their breathing is taking over. And they're literally just reacting to things because they're trying to get things done. That's a very, very negative response to the situation. Whereas that same level of activation where the person's, body's just going haywire and they're having a good time doing it. It's like somebody who's getting tickled or somebody who's like, Oh my gosh, it's going to be amazing. They're jumping up and down and bouncing up and down kind of uncontrollably because they're so excited about what's coming. [10:28.8]

So I, I want you to see this with regard to anxiety because a lot of anxiety has to do with the way that you're seeing and interpreting the world and go back and listen to the ‘Dog Vision’ episode. If you want to kind of re revisit what it means to exercise a little bit of great doubt on that. And there's another episode we talked about that as well, a while back, I don't remember it off the top of my head. The point here is that anxiety is a different beast to deal with simply because it deals with somebody who is already fighting. I mean, you think about what is worry, worry is I can't do anything about the situations that I'm thinking about, but I feel like I need to do something about it or else bad things are gonna happen. And so, because I can't do anything about it, what I'm gonna do is I'm going to worry, which means I'm gonna think about it, mull it over and whatnot. And that'll give me the sense that I'm doing something about it even though I'm not. [11:22.7]

People don't think this way, they're not like, Hmm, well, let me pretend I'm doing something so I can feel good about myself. That's not happening. This is what's happening kind of practically from the outside. You look at it and what you realize is Oh, wow, okay. What's happening is this person feels like they need to do something. They recognize that they can't. And so what they've decided to do is worry about it or ruminate on it and think about it a lot in order to be able to feel like they're doing something about it, The problem with worry and stress in general and that's all stress is, is worry about things is excessive thinking about what's going on. Nothing that you do in life requires more than being present with it. [11:59.6]

If you or someone you know is looking to drop the F-bomb of “Freedom” in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or wants some help doing it. Head on over to thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and check out some of the things we've got in store for you or book a call so we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for. [12:27.5]

Planning for instance, cause some people are gonna be like, no, no, you've got to think about the future. Planning is an activity. Be present with the planning process and you might be surprised how it goes about. You, don't have to think about, well, what's going to happen after I plan and all the other stuff in the day, you gotta be there with the planning process and you don't have to think about, well, no, these are my expectations. And if planning doesn't happen, this, that, and the other, you gotta be present with the planning process. Okay? Nothing in life requires more thought than you being with it as it's happening. That's it. And so worry is this thing where we're doing more thought because we think it's going to happen. And the problem is, is that poisons, the system, stress poisons the system. It really does. [13:10.8]

What it does is it puts you in a situation where life is happening. And let's be honest, if you're listening to this podcast, that means you have access to technology and earbuds or speakers and internet and cell phone towers and anything else. And you probably have enough money to put food on the table. You're not being attacked by tigers. No one is out to kill you, though that could be, you know, depending on the case. And most people listening to this are not having lives where their survival is in question. And yet they behave as if their survival is in question, because we look at our social pecking order. We look at our job security and we look at all these other things and we start to worry and stew about them. Does stir, worrying and stewing about job security gets you a better job or help you do your job better? No, it doesn't. It actually poisons the human system. It acidifies the blood. It activates the adrenal glands to a certain extent. And it causes your higher levels of reasoning and thinking to dissipate so that you can focus on what appears to be a survival situation. [14:12.8]

That excessive time in that state is going to break down organ function because you're not going to digest your food as well. And that means nutrition is going to plummet. And then at the same time, we still got to balance out the blood, which means we're going to leech things off the bone in order to neutralize the acid in the bone, in the blood, which means now we're, we're at risk for osteoporosis. And then there's heart rate, heart rate that like accelerates and decelerates, there's all kinds of problems that start to come up from stress. Literally kills people! And we think that we're better off when we're stressing about things. You know, I've heard moms say, well, you know, I just worry. You know, I'm a mom and I worry. Does worry make a mom a better mom? No, it doesn't. It's different if you say no. I think about my kids with fondness, you know, and I wonder about them. So ask the question, you know, reach out when you think about them. But worrying does not actually help you solve the situation. It doesn't help you help them or anything of the kind. It doesn't open you to the intuition and the revelation or the guidance and insight that would actually help you, help them in a more intuitive and preventive way. It only poisons your system and deprives them of a mother or a father or a friend. [15:21.3]

