How To Deal With Anxiety – Immediate Anxiety Relief
You can live without anxiety in every situation
Hello, my name is Noah Elkrief. And in this video I’m going to talk to you about how to deal with anxiety. Anxiety is such a common issue in our society that a lot of us tend to feel as though it is inevitable, as though certain situations just have to have anxiety in them. Or you’re just destined to have anxiety in a large portion of your life. Well, I’m here to tell you, and more importantly show you, that you don’t have to live with anxiety, that there’s no situation which needs to have anxiety, that no matter how long you’ve had anxiety, how frequently you’ve had anxiety, or how intense your anxiety is, you don’t have to have any of it. And if you see, or if you understand and address the cause of your anxiety, which I will show you how to do in this video, your anxiety will be gone. There will be none left. I’ve seen it happen time and time again.
The main types of anxiety
I’m going to be talking about three different types of anxiety in this video. One is the anxiety of not getting what you want. Two is the anxiety of losing something good that you have. And three, the anxiety of something bad happening in the future. There is another type of anxiety, social anxiety, which I’m not going to talk about in this video, because that is a topic in and of itself.
To lose your anxiety, you first have to be clear about what you want more than anything else
In order to address the cause of your anxiety, you first have to be clear about one very important thing, and that is – what do you want most in life? What do you want more than anything else? What is the number one most important thing you want to have, experience, get in life? Not the top few. Number one. See, most of us never ask that question to ourselves, and if we do, the answer that I usually hear in my one-on-one sessions is, “I want success, wealth, power, respect, love, marriage, relationship, kids, to fulfill my potential, to find my purpose, to have an impact.” So one of those answers might resonate with you.
We all want peace and happiness more than anything else
But, let’s take it one step deeper, one step closer to what you really want. So let me ask you a question – if you got what you wanted most, assuming it’s one of those things I just mentioned, or something similar, if you got what you want most, how would you expect to feel? Well, you’d expect to feel satisfied, content, peaceful, happy, right? You want to achieve these goals of yours, or whatever you think is most important, because you hope it will make you happy.
What that means is that whatever goal you had, have, whatever, the real reason why you want it is just because you hope it will make you happy. Your goal is actually not the goal, it is the means. Right? What you want is happy, to be happy and you just hope that achieving your goal will get you there. When I ask you, what do you want most, more than anything else, the truth is, you just want to be at peace. You just want to be okay with yourself, you just want to feel whole like nothing is missing, you just want to stop suffering, to stop having anxiety, worry, shame, insecurities. You just want to be at peace and you hope that getting what you want will get you peace.
Discover for yourself that you want to lose your suffering more than anything else
To make that clear, if I give you two options – achieve what you want in life, but be unhappy, have all the same anxiety, worry, shame, judgment, anger; or not achieve what you want in life, and be happy and in peace, in every moment – which would you choose? Well, I suspect that if you’re being really honest with yourself, you’ll see that what you really want is peace more than you want your goal.
I’m not saying that you can’t have your goal and peace. I’m just pointing out what do you want most, more than anything else. Because if you don’t recognize that what you want is peace and happiness more than anything else, then your energy and attention and effort will constantly be on things that can’t get you peace and happiness. Okay? And there’s another reason too, which I’ll get to in a moment. So do you see that what you want most is peace and happiness, more than anything else in your life? That is what you want most? Because that’s a necessary discovery in order to progress in this video. If you don’t discover that, pause this video now and really inquire about that. Really see if there is something you want more than peace and happiness, okay?
Understanding the anxiety of not getting what you want
Now, let’s move on to the first type of anxiety. The first type of anxiety is the anxiety about getting what you want. Most of us when we are unhappy, or not fulfilled or not content, we assume it is because something is wrong or insufficient about our life or ourselves. Then, we naturally form the conclusion that getting what I want will make me happy. Or in other words, it would be best if I get what I want. It would be best if I get the girl, get the promotion, get the job, get the house, get the car, get the something. It would be best if I got that.
