Ever wondered where anxiety really comes from? Join me today as we do a deep dive and uncover the roots of anxiety, learn how to nurture a sense of calm inside yourself, and a peace, a peaceful feeling of well-being. And I’m going to give you an effective immediately tip that you can use right away. 

Okay, so in case you didn’t know, I’m Rebecca Wiener McGregor, and I am the Anxiety Eraser. And welcome to another episode of Effective Immediately, the show where we talk mindset, healthy emotions, abundance, leadership, and I give you a mindset shift that you can use effective immediately. 

Okay, so this topic is very near and dear to my heart. And today we’re talking about the, the roots and the causes of anxiety. Now we’re going to take it kind of easy because I know a lot of the people that tune into this are already dealing with anxiety. So I always want to say to you, this is an opportunity for you to collect some data to pay attention to how you’re feeling, not an opportunity for you to judge yourself for anything that you learn about yourself today. Okay, so be very loving with yourself, I’ll remind you as we go along as well. Now, this topic is, has two pieces, okay? Because anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues in the world. Anxiety disorders affect almost 20% of the population. That’s pretty huge. So if you’re dealing with it, I say that so that you know that you are not alone. 

In my 20s, I dealt with social anxiety, we’re going to talk about the different kinds today. And I want you to know that the way that it was showing up for me was that I was hiding from my life, I was irritated and frustrated. And I was hiding in a bad relationship. And hiding from the world. I wasn’t interacting socially, I was sort of in a state of avoidance. And hypnosis was the thing that helped me get out of it, which is why you hear me being so passionate, shouting from the rooftops ways to help people heal it, and move forward from it. Okay, so today, let’s talk about how anxiety might be showing up in your world. Maybe with you or maybe a loved one, so you can understand them a little better. Okay? All right. 

So anxiety itself is an intense, excessive, persistent worry. Okay, now, there are perfectly normal, and I’m actually going to refrain from using normal and abnormal, I’m going to use appropriate and inappropriate. And I really want you to pay attention to this for yourself, okay? There are perfectly appropriate times for you to feel anxiety. When you have a narrow miss of a car accident, when you’re getting ready for a big move, or a new job or a huge change in your life, you’re thinking about starting a big, really big step in your relationship, you’re getting married, or you’re ending a relationship. These are huge life changes, job changes, all of these things can produce levels of anxiety. And in these experiences, these situations, anxiety would be perfectly appropriate. Because you’re going through some major acute stress, right? Okay, so when does anxiety become inappropriate, inappropriate anxiety is when the worry and the stress becomes all consuming. It becomes excessive. It’s a feeling in your body that you’re waking up with. You’re going to sleep with it, it’s waking you during the night, you’re working and it’s popping into your mind, you’re feeling it in your body. And very often, the feelings that will come along with anxiety, our heat, heaviness, tight chest, heart racing, excessive sweating. It can be feelings of being really tired, a lot. It could be feeling like you can’t quite catch your breath. These are kind of the, the basic ones that I hear about most of the time. Okay, it can be it can escalate into a panic attack. It can escalate into just a really powerful moment where it feels like the walls are closing in on you and there’s no way out but to like scream. These are some of the things that my clients have described to me. So it can show up in your body in many different ways. It can be a constant churning in your stomach, it can be tension in your body that you just can’t get rid of it can be headaches, gripping headaches, tension, that kind of thing. 

Okay, so I just described a whole bunch of stuff. So we’re going to give yourself a few deep breaths, make your breaths just a little bit longer on the exhale. Because I don’t want you to bring them into your body, I want you just to notice. Notice if this has ever happened to you, or someone that you love, okay? Because I want you to be aware that these feelings will come up, these physical responses will come up, and there’s no medical reason for them, other than the fact that they’re coming from anxiety. So give yourself a breath. And if you’re dealing with this, you’re not crazy. You’re not crazy, you’re not wrong, you’re not living wrong, you’re not doing things wrong that are creating this. If this feeling is coming out of nowhere for you, very often, what has happened is that stressful situations have been really chronic in your life. And I don’t know if you’ve been around the last few years, but the globe has been under stress. So it’s really normal. It’s really natural, even from age 30 on for life experiences to have accumulated inside of you creating roots of anxiety, and creating this feeling of anxiety that sticks and hangs on and keeps going. And you might feel like, ‘can I just flip the switch?’ Many of my clients will come to me and say, ‘I’m a smart, intelligent, productive, resourceful person, why can’t I make this feeling go away?’. And often, what happens is that it’s an accumulation of stress over time. That’s why adults usually are the ones who are dealing with this. Adults 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s. Because we have been dealing with life, often pushing away feelings, because we had to deal with whatever was happening at the time, there was no time to feel our feelings, we were not trained how to feel our feelings. So the feelings, the emotions, the stress accumulates in our body. Okay, so because this is happening to almost every fifth person on the planet, if you’re feeling this, you get to give yourself a break. You’re actually pretty normal for feeling this. 

