When you’re dealing with a serious mountain of stress, overwhelm, and your head is geared towards anxiety; it impacts your sleep. There are two camps: The MEDICATION CAMP and the MENDING CAMP. If you’re taking medications, that’s great, I’m a doctor and I appreciate that sometimes medications are necessary, but I don’t want you to think that medications negate mending.
Mending is where you actually get to the bottom of why you’re anxious and why you have sleep issues. It’s putting a comma at the end of the sentence. The true path to mending is to address what’s going on. It’s understanding all of your cast of characters and it’s finding your path for transcendence.
That is what mending means to me. It’s about you getting your life back.
If this is interesting to you, then I urge you to take it for a test drive. If you resonate with this paradigm at all, then let’s do this. The reason behind the name of the ACT Method is that it requires ACTION. It requires you stepping out of the pill-for-an-ill, or supplement-for-a-symptom models for treating anxiety and sleep issues, and actually picking up the pencil and doing the work.
The best part of all this is that in the long term, the ACT method will save you TIME, and MONEY, and actually help you LIVE the life you’ve always wanted.
If you struggle with anxiety, lying awake at 3 am while the rest of the world is asleep, or dealing with chronic muscle tension, headaches, or digestive upset, it’s time to turn the page.
If you’ve been feeling discouraged, overwhelmed, and afraid for what your future will look like if you don’t get a handle on your stress, it’s time to write your next ACT.
Imagine what it’d be like to fall asleep without handfuls of pills.
Imagine a life where you feel calm and confident.
Imagine actually getting a good nights sleep.
Imagine being able to show up for your loved ones and be fully present and fulfilled.
It’s time to do an audit of the messages you’ve been receiving regarding what you should be expecting in anxiety recovery. You can feel like yourself again. You can enjoy hope, power, and even freedom.
And I’m going to show you how.
So let’s, get, started.
Elaine came to me when she was 26 years old. She was diagnosed with PTSD after the Boston Marathon Bombing. Since that incident, she had stopped running because whenever her heart rate increased, it brought her straight back to the trauma. One of the biggest problems with PTSD, is that the brain does not realize that the trauma is in the past. It creates a time-capsule that preserves every single painful moment, and when that time capsule is opened, whether by sound, sight, dreams, or other triggers, we feel like we’re right back in that traumatic moment.
Elaine had been prescribed an antidepressant to counteract anxiety and depression, prazocin for the night terrors, clonapin for the panic attacks, a betablocker for the heart palpitations, Seroquel for sleep and metformin for the weight gain from the Seroquel. She was on a cocktail of medications and an even bigger number of supplements from her functional medicine doctor. Her medications weren’t covered in full by her insurance and her out of pocket cost exceeded $150 USD, and her supplement budget was creeping over $300 USD.
She was spending over $450/month in efforts of just getting by.
That’s it. She was just getting by.
Imagine what she could be doing with that kind of money, if she wasn’t spending it on mere survival?
I’ll tell you at the end of this conversation what ended up happening with Elaine, but first I want to explain how we got there.
Imagine a giant house, you walk into the house and you smell cat litter. You can respond to this in two ways: spray Febreze frickin everywhere, or locate the source.
Sure, Febreze can make a huge difference in the moment, but why wouldn’t we also find and clean the litter box? Why would we give someone with generalized anxiety disorder an antidepressant and stop there? Why would we prescribe someone a benzo when the source of their suffering is standing right there asking to be healed?
This is where we begin. This is the new paradigm.
You are the house, and your anxiety is the sign that something needs mending. No matter how much Febreze you spray, if you don’t identify the source, you will continue to struggle, and this will waste your precious time and resources.
The FIRST CHAPTER of the ACT method, and the first step towards getting out of the endless loop of pain, pills, more pain and more pills, is the ACKNOWLEDGE step.
Instead of suppressing your anxiety, I want you to face it. I want you to look your anxiety in the eyes and I want you to say: “I HEAR YOU.”
I want you to notice where it is in your body. I want you to ask your anxiety: “WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL ME?”
Get up close and personal with your anxiety and ask: “WHAT DO YOU NEED ME TO DO FOR YOU?”
