In this blog, I not only want to share information on interpersonal methods of healing with energy and bio-information, but also on effective non-invasive self-help methods for our minds and bodies. So, I would like to recommend a book for anyone interested in dealing with anxiety, from mild to severe.
I think “The Worry Trick”, by Dr. David Carbonell, is probably the best book I’ve encountered on negative thinking, stress and chronic anxiety. Not only does it explain how worry works and comes about, but it especially gives much practical advice on how to deal with chronic worry in a way that – finally – yields results. And this approach has escaped most of us until now because, as the author explains, it is a counter-intuitive problem. With worry, often the more we try, the worst it gets. We need to understadn it well to deal with it effectively. I think this book presents a breakthrough insight, and is a giant step forward in effectively managing our minds.
Among many other things, the author explains how, since worry is a counter-intuitive problem, it requires counter-intuitive solutions. Worry derives from the activation of our internal, and primary, threat or alarm systems in the brain. As this system perceives threats (real or imagined – and worry and anxiety are imagined threats), it tenses up as it prepares to address the threat, either by fighting, fleeing, or freezing. Any one of these responses constitutes stress and tension that, when sustained, leads to a pretty miserable existence, debilitating us physically and mentally. So, the intuitive response – that our whole body and mind is screaming for us to do – would be to fight the threat, to take the thoughts seriously, or to try to run away from them. All of this just adds more tension and thus compunds the problem, as I am sure most people dealing with anxiety have experienced!
What is the solution then? To do the opposite of what our instincts are telling us. To put out the “fire” of this alarm response we must neither fight it, nor run way or freeze in response to it (this just adds more fuel to the fire); we actually should move calmly towards it and accept it: “Yes, you are going to have a horrible day…”, “yes, you are going to sleep badly tonight again…”, “yes, you are going to lose your job…” are just some examples. Incredibly, this approach eases the anxiety remarkably well. Who would think of trying such approach?! So I say – thank you Dr. Carbonell!
I call the work I do with Bioenergetic and Mental Healing “Bioenergetic and Informational Therapy”, and the informational part relates to the observation that we human beings respond termendously well to pure information. Most of my work revolves around neutralizing the triggers that create misery and pain in people, and these triggers are inner memories or impressions that make them feel bad.
For example, you may be feeling quite well at any given moment, yet a simple piece of information – e.g. bad news received on the mail, or something someone says – can COMPLETELY change your physiological state (mood) and even steer your life dramatically! I had a patient recently where ONE crucial and unexpected conversation at work so completely dissilusioned her that she entered a very deep depression, had to leave her job, and started living in a state of perpetual inner tension and anxiety, not being able to get that episode out of her mind! – such is the power of the human alarm system and perceived threats.
There is , quite literally, a powerful inner computer inside each one of us that monitors and manages, moment by moment, eveything that is happening inside and all around us, making thousands of computations and decisions every milisecond! This is what runs our bodies and minds, and what determines our reactions to things. I talk about this in my book “Pain Gone In Seconds” in more detail, but for now: wouldn’t it be great to have a clear and working operation manual to this computer and vehicle that is our automated body and mind?
Well, I think what Dr. Carbonell describes in his book is a vital part of this operation manual: an effective self-help approach to deal with the alarm system in us, the one responsible for our relationship with fear and threat. I believe this innate system is the main obstacle separating us form a blissful existence (I believe anxiety and chronic stress causes most of our pains and physical dysfuntions, and all of our suffering), so I am very happy to know that we are, as a species, starting to find workable and solid ways to deal with our powerful machines, so we can live a more pleasant existence, free from the shackles of inner suffering. BITs can do this very effectively interpersonally (from one person to the next), and approachs like the ones described in “The Worry Trick” are, for me, the self-help equivalents of this.