Different Kinds of Anxiety

Okay, so let’s talk about the different kinds of anxiety for a little bit because I want you to understand, first of all, remembering that there are appropriate times to feel anxiety, right? And then also, that you don’t have to diagnose yourself as having anxiety, too, because you feel anxiety sometimes. You don’t really have to diagnose yourself with anything and if you feel like you need a diagnosis, you can seek a professional. But I want you to be aware that I want you to take this as information and not as an opportunity to label yourself. Take it as an opportunity to understand yourself a little bit more. And frankly, I don’t care what you call it. You can call it pink cotton candy if you want to. But I want you to be aware of what’s happening so that you can start making adjustments to feel your very best. That’s why I’m here. Okay? Okay, so I have my notes here. There is generalized anxiety disorder. And I’d like to call it generalized anxiety response because, well, this is, you know, a people like to diagnose things and have really kind of yucky names to them. I want you to recognize that this kind of thinking, this kind of feeling in your body is happening throughout your day. Generalized Anxiety usually means that it’s popping up during your day. It’s happening at inappropriate times, inconvenient times and it is happening to adults mainly. And it will also come along with depression. It can come along with bouts of anger. It’s not unusual for those things to be along with it. You might wake up with stress in the morning even without thinking about anything. You might wake out of your sleep feeling stressful, stressed out. You might wake up in the morning, feeling a churning stomach, even before you’ve had a chance to even wake up fully, you might feel those feelings of heaviness or tiredness, that won’t seem to go away. Okay? This is not uncommon as an anxiety issue, okay? When it escalates into panic attacks with any kind of frequency, that’s referred to as panic disorder. And this is a huge number of people that are dealing with this, and women are twice as likely to be affected by men as in anxiety disorder, as well as panic. So you might feel like, oh, the stress is normal, right? Like, it’s normal for me to feel this level of stress. Because I’m a mother, I’m a leader, I’m a partner, I’m a friend, I’m a sister, I’m a daughter, you know, there are lots of things that are happening as you’re raising your children, you might be caring for your parents, you might be leading your team, all of these things create stress in your life. It’s normal to have stress in our lives. But when the feeling is kind of creating a static, a foundation of static in your life, this is often what we refer to as anxiety. Okay, there are of course, specific phobias that people can be dealing with as well. Fear of heights, fear of spiders, fear of needles, fears of flying, all of those kinds of things are very specific, and they’re kind of in this group as well. And then we have PTSD, and OCD. So PTSD is post-traumatic stress and stress disorder. And that is, after dealing with some major kind of stress could be a major incident, one major incident, it could be incidents that were created over time, different experiences of being harassed, or bullied, or being in a war zone, or dealing with something with your health for a really long time. These are some of the things that can create this feeling of PTSD over time. Okay, so it can be one big event, or it can be a collection of events. Okay? And obsessive-compulsive disorder also is when there’s a lot of obsessive thinking, and then also, the desire to create to complete the cycle by doing an activity such as checking the locks over and over, checking to make sure there’s enough food over and over, washing hands, things like that we’ve all had some experience with these. Now, what’s very important for you to notice is if you’re recognizing any of these patterns in yourself to be really loving because the last thing you want to do is to be at odds with your body in your mind, that creates more fuel for all these things to get worse. We do not want it to have any more fuel. Okay? So this is a loving acknowledgement. Take a moment, take a breath. Just, we’re just collecting data, we’re just looking at what’s happening. Because I want you to be the best version of yourself, I want you to feel as good as you possibly can. 

