An Anxiety Case Study

Feb 25, 2019 | Personal Development

This understanding of life can have implications for those experiencing anxiety.

With kind permission from Bradley, I’m sharing his story about how our work together has made a significant difference to his anxiety.

When Bradley came to see me, his initial thought was that he needed me to help him with his business.  At the time, the business appeared to him to be the cause of the anxiety.  He told me how it was always on his mind.  How anxious he felt about what he ought to be doing.  During family time and on holiday, the business would be on his mind and a feeling of sickness would be in his stomach.  He felt as though he wasn’t able to be ‘present’ with his family, because there was always something to be worrying about.

While we have discussed his business many times, that wasn’t how we started off our coaching relationship.  Instead, we discussed a very different way of understanding life.

Inner peace and anxiety

Fortunately, Bradley was open to the direction our conversation took and his understanding shifted.  He uncovered the realisation that the feelings he experienced weren’t directly linked to the circumstances of his life, and thus he started to become free of those feelings.  He also began to understand that changing the circumstances wasn’t the answer.  It’s not possible to secure a feeling in something external because that thing is insecure. We don’t have control over life’s events, and believing that we should is a source of suffering.  As his understanding of these things shifted, he began to notice a calmness that pervaded in the background of all situations.  Even the most challenging. 

The understanding he’s taken on board has been life-changing for him.  He no longer spends all of his time stressing and worrying about his business.  When he is with his family, he is able to be fully present with them.  Holidays are now a joyful time to be treasured. 

These changes haven’t happened because his business is different.  It’s changed because he now knows that regardless of what is going on in his business, or his life; fundamentally, he is okay.  Who he really is cannot be damaged by circumstances, so it doesn’t need to be vigilantly protected.  With this realisation, the anxiety he’d previously experienced just doesn’t have the hold it used to.

I was talking with Bradley recently about the various challenges that he had undergone in the last month.  He’d had a really hard time, with some extremely serious stuff.  Both in his work and home life.  The kind of circumstances you wouldn’t wish on anyone.  I was overjoyed when he reported that, even though there was nothing pleasant about those circumstances, he came through each one knowing he was okay.  In the past, he would have experience incredible anxiety, sickness, anger etc.  Nowadays he feels different.  Anxious feelings do pop up from time to time, but when they do, they pass quickly.

Bradley acknowledged that he didn’t have to do anything to feel better while these recent circumstances unfolded.  He just knew deeply, that who he is is okay. 

That’s what I love about the work that I do.  There is no strategy to follow, no steps to take.  Just something to understand and know.  For some, their strategy for preventing anxiety may involve avoiding certain things.  The nature of Bradley’s life means that there are difficult circumstances that cannot be avoided.  And he now takes these moments in his stride.

If you are experiencing anxiety, there is a belief of ‘not-okayness’ present.  I can help you to see life from a different, rather startling perspective, that brings this idea of ‘not-okayness’ into question.  From there, anxiety just can’t have the same grip it had before.  That doesn’t mean that it goes away entirely, never to be experienced again.  It means that the experience of it is less of a struggle and usually much shorter lived.  The desire to be free of the anxiety (which causes the suffering) isn’t as strong and the whole experience is more like a small bump in the road, than an insurmountable obstacle.

If you’d like to know more about this, please get in touch.

Want to know more about how I can help? Drop me a line or give me a call. A successful coaching relationship depends upon a great rapport, so it’s important to talk. I want to get to know you, see inside your world and we can assess how we’d go from there!