And then listen. Hold the space. Acknowledge the messages. Often times our symptoms can become so intense that it feels like it will kill us, or that we’ll lose control. I want you to remember this one thing: Your anxiety can not hurt you, your anxiety is trying to help you.
And I know that what I’m saying sounds completely bonkers. I know that the pain can feel too deep, too vast, too wide, and too encompassing. But I also know that the pain is a message, and that you can heal, and you can transform. You can turn tragedy into triumph.
The SECOND CHAPTER of the ACT method is to identify your cast of characters. Several years back I was working with a highly successful actress. She was half way through filming the fifth season of a television series where she had been cast as a lead role. After a particularly arduous day of filming, she went home and laid in bed and by the time the sun rose, she had still could not sleep. When we spoke the next morning, she was panicky, restless, her headache was making her nauseated and she had a full day of filming ahead of her.
I asked her to tell me more about the day prior, and she began to share how one of the other actors had come to film hung over, and how his mistakes had required several re-shoots, the director became agitated and at one point he snapped at my client. This reminded her of when she was in primary school, how she had been called out by a professor for not preparing adequately for a presentation, and the shame and embarrassment she felt during filming reminded her of how she had felt as an elementary aged student.
One of my client’s psychological characters was her 5th grade self, and that self was locked in a time-capsule, triggered open during a stressful day at work, and shared an unmet need.
My client had two possible solutions: She could spray Febreze all over herself and hope for the best, or she could mend her activated part, meet this part’s needs, and go back to work feeling empowered and resilient.
And let me tell you, this amazing warrior didn’t get a lead role on a hit television series by laying down and giving up. She was a fighter and that was what helped her transform her life and her career.
Your cast of characters involves your psychological parts, your community and social network, and your physical characters which includes hormones, neurotransmitters and other biochemical signalers.
Being aware of the multifaceted parts of your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing will give you the power to appropriately meet those needs, and transcend beyond symptom management to transcendence above and beyond where the pill, pain, pill, and pain cycle will get you.
This leads us to the the THIRD CHAPTER of the ACT method. In this chapter you learn how to create a bullseye and design your life the way you want it. Instead of settling for the status quo, you can actually choose how you want to feel.
Neuroscience has shown us the immense power of the brain in creating literal changes in how you think, and how your body functions.
Dissociative identity disorder, otherwise known as multiple personality disorder, is a psychological condition where distinct personality states, or identities, control an individual’s body and mind at different times. Interestingly, according to the national alliance of mental health (otherwise known as NAMI), depending on the personality state that is being activated, the person may change from being left-handed to right-handed, one personality may need eye glasses while the other does not, and some personalities may have measurable allergies while others do not.
If the brain has the power to change your need for glasses based on a mental state being activated, imagine the power of your brain in healing from anxiety, and taking that healing and transcending beyond what you have ever previously thought possible.
Hahnemann refers to this personal transformation of healing as amazing in such a way that it “obliges wonderment,” in those who look on.
What if instead of spraying Febreze in the foyer of your house if you cleaned every room and redecorated it so that the floors glisten, the lights sparkle, and the aroma of flowers filter through open windows? What if instead of settling for getting by, you experienced what it was like to be a soul on fire?
Elaine came to me with an origin story that had been pushed to the back of her mind, because the memories were too painful. But the more she suppressed, the more the anxiety found creative ways to express itself.
Here are the steps we took in the ACKNOWLEDGEMENT part of the ACT Method:
- Imagine going to your calm place…
- This is a place in your mind that you can create that feels calm, and where no harm can come to you. In this calm place, you are protected. You have the power to change whatever you want about your calm place in order to best suit your needs and preferences. Imagine a table, and on that table is a very old television. One of those with the knobs and buttons. The quality of the screen isn’t very good and the sound is low. If you feel comfortable, turn on that television.
- On the screen you see the memories from the traumatic event. You can turn the television on and off or change the channels as you need. What you do notice, is that you feel very distant from what is on the screen. Allow yourself to be patient, be present, and just notice what comes up. As the feelings and sensations come up, breathe, and hold the space. Allow them to grow, flow, and then gently leave.