So I’ve been a hypnotist for almost 20 years, 19 and a half years. And my specialty is helping people release the roots of anxiety. That’s what I’ve been doing since I was my very first client. Now I want to talk about how anxiety comes about in our lives. I kind of alluded to it a little bit earlier, when I was talking about how experiences build and the feelings that we have about experiences and stressful experience in our life, build upon one another. I want to acknowledge that some of our origins of anxiety are learned. So very often people will come to me and say, you know, we have a lot of anxiety in our family. So anxiety is probably genetic, right? Yes, there are roots of anxiety. And what I’ve learned over these almost 20 years of helping people with, release the roots of anxiety is that many of us are learning behaviors from people that we love. When we are young, and we are watching the people that we love and we respect, it is natural for us to have subconscious lessons and to take things on, take on the way that someone does something thing as our own if we love and respect them. So, for example, the way that one of your parents maybe dealt with anxiety or stressful situations was to have a certain feeling maybe they would talk about how tense they felt, or they would talk about how frustrated they are, or you would just see them kind of shut down a little bit. Because we pay attention to those things, right? We notice it as adults, and we very much are aware of it as children. So very young children can start to have start to subconsciously, unconsciously notice how their parents, how their caregivers are responding in certain situations. And the parent or the caregiver, or the loved one is teaching them a lesson, unintentionally. And the child receives that lesson, unintentionally. So nobody’s at fault here, okay? I’m not creating any, wanting to create any fault, just understanding, because so often we think, ‘Oh, anxiety, yeah, my parents haven’t my uncle hasn’t my grandpa had it, my dad has it’, whatever, that you may think there’s nothing you can do because it’s genetic. And what I want you to know is that any learned behaviors, we can unlearn and relearn. So what’s really powerful to know is that very often, we will be in a situation with someone we love, because we learn all sorts of things, just by modeling everybody else, right? We learn how to use a fork or use chopsticks, or how to blow our nose, or how to find our toes by having someone model it for us. So it’s very natural for us to see someone in our lives, experience a feeling and we just notice what’s happening with them. We notice how they’re responding, we notice the energy shift. And this is all happening unconsciously. And we think, Okay, well, that’s how so and so feels in this situation. That’s how they responded, I love and I care about them and I respect them and this must be the way that I do it. So this is the way that I’ll do it. And a lesson is formed. It is that fast. Wow, it’s really fast, right? And the more often this happens, and the stronger information that we get that this is the way it’s done. Every time it’s reinforced over and over and over and over. So these things become a habit, the way that we learn to respond, actually, our habits. 

Okay, so here’s what’s interesting, the habits that we learned from other people, the ways that we learn how to respond and currents, in certain situations, are learned responses, but the things that we have anxiety about, the things that we have panic about, come from our own life experiences. And much of what happens that is created into anxiety is based on what we learn in our lives through our own experiences. So we learn how to respond very often from others. But we’re at, what we’re responding to is what’s happening in our own world. So what’s so powerful to know is that all of this anxiety, these stressful situations accumulate, and we start feeling anxiety, often in our 30s, 40s, 50s. Right? Especially women. And what’s so powerful to know is that the roots of anxiety began when you were a small child, when I was a small child. My very first experiences, your very first experiences in life started to train us how to respond. So we are responding as adults from patterns that we created as children. That’s kind of mind blowing, right? Because who wants to operate from patterns that we created as children when we had such a small vision of the way the world works? But the truth is that most of the patterns that we operate off of as adults were set in place before we were eight years old. Eight years old. Maybe at times before we were 14 years old. But the vast majority of responses were set in place when we were young children. So we are in an experience, our physical body reacts. We might get a racing heart, we might get a churning stomach. We might have pressure in our head because we don’t understand what’s happening. And the thoughts are racing through our minds. And this is how we respond to stressful situations. So a pattern is started, a reference file is started, a recipe card is started for how to respond in these experiences. Now remembering what we talk about all the time is that our subconscious mind loves to keep us in the same and the similar. It’s our spirit that wants to be different, wants to expand, wants to grow, wants to learn, wants to do new things, wants to leave a legacy, wants to make a ripple. All those powerful things are what our spirit wants but our subconscious mind wants us to stay small, and in the similar and wants us to not change. So every time we are in an experience, our beautiful subconscious mind is looking for a reference of how we felt in the past. So every time that something happens, our brain will look to the past for a reference of how to respond. If we have that churning stomach, if we had that racing heart, if we had that tension, if we got that lump in our throat, that feeling will be present because it’s looking at the references of the past. It’ll take those exact experiences, those exact feelings that we experienced, almost like a recipe card or reference file, it will say, this is how we responded and within a second, sometimes less, those feelings will start in the body. So you’re not crazy. If you’re dealing with this, you’re not crazy, you’re not wrong. There are just roots of this in our past and everyone has these, everyone has them. It just doesn’t always accumulate in the same way. But we all are operating off of the past. That’s why sometimes you’ll be in a situation. And you might be frustrated or irritated, and you might even feel like you’re having an immature response to what’s happening because that response was created when you were a child. So now imagine the things in our lives that have happened, that have created stress, every single time one of those experiences happens, we’re going back to these old reference files and we’re using the same reference files over and over and over and over again. Imagine how deep the pathways how strong the pathways are, for those feelings to be created every single time. 