Anxiety is this beast where that's gone on steroids and where a person has this sense of impending doom about the world. And that in one way or another things are out to get them, maybe not in maliciously, maybe it's just like, that's just the way the world works. These types of thoughts we call snarls. So depression usually comes from what we call turbos turbos, an acronym for the underlying real big one or root issues, right? Ways of seeing the self. And while those are present with people who struggle with anxiety, snarls are very present with people who struggle with anxiety. Snarls are my acronym for silly notions about real life, meaning ways we've made sense of the world that are in some way, make it seem like it's threatening or make it seem dangerous. And because that's how we've survived. And that's how we, and we've successfully survived using those strategies in the past. They're embedded as if it's the truth in our life. And so to handle anxiety is a little bit different. [16:20.8]

Yes, you still need to retrain the nervous system and develop the skill sets just like you would with depression to be able to respond, to even threats in life differently. There's a reason I spent so much time studying the kinds of martial arts that would help me deeply understand my own inner psychology and chemistry and breathing and movement with regard to threat. Because if a person pulls a knife on you, you can't just like, pretend it's okay. You still have to deal with it. But if I deal with it as a threat, instead of dealing with it as simply important information, then what happens is, the more I see it as a threat and I'm uncomfortable with it, the less capable I am of being free. My body locks up, my mind locks up. My breathing locks up. I get out of breath faster. I end up wrestling more and I'm more liable to get damaged and hurt by a knife. Guys your life is the knife. That rhymed that was cool. Your life is the knife. Really. Honestly, the reason that we're at our events and the women's event coming up, we'll be doing this and the men's event. The reason that I help them work with knives is because it helps them see how they work with everything else in their lives. [17:29.0]

When we pull out a knife, you cannot hide from your response to it. In the same way when life attacks you, you cannot hide from the way that you habitually respond. And by retraining the nervous system this way, as we start to help them do inside of our events and our programs. Then when it comes out and you're comfortable with it, not ignoring it, but comfortable learning to deal with it suddenly all the stress and the anxiety and the worry start to go away. And you start to discover a power and a capacity in you that was always there, but you didn't know it was there because you'd only learned one way of handling life. We want to give you another option, because when you have another option, then you can choose between anxiety and something else instead of only having the option of anxiety. So that is critical. But what is also critical about handling anxiety particularly is handling these snarls, these silly notions about real life. And I'll be honest, they are difficult to handle on your own. They're not impossible to handle on your own. I do them on my own as well, but this is after like years of working and training and like figuring this out on my own. [18:30.6]

And it still takes me longer to do it on my own than it does, if I have one of my coaches help me out with it, because it's just a little harder because you have to be able to see life in a way that you've never seen life before. And that takes a certain amount of stability inside of yourself and a willingness to kind of confront some ideas and creativity and an ability to even see the ideas that are blocking you. And so these need to be dealt with at a certain way, and they can disappear on their own with physical training and other types of things. So don't feel like you have to have a coach, but if you really want to accelerate your way through it, through therapy or counseling or any other programs that exist out there, having another person who knows how to find, identify them and dissolve them quickly, and we're talking like an hour or less people like each one that is controlling you and it needs some attention. And if you have to like spend a month on each one, you're going to be spending years of your life. [18:30.6]

I was too impatient for that too lazy to spend years in my life, going through therapy for that. So I developed a way to handle them quickly, to identify them and release them. And now sometimes it only takes me a couple minutes within myself. Other times it's still takes longer, just depends on how embedded they are. But when you, if you're struggling with anxiety, if you're struggling with panic attacks, if you're struggling with this feeling like the world is out to get you, or that everything's going bad. And nowadays, I mean, at the time of this recording, it's the year 2020, like tons of stuff has happened in the year 2020, where we've got Corona virus going on and black lives matter and all of these other really charged experiences. And it can feel like the word is the world is very threatening. There's conspiracy theories, everywhere. People talking about government takeover and bank takeover and mandated health requirements and all kinds of other things. And it can feel like you're out of control and it feels like, can feel like the world is not a very dangerous, very safe place, it can feel very dangerous. But take a step back and look, look at your surroundings. Is there anything actually threatening your life right now? There isn't. [19:25.6]

And if you're, if you struggle with anxiety, I know some people will be like, yeah, but you have to think about the bigger picture. Problem is the way that you're thinking about the bigger picture is creating a system where you a situation where you won't be around to experience a bigger picture because it's poisoning you. So you have to, if you want to learn to think about the bigger picture, you have to learn to think about the bigger picture differently. And that starts with let's just look at your current environment. Anytime you're feeling anxious, take a step back and ask, am I being attacked by a tiger right now? Is there anything actually threatening my life? If there is, by all means, go handle it. But if there's not become aware that there's not just become aware and I know your brain will go, if it was anything like mine was, yeah, but like this is happening and this is happening. Is it really happening to you right now? Is it really? The thought is happening to you right now? And that's what's causing everything. And the thought is the place to start working, the ones that have been embedded in you for a long time. [20:24.4]

