Anxiety is the amplifier and our catastrophic thoughts control the volume

Anxiety is the amplifier and our catastrophic thoughts control the volume

My HiFi
If I go to my HiFi amp and just turn it up as loud as it will go (with nothing playing) the speakers will be filled with a hissing and electrical noise. If I suddenly selected some music at this level the speakers would probably blow.

My Brain
When anxiety is high all my senses are on red alert looking for danger. The sense that gets the most resources is my hearing. To survive we had to know if something was creeping upon us in the dark. So the auditory system is turned up like my Hifi amp to its highest level. This means in quieter environments with nothing to really to hear there is only one thing it can focus on, that irritating hissy thing which when I am relaxed and my internal volume control is at normal levels, I am mostly unaware of.  This means when I do the dishes the plates sound like explosions as they touch each other in the sink. I am actually all ears.

The other thing my brain does when faced with a problem it finds stressful is to look for something easy to blame or kick, that hissy thing will do, we know that it’s easy to blame it for everything that is wrong.

Newbies might be thinking oh my god you can slip back to the beginning. No, you can’t. Your brain might remember the fear but it no longer believes it. I can be aware and not aware within seconds. The mind can create a thought which causes a feeling which we believe to be true within a split second. So we all have PHDs in being able to reach panic mode, no training is needed. There are no websites, no Google searches, no forums, no books dedicated to helping people to be more stressed. 
Learning to relax is a real skill it can take a very long time as the nervous system keeps one eye open in case it needs to press the panic button again.

What your body wants is for you to accept where you are today at this very moment. It does not want to fight itself, it wants to feel loved, by you, it is tired. To get better it wants you to stop trying to get better. It wants you to read a book, listen to some music, spend time with your family. It wants you out the way so it can heal and re-set.

We live in a world where we are told to try harder. To relax and let our overheated nervous system calm down we need actually try less.

Phil

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