- Watch the video on the television for an intentional amount of time, whatever feels right. Maybe that is two minutes, or 30 seconds, or longer if you feel comfortable. This will give you a safe way to distance yourself from the memory, but also honor the parts that are in that time capsule so that they can be heard, and mended.
- She spent 15 minutes each evening working on the exercises from her Anxiety Breakthrough Program workbook and dedicating intentional time to heal and process.
Two STEPS FROM THE CAST OF CHARACTERS
- She identified the cast of characters in her story that were taking center stage and ran appropriate and deliberate testing. With the results of her testing she was able to change her supplement regimen and achieve better results.
- She found supportive community. She became an active member in a local women’s group, joined my Anxiety Freedom Warriors Facebook page, and started to intentionally consume content instead of doom-scrolling through pre-curated content filtered to her on social media.
The KEY STEP FROM THE TOOLS FROM TRANSCENDENCE
- Using the 5F Life Design program, she created her bullseye, wrote her new story, and practiced mindfulness practices in order to intentionally rewire her brain to produce the physical and emotional state that she wanted.
One of the first improvements Elaine saw was that her sleep got much better. She was able to stop the racing thoughts with mindfulness practices, and through the normalization of her autonomic nervous system, which is the system responsible for your symptoms of fight-flight-freeze, her panic attacks became less intense and less frequent.
She worked with her doctor to taper down on her medications, one at a time, starting with the one that was the least helpful and had the greatest side effect profile.
Part of healing time capsules is integration of the past part with the present moment. While the brain is amazingly capable of healing and changing, this is not a quick fix and it takes work.
Typically, it takes 90-120 days for something to become a new habit, and that is with continued commitment on your end.
The easiest way to start is to identify your most important need. Where can you get the most bang for your buck? What do you need to push the needle such that it gives you room for more effort and change?
Sometimes that means taking a medication, however, I urge you to put a comma at the end of that sentence, and mend the parts that need healing. Get to the bottom of why you’re anxious to begin with, give your body and mind what it needs to heal, and remove obstacles to true transcendence.
Elaine had been prescribed a hand full of medications and supplements, she was spending over $450/month on treatments that helped her get through each day.
But she was still suffering….Are you?
Elaine got her life back. She felt better than ever, and was even able to reduce her health care costs, improve her health, sleep better and she even started to run again.
If you’re ready to conquer insomnia, anxiety and sleep related issues, and if you’re tired of the pill, pain, pill paradigm then you’re in the right place. Life is short, and you’ve been struggling long enough. I know you’re overwhelmed, but small, thoughtful, and strategic changes can make a mountain of difference so that you have the bandwidth to live life the way you want it.
If I offer you to send your anxiety back stage, where you don’t have to worry about all the details on exactly how to do this, would you take me up on it?
If I told you I can do this for you WHILE saving you TIME and MONEY, would you be interested?
If this is at all interesting to you, I have something interesting to share with you. For over a decade, I have been working with clients one-on-one, walking them through the ACT Method and watching as they transform anxiety into freedom; and I have decided to put this together into an online course.
This benefits you in two ways:
- The first is that it saves you TIME. I have put the course together so that it compacts years of consultation visits into an efficient, reliable, and reproducible model that has proven time and time again to WORK.
- The second is that it saves you money. Instead of paying the cost for working directly with me, you have all the ACT Method at your fingertips. On your terms, and from the privacy of your own home.
I am so passionate about YOU getting results, that I’m also going to give you an ACTION TAKER’S GUARANTEE.
The promise that I’m making to you, as long as you believe in it and put in the work, is I promise that we’re going to identify the root cause of your anxiety, you’re going to learn HOW to transform your brain from being wired for anxiety, into being wired for SUCCESS. And we’re going to do all of that in 9 weeks or less.
As long as you’re taking the steps and actions on the roadmap on the blueprint that I built for you, I’m going to be here every step of the way. You will have access to me and my staff, and I’m not going to give up until we get the results you need.
I can’t WAIT to meet you and get started supporting YOU in getting your life back.
Dr. Nicole Cain is an advocate for empowering people around the world to help themselves via her educational free resources, online courses, and membership group. You can receive the tools you need to find the root cause of your symptoms and feel healthy again.
Multiple Personality Disorder - http://namimi.org/mental-illness/dissociative-disorder/didfactsheet