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Take Back Control From Anxiety, Fast | FSTT006
Episode 620th December 2021 • From Surviving To Thriving • Ray Bourcier
00:00:00 00:20:26

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Had it with anxiety attacks? Fed up with always feeling on edge? In today’s episode, you’ll be given a powerful tool that some of the most dangerous professions use to help keep calm and carry on.

In this episode we cover:

  • When is anxiety a problem?
  • Anxiety’s job and why it’s doing its job too well
  • The one counterintuitive thing you need to do to overcome anxiety
  • Where does anxiety live and its Achilles heel?
  • The one technique backed by science to overcome anxiety fast

About the Host: 

Ray Bourcier - Stay-at-home father, husband, author, podcaster

A college and university environmental science graduate, Ray grew up in a toxic family and a toxic situation in Northern Ontario, Canada. As a result, he experienced the first of many PTSD events at age five, which would begin his nearly three-decade struggle with anxiety and depression.

Spending most of his life in survival mode without support, he eventually discovered and developed ways to overcome his struggles when nothing else worked. 

With a passion for helping others, he made it his mission to help transform the lives and impact the worlds of eleven million people so they too can give their best to themselves, their loved ones, and their career.

An ancient Chinese proverb that Ray loves states, "To know the road ahead, ask those coming back." Ray is on the road back to offer you the support you need every step on your journey so that you, too, will be on the same road back.  Ray believes that only those who've walked that road can truly understand the struggles that you go through. 

Together, we will become the rising tide that lifts all boats.

Together, we are unstoppable.

In his off time, you can find Ray spending time with his daughter, reading books, watching hockey, and contemplating whether pineapple belongs on pizza. 


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Thank you for joining us on from surviving to thriving podcast, a show for parents or anyone to take action on How To Overcome Anxiety and depression so you can give your best to yourself, your loved ones and your career. Now, here's your host Ray

Ray Bourcier:

Would you like a tool to help you take back control from anxiety fast? Stick around, because today will be a game changer. Welcome to episode six of from surviving to thriving. If you're a parent struggling with anxiety and depression and feeling like you're in a constant state of survival mode, then you're in the right place. I am reversi and I'm here to support you overcome your struggles. So you will get out of survival mode and start thriving. I'm honored and grateful to be here to join you along your journey. Time is the one commodity you can never get back. So investing time with what serves you is the best investment you can ever make. It's my goal to give you my best and make sure you get the most out of your time spent by serving you and supporting you to take unwavering action on transforming your life and impacting your world. Today, it's time to provide you with one of the most powerful and useful tools that I use when I find anxiety starting to creep up. overcoming anxiety is a challenge, but it's not impossible. So that's where we're going to dive in right now. I want you to take a moment. And try to think back to when you first realized that your anxiety is problematic in some way. It doesn't matter if you've been suffering anxiety for six weeks, or 16 years. You can regain control over it and overcome its impact on you and your life. Anxiety can show up in many different ways and forms. But at its roots, anxiety is natural. There is nothing to cure, because anxiety is part of our biology. The problems arise when it controls your life. has anxiety ever kept you paralyzed from making a choice? A choice is a decision. Anxiety can keep you stuck with indecision. Anxiety kept me stuck with indecision. But what is indecision? Indecision is still a decision. Anxiety can keep you from taking action. And what is inaction. inaction is still an action. Anxiety doesn't make the right choices for you most of the time. Anxiety doesn't care about you, or your feelings or what you want, or why you want to be better. All it cares about is keeping you contained. So you don't take risks and don't grow. This way, you're biologically kept safe. Because that's all it cares about keeping you alive, surviving life, passing on your genes. It doesn't want you to grow and reach more. It doesn't want you to push for the moon push for the stars. But you deserve more than that. You deserve to thrive, don't you? I can't hear you. I said you deserve to thrive, don't you? Yes. And here's where it gets tricky. overcoming anxiety is not just something you can do passively, and expect results. overcoming anxiety is not just something you can do passively and expect results. It needs what unwavering action.

Ray Bourcier:

Why? Because action builds traction, traction builds momentum, momentum builds hope, and hope builds belief. And this is where it gets sneaky. To Overcome Anxiety and regain control. It starts by doing what may not seem logical. It requires you to do something that to this day, I still find myself struggling to do from time to time. Remember, though, you can be a masterpiece, and a work in progress at the same time. What you need to do, it needs you to let go of control. Hear me out. I mentioned previously that you couldn't become a good captain, if you only sail in calm seas, you are the captain. And the anxiety is the storm. As Captain, you can't control the storm. You can't control the high winds, or the storm surge of the waves. What you can control is how you react to it. You not only can ride out the storm of anxiety, but unlike the weather, you can have a direct impact on how long that storm sticks around. Are you interested in finding out exactly how you can do this? Before you and I discuss how you can take action, it's important to understand the what and the why. So take a moment and think about anxiety as a whole. What is it? Biologically, it's your alert system designed to keep you safe through your subconscious? Where does anxiety exist beyond your physical body, though? And why is this important to know? There's a quote from Sun Tzu. Know thy enemy. While there are many causes of anxiety, one of the most frequent ones is a lack of control. So the next time you feel anxiety, try and track where it's coming from. And see if there's a feeling of no control or lack of control. Maybe you're waiting to hear from someone with some update. Or maybe you need to make a decision and don't like the choices that you're being presented with. Know that. Here's where you can start to take your power back. The reality is that in life, there's very little you can have control over. In fact. The reality is in life, that there are only four things you have control over. You can control your thoughts. You can control your actions, you can control your reactions, and you can control your inactions. That's it. Everything else is a black hole that will suck all of your energy out and never leave you feeling any better off. crap happens. You do not choose your problems, but you choose how you react to them. You choose how you show up. So when we bring it back to the storm, you can't control the weather, you're at its mercy. If you put energy into trying to control it, what's going to happen you'll feel more and more powerless, you will lose more and more hope. So the quicker and more frequent that you can turn your attention to the things that you can control, the faster you will notice the shift in your life. Let's circle back to where anxiety does exist. Anxiety is an anticipation reaction. Is anticipation future or past tense? Its future anticipation is in the future. Anxiety lives in the future. Anxiety is a concern of what's to come. This is the what if questions, those rabbit holes that we're all guilty of following down with no end. Mark Twain said it best. He said I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.

