At the close of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Tom Brokaw said, “Anxiety is the issue of the age.” Over the course of my career I’ve become absolutely convinced that he is right. In my career in counseling and therapy, and later teaching and working with clients with the Healing Codes, I have seen the incredible damage anxiety can do, and how frighteningly commonplace it is.
We all know people who struggle every day with clinical anxiety, but if we factored in all those who would not qualify for a formal diagnosis but are still negatively affected by anxiety on a daily basis, we’d be talking about at least 50 percent of the planet’s population. That’s more than allergies, more than being overweight, more than cancer—anxiety tops them all. Yet we don’t tend to think of anxiety as the epidemic that it is. In a sense, it hides in plain sight.
In my experience, this is because most people who experience anxiety attribute it to their physical and external circumstances. We always think, “I’m anxious about work,” or “I’m anxious about this or that relationship problem.” But the truth is that this is almost never true unless your physical circumstances are immediately life-threatening.
Many of my clients have asked me to provide them a list of all the physical symptoms that can come from anxiety. They include insomnia, getting sick easily, headaches, sexual desire issues, upset stomach, racing heart, and lack of appetite, to name a few. But more realistically, that list of symptoms would include virtually every illness and disease in existence. If you don’t trust me, trust the Center for Disease Control, who state in an article on their website that 90+ percent of illness and disease is caused by stress, which is not quite a synonym of anxiety, but anxiety always brings stress with it.
So not only is anxiety the most common issue of our day, but in most cases it probably causes the others. And we are now learning that many of our supposed “treatments” for it simply don’t work. For the last 70 years or so, the self-help world has produced best-seller after best-seller on how to de-stress and get the life you want, with a success rate of about 3 percent. Recently, an article by Matthew Legge made headline news around the world, saying that even mindful meditation is surface-level and rarely delivers on its promises. Yes, it can cause you to feel less stress because you’re focused on something other than what is stressing you, but as soon as you stop meditating, the stress immediately starts to come back.
The big revelation is that the true source of our stress is nearly always internal. It affects our physical body, but does not originate from it. So to heal anxiety rather than simply cope with it, you have to heal your internal, anxiety-based programming—in other words, your memories that contain anxiety. Oftentimes, these will be memories you are not even aware of, since we now know that they are passed down through the generations in the sperm. So don’t waste another week on distractions. Instead, start fixing your anxiety at the source.
Have a blessed, wonderful day!