See what happens is, as soon as you form a goal of any kind, and you believe that is what is best for your life, you automatically come to the conclusion that any other outcome is worse. And as soon as you form a worse outcome, you automatically start to fear that outcome. All this happens unconsciously, underneath the surface. If you think it’s best for your life to get the promotion, you’ll think it’s worse not to and you’ll fear not getting it. If you think it’s best to get an A, you’ll fear not getting it. If you think it’s best to get the girl, you’ll fear not getting it. If you think it’s best to get anything, you will fear not getting it.
How to deal with anxiety of not getting what you want
The question you need to ask yourself in order to lose the anxiety of not getting what you want is, “Do I know that achieving a particular outcome would be best for my life?” Do I know? Okay, look, I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you want the promotion at work, that’s what you want. And so you’re afraid of not getting it, because you think that would be best for your life. But what do you want most in life? Remember? Peace, happiness. So do you know that the promotion will make you happier? How could you possibly know? You never had that job. When we talk about getting what we want, we automatically assume, “I’ll be happier there.” But how could you know you’ll be happier there if you’ve never even been there? If you never even experienced that job, that school, that grade, that girlfriend, that anything. How could you possibly know if you never had it? So the first question is, how do you know you’ll like it?
You don’t know all of the effects of getting what you want
The second question is – do you know what all the effects are of getting that particular outcome? Maybe if you get the promotion, you’ll have to work longer hours. Or, you’ll have more responsibility, which stresses you out more. Or maybe your new co-worker, you’ll start fighting with all the time. Or maybe you’ll get a new client that you’ll have to manage and they give you hell. Or maybe when you get the promotion you have to go to work earlier and you get into a car accident. Do you know what all the effects are of getting the promotion?
You see, when we think of getting what we want, we create a fantasy that negates or dismisses or doesn’t look at all of the negatives. Our fantasies only include the positives. If I get the promotion, everything will be great! But really, how do you know? How could you possibly know? How do you know you’ll like it? How do you know there won’t be some negative effects from it? How do you know?
But beyond that, taking a step back from even that, if you get the promotion, are you no longer going to have anxiety about the future? Are you no longer going to have anxiety about losing your job? Are you no longer going to have worries about others’ opinions? Insecurities about yourself? Problems in your relationship? Everything that created suffering before you got what you want will still be there after you get what you want, more or less. Right?
When you discover that you don’t know what’s best, anxiety disappears
So if you can discover that I don’t know whether getting what I want is best for me, then you have no outcome to fear. Which is better for you – getting the promotion or not? Well if you don’t know which outcome is better for your life, then there’s nothing to fear. There’s nothing to have anxiety about. Anxiety is only created in this particular scenario when you believe one outcome is best, and therefore every other outcome is bad. But how do you know? When you recognize, “You know what? I would like that outcome, but I don’t know if it’s best. Maybe if I stayed in this job, I’ll meet the girl of my dreams. Or maybe I’ll interact with a client who gives me the job of my dreams, not just a promotion here. Or maybe, I don’t know. But that’s the truth, I don’t know.” Then, there is nothing to have anxiety about.
We think getting what I want is best for me. We’re operating under that assumption even though we have no idea whether it is true or not. No idea. So that’s the first type of anxiety. And that’s how to deal with it.
Whenever you think getting what you want is what is best for you, you will have anxiety. If you want to stop having anxiety, all you need to do is ask questions about that particular outcome in order to discover, “You know what? I don’t know whether that would be best for my life. I don’t know whether that will make me happiest. I don’t know.” Okay?
Understanding the anxiety of losing something we want to keep
Moving on to the second type of anxiety. The second type of anxiety is the anxiety we feel when we think we have something that’s making us happy and we are scared to lose it. Alright?
I’ll give you an example. If you have a girlfriend and you think she is making you happy, then you will be afraid to lose her, right? Any time that you believe some factual thing in your life is creating happiness, then you will fear losing that thing. Because remember, what you want most in life is happiness. So if you credit your happiness to something external, then the possibility of losing that external thing will create fear. You may think you really want your girlfriend, or whatever else you have. But what you really want is to be happy, and you happen to think they make you happy.
