Hey Everybody, Mark Shepard, “America’s Stop Anxiety Expert” here to answer a question that I got from a member recently about how to deal with anxiety triggered by past events.
I think the question is a really good one and I think a lot of you could benefit from hearing it as well as my answer.
Here’s the question:
I tried Anxiety Technique, it worked a little. But I’m not sure what to do to deal with the worry of my past. I tend to block out a lot of things from my past. Relationships, etc. But I can’t stop thinking about them. Especially the one that freaked me out the most. Thinking about him brings me so much anxiety. Anything I see that reminds me of him freaks me out. How do I deal with that?
This is a great question because for one thing, anxiety is about the future.
Think about it. if there is a traumatic event from the past it’s not the fact that something happened in the past that causes anxiety. What causes the anxiety is imagining it happening again in the future.
Does that make sense?
So when you think about an event in the past that is traumatic, what’s happening is that your unconscious mind (which knows nothing about past or future only NOW) thinks that the trauma is still happening in this moment.
The other thing that seems to be going on is that anything you see that reminds you of him, “triggers” the memories which were traumatic. When you bring the memories up to your focus and awareness, boom! your unconscious mind again thinks it’s happening now which is traumatic all over again. And then, you imagine something like this happening again in the future.
That’s a major double whammy FREAKOUT!
How to Stop Past Trauma from Triggering Anxiety
Clearing the past is something I definitely recommend doing with a Time Line Therapy® practitioner or coach with a good amount of expertise because there can be a lot of stuff that comes up for clearing.
So I have to slap up a disclaimer here: You may not be able to clear this all by yourself simply from reading this article. If you need more help, make sure you get it from someone who is well trained in NLP, EFT, Hypnotherapy & even more importantly, Time Line Therapy® Techniques.
The simplest thing I can suggest for you if you insist on working on this by yourself is to use the mirror image reverse of the anxiety technique that I teach for free.
(If you haven’t watched the 1st and 2nd videos of the free series available on this site, make sure you do that.)
Instead of going 15 minutes out into the future beyond the event you’re anxious about and turning to look back seeing it resolve safely, you go out 15 minutes farther back into the past to BEFORE the event that caused the trauma and then turn to observe the event from at least 15 minutes before it happened. This works really well for relationships because you can usually go back to before you met the person.
Here’s a simplified diagram:
You were perfectly fine before you met them right?
So go back in time to before you ever laid eyes on them and observe the moment you met them from the safety of being up above your time line and well before the event or the chain of events that led up to that first event.
In this position the emotions should be neutralized.
Again, I find this personally a bit hard to do on my own. I prefer to work with someone else to clear past stuff. It’s just helpful to have someone on hand who is not “in” it. you need a bit of distance and non-attachment. Plus there are often other things that have to be cleared before we can even get to the trauma.
The other thing you need to do is clear the negative triggers that cause you to think about this guy. In NLP we call them “anchors” and the tricky thing is that they can trigger a negative or positive state faster than you can consciously think.
Again, the tools we have to help you are meant to be actually, physically used not just written about and read.
So while I sincerely hope my attempt to answer your question helps, I also need to say emphatically that at some point you need to work with me one on one or with someone else who is trained in these skills.
Ready to clear the fear… for good?
If you suffer from phobias, anxiety, panic attacks, shyness, GAD, social anxiety, approach anxiety, performance anxiety, fear of flying, fear of speaking in public, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), worry, nervousness or any other fear or trauma based challenge, I can help you clear the fear without harmful drugs or endless therapy through…
- My Clear the Fear Fast home study course: How to Clear the Fear Fast
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Whichever one is right for you each of these safe, proven, and effective methods can help you stop anxiety, panic attacks, fears and phobias… for good.
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