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Lesson 1:

WHAT ANXIETY REALLY IS

so, what truly is anxiety?

I can give you dozens of descriptions of what many believe anxiety is.

But I won’t do it. Do you know why?

 

Because none of those descriptions will mean anything to you.

And, most importantly: they won’t help you either.

 

I can tell you anxiety is a chemical imbalance, but that won’t do you any good because first that’s not been proven and secondly, chemistry does not address the root cause of anxiety (we’ll see that on the second lesson).

 

I can also tell you that anxiety is caused by genetic factors that predispose you to have anxiety.

 

But that won’t do you any good either, because predisposition is not predetermination and besides, even if it was genetic you’re still left with the most important question:

 

What do I do with this?

How do I get rid of anxiety?

 

Since those explanations don’t accomplish anything, we are only going to talk about the things that matter in anxiety.

 

The things that you can actually change and that, with practice, will lead you to a definite cessation of anxiety.

 

But we won’t have any luck if we try to understand anxiety as something foreign to ourselves or out of our reach. Instead, we must understand what anxiety is from within.

 

Anxiety is, fundamentally speaking, uncontrolled mental activity.

 

But to be more specific, let’s define anxiety as an uncontrolled ‘train’ of harmful thoughts that generates emotions and sometimes even physiological reactions.

 

That sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

 

Great! Now we have something to attack. And as simple as it is, this lesson is almost over.

 

Remember we’re just laying the foundation here, we’ll get to the action soon. But first you need to understand this properly: Anxiety is uncontrolled mental activity.

 

And more specifically: Harmful thoughts out of our control to which we respond with emotions and even physical reactions.

 

This is fundamental to control and defeat anxiety.

Why? I’m glad you asked…

 

Because in Mindfulness we know that the solution to every problem is embedded into the problem itself.

 

And with this in mind, we can start to see part of the solution to anxiety:

If the problem is “uncontrolled harmful thoughts” then we have to work on a way to control thoughts and make them harmless.

 

Now, the next step is to understand what causes anxiety. And that is the next lesson.

 

I just want to close this one by making it super-obvious to you:

 

What is the problem?

Uncontrolled harmful thoughts.

 

What do we need to get rid of?

 

Uncontrolled harmful thoughts.

We need to look for a way to control our thoughts.

 

Uncontrolled harmful thoughts.

And we also need to have a means to turn those harmful thoughts into harmless thoughts.

 

So that we go from uncontrolled harmful thoughts, to harmless thoughts that are completely under our control.

 

If we accomplish this, we can then prevent more harmful thoughts from appearing.

 

We can eliminate the emotional reaction in ourselves so that we don’t feel worried and tense all the time.

 

And we can also get rid of the physical manifestations that appear, such as cold sweat, shakiness, numbness, tingling, tunnel vision, fainting and so on…

 

And all that is needed is that we address anxiety on a fundamental level:

The uncontrolled harmful thoughts.

On to the next lesson:

The root cause of every anxiety.