Ray Bourcier:

Most of your anxiety may be unconsciously self inflicted by focusing on the things that you can't control. And the stories that you tell yourself, the story is that you try to make yourself believe. Anxiety can't live in the past. Because while your past can influence your present, and the future, you can't feel anxious about something that has already happened. So this leaves us with the present moment. And in this present moment is where you are unstoppable. You see, unless you're in immediate danger, anxiety doesn't happen in the present moment. It can't live in the present moment without danger. When you feel anxiety, there's something in the future that you're struggling with. Think about the SWAT team that stormed through my apartment door. SWAT teams are trained to go into the most dangerous situations. They're not anxious for what's going on in the moment, they're anxious for what's going to happen when they burst through that door, or turn that blind corner. And we'll come back to that in a minute. Anxiety can't live in this moment. And this is where your power, your control comes in. You stop feeding the machine. When you take back your power and your control. You stop feeding what you can't control your energy. You stop focusing on the storm, you start focusing on what you can control, you start focusing on becoming the eye of the storm where everything is calm. It starts by catching yourself when you begin to see that runaway train of thoughts, causing you to feel anxious where focus goes, energy flows. So if energy is going towards overthinking and worrying about the future, about those what ifs that may not even come to pass, what's going to happen. The more energy you feed it, the worse and worse it's going to get. So you need to pull your focus out of your head, you need to shift your focus into this moment, you may still likely find that your focus will shift back towards those thoughts and make you feel anxious. That is okay. That's part of the process. Just like a kid trying to get attention from their parents pulling on their shirts, they tend to not stop until you acknowledge them. So if your focus shifts to a thought, that doesn't serve you, that's causing you anxiety, simply acknowledge it. thank it for caring, and then return your focus to the present moment. And it doesn't matter if you say it in your head or out loud, thank it for caring acknowledge it because that's the only way you can return your focus back to what matters most. And the more you do this, the more you can retrain your brain, and the quicker and better you become with it. Remember, the future doesn't yet exist. You can't control the future. You can only control how you think, how you act, how you react, and how you don't act. When you focus on the moment, you pull your energy away from the future. And I'm going to share with you a tool that helped me immensely and I believe will help you curb your anxiety quickly if you're interested. The best way to do this is with your breath. This means you could do it anywhere. And that's the best part of it. Because your breath is always with you. Use your breath to anchor you in this moment. Your power is always in this moment. Your anxieties Achilles heel is in this moment. Without you it can't exist.

Ray Bourcier:

I've become a big proponent of breathing exercises. One of the most powerful breathing exercises to quickly calm anxiety that is backed by science is the one I want to share with you right now. It's called the 478. These breathing exercises are taught to Special Forces, SWAT teams, Army Marines units, you name it to keep calm under pressure. Because it works. It helps you to raise your emotional intelligence and refocus that energy into something that serves you. And here is how it's done. with your mouth closed, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth. Then take a breath in through your nose slowly over four seconds, and focus on the feeling of the oxygen flowing like a cool cleansing water through your nostrils. Then, hold your breath for seven seconds. Now here's where the real power of this exercise comes in. Slowly release your breath through your mouth over eight seconds, and really focus your energy. Focus your attention on the exhale. Keep repeating these four, seven eights until you feel calm and back under control. Why This Works is that through holding your breath and focusing on the exhale, you're activating your body's parasympathetic system. This is the part of your nervous system that turns off your fight your flight, your freeze. By sending signals from your subconscious telling your brain that everything's okay. Anxiety is directly connected to your subconscious so that it sends cortisol and adrenaline virtually instantaneously throughout your body to keep you safe when you're in danger. You can't stop anxiety by out thinking it because it takes too much conscious time and effort. It can't compete. This is because your subconscious runs circles around your conscious brain. So you have to combat it with the only way your body understands as quickly through your parasympathetic system. So the next time you're finding yourself in a challenging situation, or in a tough conversation, or feeling like your skeleton is about to dance right out of your skin. Practice the 478 this is how you focus on what you can control. This is how you become the eye of the storm when everything around you starts to become a mess. The more you practice this, the more powerful it will become for you. And with practice, the quicker you can regain control and curb your anxiety fast. I hope this episode has helped you. If you find this show helps you and you want to help be a part of our goal to transform the lives and impact the world of 11 million people. Please spread the word to anyone you think could benefit from the show, as well as leave us a five star rating review on iTunes or any other platform that you use. Be sure to leave feedback and we'll be sure to give you a shout out at the end of the show. On that note, much love goes out to pagan blue boy who left us the following review. As a parent that suffers from anxiety, this has been a great show to listen to. Just knowing that others have gone through or are going through the same things has been beneficial to me. Great tips and encouragement. I will be a longtime listener. Thank you for such an amazing review. I'm grateful to be here to join you along your journey. I'm grateful to you all. And I would love to connect with you and know how anxiety has impacted your life. And how taking unwavering action with this tool helps you. So join our support tribe at Empower up dot info forward slash tribe. And let's connect. That's it for today's episode. I'm honored and grateful to have been able to serve you today. I'll see you in the next episode. Until then, let's do the work. Whatever it takes to the journey. Much love.