At the end of the Democratic National Convention during Clinton’s second term, Tom Brokaw declared anxiety the issue of our age, and I believe he was absolutely right. It is the single largest dysfunction, more prevalent than heart disease, than cancer, than high blood pressure, and I believe it actually leads to all of those. It is largely, but not completely synonymous with stress. The largest study ever done on people living to be over 100 years old was done at Boston University by Dr. Thomas Peris, MD. It was conducted across several decades and tens of thousands of participants. They were looking for common threads among those who not only live long lives, but remain free of significant health problems. They found one and only one: they don’t worry.
Now, nobody with anxiety wants to be thinking anxious thoughts or experiencing anxious emotions, and everyone I’ve ever worked with has tried many many times to break the cycle unsuccesfully. So what is the culprit? In Dr. Caroline Leaf’s bestselling book, Who Switched Off My Brain, she says that our bodies and minds have no mechanisms for the negative. Every mechanism in us is intended for a positive use, so when we experience anxiety outside of a life or death emergency, it is a malfunction every time. Before we go any further, think about that. How many negative thoughs go through your head each day, each hour, or even in the course of five minutes?
For most people, it’s fifty or more every day, and for some people its even in the hundreds. What makes this such a dangerous problem is that according to Dr. Eric Nestler, MD, for every single one of those thoughts, you're having negative, harmful chemicals pumped into your bloodstream and negative electrical signals sent to your organs, cells, and immune system. And just like you can’t stop anxiety with your own willpower, you can’t stop these malfunctions either. So we end up relying on drugs, alcohol, and other destructive habits to distract us for a short period of time. At its best, this is coping, not healing, and the problem with coping is that you’ll be coping forever.
So what can you do? Well, the true source of the anxiety is one thing and one thing only: memories your unconscious mind labels as dangerous. These are primarily unconscious memories, and are often inherited from your ancestors, meaning they didn’t even happen in your life. A new research study came out of Southwestern University Medical Center in 2004 essentially saying that cellular memories were the true source of illness and disease. When they interviewed Dr. Eric Nestler MD on the subject, he said, “Cancer can be the result of a bad cellular memory replacing a good one… This may provide one of the most powerful ways of curing illness.”
Not many things will heal those memories. In fact, they’re protected from being healed because they serve as an early warning system against the same thing happening again. The Pulse Test by Dr. Arthur F. Coca, MD, is a very simple metric that works by taking your pulse before and after you focus on an anxious memory. If your pulse rate goes up by 10 points, you may have a problem, and if it goes up by 20 points or more, you definitely have a problem.
You can also do what I call a zero to ten test on yourself. Rate yourself seperately on that scale—zero meaning total peace and 10 meaning total anxiety—for physical, mental, and spiritual anxiety. You can also take my relationship issues finder test for a 10 to 15 page evaluation of your biggest stressors and a rating of your anxiety. Nearly everyone struggles with anxiety to a greater or lesser extent, but these resources are an excellent way to diagnose yourself. For healing anxiety, of course, I recommend Trilogy. We’re giving it away completely free, so be sure to take advantage.
Have a blessed, wonderful day!