So, be loving with yourself. There is not anything wrong with the way that you have learned. I want to say that, again, there’s not anything wrong with the way that you have learned how to respond. Because your brain was doing the best it could. This is the way we all learn. And this is the way we all grow. This is the way we all create reference files. So, the very fact that you might be dealing with anxiety now is not anything to place guilt or shame or blame on yourself. You don’t even have to blame the experiences or the people who are part of the experiences that you had in your life. You can simply acknowledge, “oh, there have been some things in my life, there have been some circumstances in my life that caused me to feel a certain way’. And as we go through life, we accumulate strong patterns, strong habits. Remember, I talked about how our responses are really just strong habits because those patterns have been used so often because our brain loves to do the same things over and over, likes to keep us in the same and the similar and the familiar. So if it worked to keep us safe in the past, it’s going to be the brain is going to use that as a reference of how to keep us safe in the present. Safe. Remember, I said safe. It doesn’t care if you’re comfortable. It’s your spirit that wants happiness and joy and inner peace and all of those beautiful things. Your brain, your subconscious mind is really just working to keep you safe. So take a pause. Take a moment to thank yourself for trying to keep you safe, especially if you’ve been dealing with any kind of anxiety-related issue. Just give yourself a break. Thank your body, thank your mind for wanting to keep you safe because that’s what all of the fears have come from trying to keep you safe. 

Now, I want to share with you that there are ways of helping to manage these feelings that can be very helpful to help you manage or cope with these feelings. And some of the things that you can do are things that we have done together today even which has talk to your body, talk to your mind, ask it what it needs. Journal about your experiences. Help to release and to process the feelings by journaling. What did I feel during this situation? What were what were my beliefs about this situation? What are the feelings that go along with those beliefs? There are ways that you can practice this beautiful mindfulness simply by beginning to have conversations with yourself about it. What did I need that I didn’t get in that situation? There are also many other techniques that you can use to help you with anxiety when you’re in the thick of it, such as taking deep breaths. And it’s very important for you to know that actually, the power of the deep breath is on the exhale. Because it helps to reset our body. When we give ourselves a long exhale. Imagine if you were in trouble and you were running, you wouldn’t be able to give that long exhale. So if you give yourself a nice, easy inhale, and then make your exhale just a little bit longer than your inhale, your body gets the signal that you wouldn’t be able to give it if you were running. That signal is that you are safe because you’re able to give yourself that long exhale. And of course, there are items like EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, tapping, meditation, things like that, that you can use to help cope with the feelings of anxiety when they come. And one of the things that I want to share with you is that it’s really powerful to be able to acknowledge the roots of anxiety because we can heal the roots. What I’ve done in my career for almost 20 years now is to go help clients go back to the experiences that started the anxiety in the first place. Now there’s a physical feeling, we’ve talked about those physical feelings. I won’t mention them right now. But there are physical feelings that go along with feeling that inappropriate anxiety. And every time you feel that probably the same ones come up for you. Now, taking that feeling, and in a beautiful, concentrated, focused state of hypnosis, help you to connect to a past experience where you felt that feeling. And then allow yourself to feel what needed to be felt, in that experience, allow the version of who you were, then to fully process the experience, to speak your truth about the experience. And what will happen is that your body will neutralize the physical response. It’s so powerful, because your beautiful mind, your beautiful brain knows how to heal itself. So as you are expressing your feelings about that experience, your body will begin to relax. The heart-racing stops almost immediately. The stomach-churning stops, the pressure in the head, the heaviness on the shoulders, the tension in the back. For some clients, it’s tension in their bottom, it’s sweating on the back of their knees, it’s tension in their arms or hands. Doesn’t matter where it is, as you talk about the story, all of that tightness, all of that fight or flight response begins to relax. And then what happens is that reference file begins to shift. The reference file now contains feelings of inner peace. It contains self-acceptance, it contains maybe forgiveness, confidence, self-love. And one of the things that’s very important is that we always show so much love to the version of ourselves that went through that experience because we want love to be present that self-love so that there is plenty of worthiness, self-trust, and self-esteem. Now imagine, as these reference files are being cleared and rewritten, how your present-day is. You go through a stressful situation, the reference files for these stressful situations are now peaceful, are now calm. What that means is that you get to be in the present moment. You get to operate from right now. You get to make decisions from here rather than going back to who you were back when that reference file was created, or the reference file was getting stronger. You get to operate from who you are right now with all of the wisdom you have gained through these experiences. Take that in for just a moment. The reference files get calm and you get to take all the wisdom that you learn from those experiences, about life about the world. You get to build your discernment, strengthen it, you get to help yourself make the best decisions for yourself with the wisdom that you have gained through all the experiences that you’ve been through in your life without the heaviness, the tension, the stress, the frustration. Let me tell you from personal experience, it’s so much easier than living with all of the stress, the heaviness, the ache, the tiredness, the frustration of anxiety. 