How to deal with anxiety of losing something you think makes you happy
In order to stop fearing the outcome of losing what you have, you have to recognize that your happiness is not created by what you have, and that you don’t know whether it would be better or worse for your life to lose what you have. So in the instance of a girlfriend, let’s say she makes you so happy, so great. But let’s take a real look at the situation, ok? If she created happiness, then you would be happy in every single moment that she was your girlfriend. But is that the case? I don’t know you, but I am sure that it’s not. Do you not have insecurities about yourself? Do you not worry about whether she loves you? Do you not get jealous about whether she’s with somebody else? Do you not worry about losing her? Do you not have issues in your job? Do you not have all the different thoughts that create unhappiness? Of course you do.
What happens is that when she is around, there’s a few different reasons why you experience pleasure or happiness. One is you get to tell yourself, “I am loveable and my life is good because she loves me.” And that’s a positive thought, right? If she loves me, that means I am worthy, and that creates some pleasure. But it also creates worry, because as long as you think her love means you’re worthy, you will believe that if she doesn’t love you, that means you are unworthy. So even in the midst of that pleasure, there is anxiety. In addition, there is happiness when you are around each other sometimes, when there’s not arguments and anxiety, because she distracts you from your own thoughts, right? When you’re doing anything, playing a sport, watching a movie, engaging with somebody, it distracts you from the thoughts in your head, which leaves you happier, for the time being. You know the thing itself isn’t creating happiness because sometimes you’re with the girl and you’re unhappy. If they created happiness, then as soon as you are with her, you would automatically be happy every second. But that’s not the way reality works, is it?
What you have doesn’t create happiness, thoughts do
What you have seems to create happiness because you have a positive thought. 1) This means something about me… my job means I’m successful, their love means I am worthy etc. 2) My job or my girlfriend or my something distracts me from thoughts, and you like that distraction, right? 3) If I believe something is the key to happiness, and I don’t have it, then I believe my life is missing something, and I feel lacking. Then, when we get the girlfriend, job, child, or success that we believed was the key to happiness, we lose the thought which says “Something is missing from my life because I don’t have a relationship, children, success, marriage etc”. We also lose the anxiety we had created by thought, “my life will never be good enough or complete if I don’t get success, marriage etc.” In other words, we experience some happiness because our achievement or acquisition deleted some of the thoughts that were making us unhappy.
But you have all these new thoughts of losing what you have, judgments about how it’s not good enough, and many others. But when you achieve a goal, you also lose a couple of thoughts, the thoughts that made you unhappy along the way.
So the question is – does what you have actually create happiness? And the simple answer is, no. It got rid of a couple negative thoughts, it added some negative thoughts, it distracts you from thoughts, and it gives you a couple positive thoughts. But, all in all, you’re not in peace. You still have anxiety, you still have worry, you still have insecurities, you still have shame, you still have judgments, you still have arguments, you still have every type of suffering.
If you lose what you have, you may end up happier
Since whatever you have doesn’t create happiness, if you lose what you have, do you know that you won’t be happier? And it may seem obvious – of course I’ll be unhappy, I’ll be hurt, I’ll be this, I’ll be that, but I’m asking you in the long run. How do you know? I know I have a hand. That is an example of something I KNOW. You believe it would be bad for your life, but do you know? How could you? You don’t know what all of the effects are. Other things can distract you, other things can give you positive thoughts. Or you could just directly address the thoughts in your head, and you don’t need anything to be in peace, to lose your anxiety, okay? So that is the second type of anxiety. When you discover that you might end up happier if you lose what you have, and that your happiness isn’t dependent on keeping what you have, then there’s nothing to fear, and nothing to have anxiety about.
Understanding the anxiety of the possibility of a “bad” outcome happening
The third type of anxiety that we’re going to speak about here is the anxiety of a bad outcome happening in the future. This is the idea that it would be bad if I get injured, if they get injured, if I lose my job, if they break up with me, some outcome in the future would be bad. For example, it would be bad if I get fired from my job.
The first thing we have to ask again is, what do I want most in life? Peace. Therefore, when I’m saying it would be bad for something to happen in the future, what I’m actually saying is, “It will make me unhappy if that outcome happens,” alright? That’s what we’re really saying. It would be bad if it happens, is just a different way of saying “It would make me unhappy if that happened”.
