Inside peoples minds we have a Biochemist, it regulates the chemistry in our body. I imagine him in his lab coat sitting at a desk with dials looking at a big board of lights. When the board starts lighting up in particular patterns, he starts turning and moving the dials to adjust our chemistry. For example when someone is sitting around with family or friends and they are all sharing funny stories, they are laughing so hard their stomach hurts and they start to feel like they are a little tipsy even though they haven’t been drinking. Their Biochemist was responsible, it saw the pattern for happy lighting up and he started dialing up their dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins.

Unfortunately, the Biochemist was trained a hundred thousand years ago. When we are stressed, worrying or anxious our biochemist opens his manual and all it says is “Tiger”. Tigers are life threatening so this triggers the fight or flight response. The Biochemist flooding their system with chemicals and hormones like adrenaline. He increases their heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing to increase oxygen to their brain and big muscles so they can have a short burst of power. These changes aren’t that great for the machine of their body, but it’s just supposed to be a very short term thing that hopefully gives they the power they need to save their life, so he thinks it’s worth it.

The problem is in our modern world, it is not a tiger. In fact, it might not even be an immediate threat or even a real threat. But our biochemist can’t tell we are ruminating on something from the past or worrying about something that might not even happen. He see’s the pattern light up and hits the “tiger” button. For some people he’s hitting it over and over again every day. Staying in this physical state is terrible for their health and leads to chronic disease.

Often people have been given breathing exercises or positive self-talk as a way of reducing this physical response, but they find it next to useless because that horse has already bolted. We need to understand that the Biochemist is looking for a pattern. If their breathing changes but other things have not such as, what and how they are thinking, how tense their body is and their facial expression has not changed, he will take no notice. Try changing a group of things. Slow their breathing, slow down the talk in their head, change what they are saying to their-self and what their picturing in their head and relax or stretch their muscles. Then they Biochemist will see the change in pattern and start to change their chemistry.

So now they have stopped the Biochemist hitting the tiger button, there is still the legacy it has left in their body. Their muscles and system will still be a flood of the chemicals sitting there waiting to be used. Having these in their system can lead to terrible sleep and hyper alertness. If they don’t have something really active to do to expend this, they should try stretching. Long gentle stretching allows their muscles to release these chemicals and to flush them out through their lymphatic system. So, make a little of habit of stretching a couple of hours before bed and then a nice big drink of water and enjoy a much more restful sleep.

Anxiety is an unconscious behaviour. My specialty is stopping people do this behaviour rather than having to manage it. My aim when working with people is for them to not feel anxious at those times that used to fire off the old pattern. Not only do I not want them to feel anxious, my aim is for it to seem so normal to automatically respond in the appropriate way they don’t even notice they weren’t anxious. Message me for more information or check out my website. 

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