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Old 09-19-2004, 09:03 AM
Hawk Hawk is offline
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Default Why do i think about my anxiety 24/7

Hi Dr Joe! i was assesed to be suffering anxiety by a psychologist in 2002 and since then i cant stop thinking when im going to have a heart attack or stroke ect. I have random medicals done (every 6 months) and all results including blood tests show im very fit and healthy. But i dont believe im ok which sounds crazy i know. I swim, play golf, ride bikes, go fishing but still think im going to die. During the day i rarely think about my problem with anxiety but as soon as i relax thats it! my anxiety kicks in and i cant stop my symptoms happening such as my heart racing - pulpitations - mild tightness in my throat and a few others but the symptoms seem to be 1 thing at a time then move to another As soon as i get up or do something constructive it all stops within a few minutes. The cure is from what my experience is to stop thinking about it. My problem is how to stop thinking about it. Its like i keep my motor running and dont know how to turn off the engine. I would be greatfull to read your opinion in the very near future. Thankyou for your service. Hawk
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Old 09-19-2004, 12:38 PM
Dr. Joe Dr. Joe is offline
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Dear Hawk--

The simplest way I can describe what I think is going on with you is for you to understand two things about anxiety. First, anxiety is opportunistic and will always exploit your weaknesses (fears, doubts, etc.) and, second, anxiety is like a form of hypnosis. Think of it as suggestion or auto-suggestion, where you implant an idea or notion in your mind and then, like a hypnotized subject, you allow this belief to rule you. Hereís an excerpt from The Power of Self-Coaching that I think youíll find illuminating:

If you're prone to overthinking and generating worry and anxiety in your life, then it's imperative for you to recognize the enormous power of the mind. When I was studying hypnosis in graduate school, I remember seeing a training film where a subject was induced into a deep state of hypnosis. While the subject was in this state, the hypnotist told him that he was going to burn his hand with a cigarette. The hypnotist touched the subject's hand with an ice cube. The subject winced, as if actually touched by a cigarette, but what was remarkable was that the spot where the ice cube touched formed a welt! What we tell ourselves and what we believe make all the difference. If you implant a bit of suggestion (self-hypnosis) in your mind and you believe it, you will live that suggestion.

Whenever you allow anxiety to ìsuggestî that you might have such-and-such physical symptom and then begin to spin with these fears and doubts, well, then we can conclude that your anxiety has hypnotized you once again. That's why you're relatively symptom free when you're distracted. Since there's nothing wrong with you and since your thoughts aren't stirring up insecurity (because your mind is distracted), you feel fine. You're not implanting suggetions of doubt, fear, and insecurity. You definitely could benefit from my technique of Self-Talk, which can help you begin separating fact from fiction and learning to break this habit of anxiety. Itís not that hard once you begin to see through anxietyís faÁade.

Dr. Joe
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