If any event makes you happier in the long run, you would consider it to be “good”
The way to look at it is very simple. Let’s imagine the scenario where you’re in a job and you like it, alright? But someone approaches you and says, “I have a job offer for you, and I’ll pay you twice as much as you’re currently making, and I’ll give you more vacation days and you’ll like the job better than the one you have now. But in order to take the new job, you have to get fired from your current job.” So, of course you would want to get fired, because then you can get the new job, which is better. There would be no anxiety about getting fired. Normally, we would consider getting fired to be clearly a bad thing. But, if we just have different thoughts about getting fired, there would be no anxiety. That means that getting fired itself doesn’t create anxiety, it is just our thoughts about it that create anxiety.
You would have anxiety about getting fired from your job if you thought it would be bad for your life. But if you knew that it would lead to a better job that pays twice as much, then you obviously wouldn’t fear getting fired, because that would be considered a good outcome for your life. It would be considered good for your happiness, right?
Do you know for sure that the “bad” outcome/event won’t make you happier in the long-run?
That’s just a hypothetical scenario. In real life, it seems getting fired would clearly be bad. But here’s the question for you – how do you know? Do you know with absolute certainty what all the effects are of getting fired? Your mind just thinks of all the negatives – there is not as much money, it will be so hard, I like it here, I’ll have to start all over, this, that. But how will you know? How do you know that if you lose your job, you won’t find a better one? One that pays more. How do you know that if you take off, if you get fired, you won’t discover that that job wasn’t right for you and you’ll find something else that is so much more closely aligned with what you truly want. How do you know that if you get fired, you won’t read a book that makes you so much happier and changes your life? Or you meet a girl that changes your life? Or you meet a best friend? Or something. How do you know? Do you know what all the effects are of getting fired? Or having whatever bad outcome you think of?
How to deal with anxiety about “bad” future events/outcomes
What “bad” outcome are you afraid? Do you know what all the effects are? Can you think of the few possible good effects that could come from whatever bad outcome you’re thinking of? And if it’s somebody else getting hurt, or whatever, it might seem so selfish to think about the good effects. That’s selfish! It’s not selfish, it’s not hurting them. It’s not hurting anyone to think of the good effects of a potential bad outcome. It’s just the truth – you don’t know whether it’s bad or good. And when you discover for yourself, I don’t know, then you’re free. As long as you believe that a specific outcome would be bad for your life, and make you unhappy, no matter what, you’re going to fear that outcome. But if you’re willing and open and honest enough to truly ask the question, “Can I think of a few possible good effects?” then you will be shocked by the loss of anxiety. You will be shocked.
Anxiety is created by thoughts, not by facts
Taking a step back from those three types, anxiety seems to be created by our situation. It seems to be a product of facts and circumstances, but it is not. And the way to know that is simply when you think about the future, there’s anxiety. But in any moment that there’s distraction from thoughts through TV, food, music, talking to someone, or anything else, anxiety goes.
If I tell you right now, think about the bad outcome, think about what you don’t want to happen, how do you feel? Stress, tension, anxiety. If the facts created your anxiety, you would have that anxiety in every moment the facts were the same. But yet you don’t. In some moments there’s anxiety at your job, and some moments there’s not. That means your job is not creating anxiety. The only thing that creates anxiety is thoughts.
How to deal with anxiety – Identify and disbelieve the thoughts that create it
More specifically, anxiety is not just created by thoughts, it is created by believing a thought that says one outcome would be best, and one outcome would be bad. And if you want to lose your anxiety, all that’s required is a brutal honesty and investigation to discover “I don’t know whether it would be better or worse for a particular outcome to happen.” In other words, I don’t know how I would be happier, considering that thoughts are the only thing that create suffering, thoughts create anxieties, worries, shame, judgments, anger, sadness, disappointment.
More importantly, no matter what happens in life, you can directly address any of the thoughts are making you suffering. That is freedom. If you need external events to go your way in order to be in peace – your happiness being dependent on everything out there going exactly how you want it to go, that’s the opposite of freedom. That is suffering. So, if you want to lose the anxiety, simply question whether a particular outcome is good or bad for your own happiness, in the long run. Okay?
Thanks for reading this blog post about how to deal with anxiety
So I hope you found this video helpful and I will see you on the next video. Thanks for watching.