Now, this works for people who are dealing with panic, who are dealing with generalized anxiety, who are dealing with social anxiety, who are dealing with different kinds of OCD, who have been through experiences that have left them with PTSD. We’re not trying to heal anxiety as its own thing. What we do is go and heal the reference files. We heal the pain of the past, release the pain of the past, so that you can be fully in the present. It’s really quite spectacular. So, if you are in a state where you are ready to make changes, you are tired of the anxiety, it’s taken enough of your thought, it’s taken enough of your energy, it’s taken enough of your life, then I’m your person. I am here to help you. And it can be very swift, often 90 days or less, that we can reduce and even dissolve this feeling of anxiety or panic. You can book a call with me at callwithrebecca.com. You can reach out to me directly through wherever you’re seeing this message, wherever you’re seeing this video to set up a call with me or ask questions. And you can stalk me on the internet and look at all the websites and the interviews and things that I’ve done if you want to. They’re all available on rebeccawiener.com and healwithhypnosis.com

Your Effective Immediately Mindfulness Shift

So now that I’ve given you all the dot coms, I want to give you your effective immediately mindfulness shift that you can start to use right now to help you feel better and shift the way you feel about anxiety. Okay? All right hand on your heart. Connect to yourself. Give yourself a few breaths. You can do this during anxiety, or you can do it after the feeling of anxiety, the height of it has passed. Put your hand on your heart. Notice your feelings without judging them because the more you judge them, the more your brain thinks you’re in danger, the stronger those feelings can be activated. Connect to your body, connect to your mind. Ask your body, ask for mind: What is connected to this feeling? What is it that it needs right now? So you can say to yourself body, mind, however, you want to address yourself. You can say to yourself, ‘Rebecca, what do you need right now?’ And let your mind give you a signal give yourself, it might come as a signal, it might come as a picture, it might come as a sound, it might come as an order, an odor. It may come as a knowing and you may even hear yourself say, ‘I need rest’. ‘I need help’. ‘I need connection’. ‘I need a friend’. ‘I need to move around’. ‘I need to walk a little bit’. ‘I need food’. ‘I need water’. These are some of the basic things that your body might require after dealing with anxiety. So be very, very loving with her. Give her what she needs. Give her what she’s asking for that feels good and right and natural to you. And safe. Right? Good, right, natural, safe. And then take a little bit of time to just acknowledge the feelings. Okay, I noticed that you were feeling this. I noticed that you were feeling that. Thank you for sharing your feelings with me. I know it might sound kind of silly to talk to yourself in this way. But fighting against yourself, being unkind to yourself, pushing yourself, has not made the anxiety go away has it Believe me, I’ve tried all that stuff. I tried all that stuff I tried this the harsh talk, I tried the just make it happen better. I try the just wake up on Monday morning and it’ll be better, just force yourself to be better. I tried all of that stuff. And it didn’t work. What helped me was to get on my own side. And then to ask for help, to get the help that I needed. So, please reach out if I can help you. Please enjoy this new mindset shift. This new technique, this new conversation with yourself. Be very, very loving. Notice the things that you learn today without judgment. Be in touch if you’re ready to make changes, and I’ll see you next week for the next episode of Effective Immediately. Bye for now.


About the Author:

Rebecca Wiener McGregor, also known as The Anxiety Eraser, is a seasoned transformational hypnotist, trauma healer, and abundance coach. Since 2004, she guides visionary women to break free from anxiety, blocks, traumas, and fears, leading them to a life filled with abundance and purpose. Through her book “Loving Her” and work with conscious women executives, leaders, coaches, and healers worldwide, Rebecca sparks profound transformations, helping her clients embrace their true selves and create impactful, joyful, fulfilling lives.

To schedule an intro call click here.

For speaking and podcasting appearances: love@rebeccawiener.com