The Primal Happiness Show

What is anxiety?

Show notes:

I'm thrilled to be talking to Dicken Bettinger about: What is anxiety and is it possible to be freed from it?

Dicken is one of the few people who was taught directly by Sydney Banks, the man who discovered the principles. Dicken trained as a Pyschologist and for the almost 30 years, he has taught the three principles. He has helped many people to free themselves from anxiety and return to happiness.

Before understanding the principles, Dicken himself used to suffer from extreme anxiety and used to have a zillion techniques and meditated for hours a day to attempt to alleviate it.

All in all, there really isn't anyone on the planet that I can think of who is better placed to speak to about anxiety!

So... what is anxiety?

The dictionary definition of anxiety is: "A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome"

Dicken explained that almost every one of us experiences moments of anxiety - that's not a problem in itself, it's just being human and is a function of how our thoughts create our feelings of anxiety.

Dicken's answer to 'What is anxiety', in terms of anxiety being a problem in someone's life, is that it's when we misunderstand where our anxiety comes from - when we believe that our anxiety comes from outside events such as:

  • The situation we're in
  • Our problems
  • The people we're with

And then become anxious about the fact that at any moment something can happen to trigger the anxiety. We become anxious about our anxiety.

Dicken describes his past experience of anxiety like "I never knew when the world was going to make me feel bad." and feeling like life was akin to walking in a field of landmines, waiting for one to blow up.

We can believe the label of being an anxious person - someone who is, whether by nature or nurture, predisposed to anxiety - but Dicken has never seen this to be accurate for any of his clients.

Fundamentally, anxiety is simply an misunderstanding of why we feel anxiety - and then feeling anxious about the prospect of more anxiety.

Is it possible to be freed from anxiety?

Dicken talks about us not needing to work hard to look for freedom from anxiety when we see we already have what we're looking. Dicken described these steps that are helpful to understand this:

Step 1. Recognise that 100% of your experience is created by thought 

All of our feelings are being created by our thoughts  in that moment.

This is direct contrast to what we're taught - e.g. that stressors cause stress. It's also contrary to how things look - if you're in a room and feeling good but someone walks in the room and you feel anxious, it's a very convincing illusion that your anxiety is being caused by the other person.

When we see that our experience is coming from thought, it's the beginning of us letting go of the misunderstanding that's creating the anxiety problem.

Step. 2 Seeing that a new thought will free you from the anxiety created by the current thought

When we wake up to the nature of thought, we're open to a new thought flowing through - and thereby creating a completely different feeling.

This is the opposite to to what we tend to do - which is to focus MORE on the anxious thought that has created the anxious feeling. We try to identify it, fix it and change it - all the more we continue to think about - and therefore feel - anxiety.

When we wake up to what's really happening we focus more on our wellbeing than anxious thoughts.

Step. 3 Understanding that we all have potential for infinite wisdom and wellbeing

We're not limited to the boundaries of our physical brains, we all have a connection to infinite potential - more happiness, more love, more connection, more clarity, more creativity, more peace - when we look toward the non-conceptual space that's before our personal thinking.

Direct download: Dicken_Bettinger_interview_Final.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 10:24am EDT

Overcoming a fear of failure

This week we get to be a fly on the wall to a coaching session between transformative coach Rasmus Carlsson and his new client Anne around how to conquer her fear of failure. These three principles coaching sessions have proved to be hugely helpful both for the client and also listeners so I'm delighted to be able to share another of these gems!

Anne has a huge passion to create a business and with a non-profit element to help young people (particularly vulnerable children who are at risk) to discover their value and worth.

Anne feels held back by her fear of failure - she has concerns around leaving her steady job, not managing to maintain her family's current stability and lifestyle, and the risks and  responsibilities of this kind of venture.

What I loved most in this episode:

  • What ifs
    Anne talked her "What if...?"s - her big two are "What if I don't do a great job?" and also "What if I can't create an income?" These kind of 'What if' thoughts often prevent us from moving forward with life changes because we take these thoughts seriously, assuming they're keeping us safe - it can be so interesting and useful to pull those thoughts out into the light to enable us to see them afresh.
  • Where does fear of failure come from?
    Anne described how her fear came from giving energy to beliefs about herself. Rasmus and Anne explored how what's happening is much simpler than that - our feeling of fear comes purely from whatever we're thinking about in that moment.
  • Our feelings don't have to mean anything
    Our feelings are only telling us what our thoughts are doing. Emotion are simply our body's system for pointing us to the content of our thoughts - we find it easier to be aware of feelings than our thoughts. We don't need to act on feelings or take our thoughts seriously.
Direct download: Rasmus_Fly_on_the_wall_mixdown_Final.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 10:20am EDT

This week I'm talking Louise Storey about the way she's managing to have that rare balance of taking care of her family as well as having a fulfilling life creating and doing things out in the world. Louise is a co-founder of the Clear mind Academy which helps carers within education, social and healthcare organisations.

Louise describes herself as a recovered stressaholic, she had a successful career in IT and then gave it up focus on her family and to care for her son Jack, who  has learning disabilities. Since discovering the three principles, Louise has a life of happiness, creativity and ease.

Louise made so many brilliant points, many of which I'm sure you'll relate to. These were my faves:

  • Working towards achieving happiness in the future
    Louise talks about something that seems so common these days: how she was postponing her happiness in the present moment so she could work towards achieving happiness and success in the future. She's since realised that the only place happiness can exist is right here and now.
  • Feelings are a symptom not a diagnosis
    When we are you feeling stressed, sad or angry - that's not a diagnosis that we're a stressed, sad or angry person... our feelings are simply a symptom of your thought in that moment. I LOVED that point so much that I posted about it on our Facebook page, where it seemed to resonate with many of you.
  • Pleasing everyone but not pleasing anyone
    Louise describes how her life used to entail running around, trying her best to please everyone in her life, to meet their expectations (and hers) of what a good parent, daughter, wife, friend and colleague should be like - but feeling she was failing, and damaging her own health in the process. Since discovering the three principles, Louise has settled down into feeling happy in her own skin and knowing that just being fully present with the people in her life is creating more pleasing relationships than she's ever experienced.
Direct download: Louise_Story_Interview_mixdown_Final.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 12:12pm EDT

This week I'm talking to Innate Wellbeing Facilitator Mandy Spray on the subject of caring, learning disabilities and the three principles. Mandy's got a beautiful rock solid belief that every single one of us has innate mental wellbeing and happiness.

Mandy gave some gorgeous examples and made some excellent points, these were my faves:

  • Looking at someone isn't the same as connecting with someone
    Mandy talks about spending time with someone in a way where you can let go of your own preconceived ideas and beliefs so you can drop into the same space as the other person, 'be' with them, listen and connect.
  • Notice what's happening when we are connecting with someone
    We'll all have times when we do feel naturally present and connected with another person, when our thoughts settle and our minds are clear. Noticing that you have that as one of your possible states is a great step towards it appearing more!
  • We all have our own unique beauty and talents
    When we look for the potential, the unbroken-ness, wellbeing, and the gifts, we are sure to find them. Mandy gave some lovely examples of the opportunities that come from people being able to see this in others.
Direct download: Mandy_Spray_Interview_mixdown_Final.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 9:07am EDT