There is no anxiety in the present moment. For someone who suffers from anxiety that statement might sound strange. But bear with me...
Look around you now. For most of us (at least in this country) and for most of the time, nothing untoward is happening in this present moment. No bombs are exploding; no tiger is chasing us. Instead, we are lucky enough to have the opportunity to open to our direct experience—without fear.
HOWEVER, AN ANXIOUS MIND IS ONE THAT IS CONTINUALLY LURCHING FORWARD—into fear.
Consider this thought: “There may not be any anxiety here now but as soon as I step outside the door, it’s going to hit me.”
While this thought seems like it’s predicting anxiety as a separate thing in the future, the thought itself is actually the manifestation of anxiety. The thought is taking the thinker away from what is happening now and spiralling them forward to a place of fear.
A mind that habitually cycles forward worrying about what’s going to happen in the future creates a painful stress-cycle for the body-mind. We think about the future and worry; we clench; we tense; we feel anxious.
Let’s look at that thought again: “There is no anxiety here now, but as soon as I try to do X it will come back.”
If only we could remain with the first half of the thought, the anxiety would not arise. “There is no anxiety here now. Wow! What IS here now?”
But anxiety—which is a learned response—is habituated not to stop in the present: “It will come back as soon as I do X.”
So to avoid feeling anxious, we avoid doing X.
And our lives become smaller as a result. The brain tells us to avoid doing X to minimise our discomfort. (This is one of the brain’s main jobs — to act in a way to minimise our discomfort.)
So how can NEUROFEEDBACK interrupt this cycle of learned avoidance?
Neurofeedback works in a similar way to meditation—only the process is infinitely quicker (it takes months instead of years to change the brain) and very little effort is required by the client. Just turn up to the session and relax and all the work is done by your unconscious mind!
Neurofeedback effortlessly teaches the brain to come back to the present moment. There is no anxiety in the present moment.
Being in the present moment CALMS the nervous system and QUELLS the fear.
And with a calmer mind, OUR CONFIDENCE TO TRY NEW THINGS GROWS because at the ground of our being we want to feel more connected to life, not less.
And when we try X again and realise that nothing terrible happens, the brain learns that life is better with X in it!
And the brain also learns that life is better spent in the present moment.
So neurofeedback teaches the brain new skills. The brain is still acting in a way to minimise our discomfort — but now minimising our discomfort involves living a bigger and more connected life.
Such is the MAGIC of neurofeedback.
If you brain-train with neurofeedback, you truly won't recognise yourself and all the new things you'll be doing. You can take my word for it, it happened to me!