Introducing Clinical Conversations (CC) with Dr. Nicole Cain. This is a separate series involving conversations with people that are actively writing their next ACT. You will see strategies from the ACT Method being put into action and hear real life stories of the healing journey from fellow warriors.
Today’s conversation is with Hannah: Anxiety sufferer turned empowerment hope-bringer. Hannah and I talk about what it’s like to turn the page on your anxiety using real-life examples of struggles and solutions. If you’re looking for some hope, this is the podcast for you.
Here are a few questions and answers from the conversation (paraphrasing):
Dr. Cain: What is your perspective on trauma, anxiety, stress and the healing journey?
Anxiety Warrior: When I started out on this journey, I was really skeptical. I knew I had anxiety and really bad OCD at the time. I thought I was going in for those things but learning from you, there were more layers than I thought there were. I was desperate at that point to figure something out. Everything I had tried before was a flop, it didn’t work.
Once I started getting insight, I began experiencing emotions I didn’t know were there and realizing that the mind and the body aren’t separate. Once you see that for yourself it becomes truth.
Dr. Cain: So you had tried everything, nothing had worked, you had been let down so many times. You didn’t know what to expect with me, so part of you is brave venturing into the unknown. I’m wondering how did you decide to take that step into the unknown?
Anxiety Warrior: Healing is a choice. If you are open to it and it has great importance to you, you are going to move towards it. You also have the choice to keep your old beliefs and your old coping mechanisms. This is for the people that want to heal but just don’t know how, that’s where I felt like I was. This is for people that want a place to start and somewhere to ground their feet, to get hope and insight.
Dr. Cain: You were standing on that metaphorical cliff of uncertainty, scared and not knowing what to expect. We talk about Parts Work on my Facebook and Podcast, there is this part of you that has to want it bad enough to take that risk, it took control over the situation. How was that for you?
Anxiety Warrior: It’s weighing the cause and effects. I was experiencing so much emotional pain that I knew I couldn’t live like this. It was a blessing to hit rock bottom, as difficult as it was, because it forces you into action.
Dr. Cain: Depression can be very difficult to treat because there is no motivation there, whereas anxiety is different in that there’s motivation, a sense of needing to do all of the things. What helped you when you find yourself at rock bottom, and you have a choice to lay there and let despair take over vs. I am going to keep fighting and let anxiety be a motivation? How did you do that?
Anxiety Warrior: I had to develop a core understanding of how the mind works with emotions in order to motivate myself enough to do something. I always had felt like I was missing a little thing, a tweak somewhere and then I realized through a fantastic book on how the mind works. I read that a lot of us think that our feelings come from our thoughts, but it’s really that we have those feelings inside – and they charge whatever thought comes up in our mind. If you have fear inside, you will have fearful thoughts. Once I understood that and learned to let go, I finally figured this out. What letting go actually means is you have a feeling that comes up inside you, and the emotion is the painful thing, not the thought itself. The process of letting go is to drop the thought, because the thoughts will go on forever, bring the emotion up, feel it, sit with it the entire time, and the emotion will pass through and thoughts won’t have the charge anymore.
Dr. Cain: I’m so grateful for your time and your wisdom and your authenticity, because there is such power in understanding each other’s story. If you can find another hiker that is on this journey with you, it’s a life saver for so many people, myself included.
Anxiety Warrior: Thank you for letting me talk with you, I’ve learned so much from you and would not be where I am now without your insight and brilliance.
To get support and find those other hikers on the same journey as you, I’ve created a private Anxiety Freedom Facebook Group. I’m posting content, responding to questions, doing facebook lives to engage with fellow warriors.
I also created a Free Training on Parts Work as it relates to anxiety, providing advanced techniques, body awareness work. What Hannah has been talking about is Parts Work, to learn the techniques Hannah has used, check out the Free Anxiety Freedom Masterclass.
To hear more of our conversation, keep listening above to the full podcast!
Here’s the book Hannah suggested checking out: Letting Go by David Hawkins