If you're struggling with this and you really want help, you know, go check out our, ‘Choose Your Own Emotion Program’ and come to one of our events. Really the physical work that we do can be so powerful in repatterning how you experience things that feel threatening in life. It is such a, a grand exciting experience for me to be able to have pass this stuff on to other people in a way that helps empower them in daily life and makes them better able to function in their jobs or better parents or anything else like that. So if you want to come to one of our events, either the ‘New Leaf’ event for women, we have our ‘Unshackled’ event for men. You can check those out thefreedomspecialists.com/newleaf or thefreedomspecialists.com/unshackled, whatever you do, please do not leave today. Do not leave listening to this with the sense that, Oh, well this is, this is just going to go on forever. You can't really get rid of anxiety. It's just the way it goes. Don't do that. Instead, take a moment, ask yourself what if I'm wrong? What if the reason I believe this is because I've just had an experience it differently? What if the reason everybody else is telling me, I'm always going to deal with this is simply because they don't know another way out. And what if that just means that their experience is limited? It doesn't mean that they're right. [22:31.7]

I'm here to sit to tell you along with everybody that we've helped that they are right in that their experience has shown them that, but that isn't the whole of what's possible. It is possible for anxiety to leave your life, for you to be able to experience even threats in a way that allow you to function optimally, to clean yourself of any emotions that come and continue to move on your life on with your life, without having to deal with all the worries and stresses about that, they go on forever. Life is a beautiful thing. It isn't dangerous. It never has been for most human beings, especially if you're living in the United States, but we make it feel that way. And that's a source of anxiety. And as a little side note, something to stick in your head, you know, I've thought about this a while. Someone asked me about Parkinson's disease the other day. And I know specialists in this will say, no, there's no way to look at it. And I'm not a specialist in that. [23:26.8]

And you know, Muhammad Ali is his case. I don't know his life history. Michael J. Fox. I don't know his life history. I don't know what's going on with everybody else in terms of Parkinson's disease. But the people that I've worked with with therapeutic methodologies and everybody else as I've helped them out with Parkinson's disease, the one underlying common factor in Parkinson's that I have seen with the people I've worked with, which is obviously very limited. I haven't worked with everyone on the planet. Is that they're pretty high strung. They, they worry and they stress about a lot of things and they try to control everything a lot. And if you've ever seen anybody, who's like afraid, they tend to rock and they tend to shake. Their nervous system, gets a little bit jittery, jittery, and they kind of panic about things and they can't catch their breath in the same way. And, and sometimes like they just can't, they fidget, right? And that's happening at an unconscious level with Parkinson's disease. And I've seen this over and over again, where everybody that I've talked to, again, very limited in number, because most of the people that come to me, they're not coming to me for this. [24:25.1]

But most of the people I've talked to, they, they tend to worry and stress, even not in like huge ways, overt ways where someone outside would be like, man, there's such a worrier, but if you talk to them, you notice how they're always thinking ahead. They're always planning. They're always looking at ways that things could go wrong and they're planning ahead for it, but they tend to stress and worry about it. And they tend to feel an enormous sense of responsibility. Like if they don't live up to their end of the bargain, then something bad is going to happen. And everything's going to fall apart. That mentality, I see as a very common factor in Parkinson's disease. And so for me, it makes sense that anxiety, panic disorders and panic attacks and Parkinson's disease are very, very linked to this common idea that there are some stories running around in their heads. Some ideas, some silly notions about real life that feel so true that make it seem like life is in some way dangerous. It's a test and they might fail soon. And they're like, everything's up to them. And the clock's ticking and that mentality only breaks down your system and that I've seen over and over again, that much has proven. [25:23.9]

And so if you're moving forward and you've struggled with these things, or you see people struggle with things, things, things take a step back and look at what are the things you believe about life? Why are you stressing? What's going on? Are you a bit high strung? Is everything going to fall apart? What's the worst case scenario. And if you want help, really get into the bottom of this, please come talk to us or talk to somebody who can really help you out with it. Because the last thing I'd want is for you to go through your life, missing out on all of its beauty, because you felt the need to worry about it and felt like it was unsafe. [25:53.9]

And that's it for todays “Alive and Free Podcast.” If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcasts from. And, while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you. Plus, it's just nice to be nice. [26:12.2]

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