Work anxiety causes shakes.

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  • #21717
    AvatarGoingForIt
    PSTEC User

    Hello PSTEC.
    I am trying to figure out how best to use the PSTEC click track and PSTEC Positive for anxiety caused by work situations.
    For most of my adult life I worked in a great situation: life was generally good, and at times incredibly fun and fabulous. Of course (as happens for everybody) I did have times when life wasn’t good and was a struggle. However, I never had any thoughts or feelings about a thing called anxiety or panic attacks.
    As a child, my family and siblings regularly moved to different countries and went to different schools etc.
    At mid life I made a massive change and became a paramedic. At the end of the third year, after coping with huge life changes, dealing with a work colleague who was very threatening and while studying hard for final exams, my hands suddenly started ‘shaking’: I thought I was developing Parkinsons disease! I then developed severe anxiety: literally it felt like I was having electric ‘shocks’ in my brain, my body would ‘vibrate’, I would wake up in the middle of the night feeling panicky, I couldn’t think clearly etc etc.
    Over the past years I have gradually reduced the anxiety significantly through changing diet, counselling, etc etc.
    The biggest problem I still have is the ‘thought’ that I am going to develop anxiety and start shaking when at work while being watched when cannulating, drawing up medications, etc. When I have that thought (but sometimes the thought seems to be pre-processed by the heart pounding but I think mostly the thought causes the heart to pound rather than vice versa), I start to shake. I therefore take a Beta blocker before going to work to stop it from occurring. (Interestingly, I also shake socially when I go to pick up a hot chocolate or a beer that is filled to the brim of the cup. I think that is because my mind says, “You are going to shake and spill it!”)
    So, here is the question. I have used PSTEC to gradually reduce the shaking; but I do still shake. I have listened many times to PSTEC instructions. PSTEC Positive says it should be used when the negative emotions are gone: I am not sure if that means it should be used only when the negative thought has been totally ‘disengaged’ from the emotion that causes the shaking (very difficult). Should I continue to click on the negative emotions / thoughts until they are TOTALLY gone and I never shake? Or can I use PSTEC Positive to say ‘I will feel confident at work’ even though I currently do still shake and feel anxious while at work?  To state the above more simply, is it against the instructions to use PSTEC Positive to improve work while there is still anxiety caused by work situations?
    If I could, I would just instantly be emotionally the exact same person that I was before being employed as a paramedic!
    Thanks in advance for your response.
    GoingForIt.

    #23994
    AvatarPeter Bunyan
    PSTEC User

    Hi GoingForit

    First thoughts!
    The quick answer is that using PSTEC Positive while you still have you have negative emotions is not so effective as clearing the negative stuff first. Not because it is against instructions but in a nutshell “emotions trump thoughts or beliefs” feelings outweigh words. However you could use Positives first to re-enforce the belief that the Clicks Tracks will work for you better and better. Since you have had partial success already, you know that they can.

    Some questions!
    Have you only used the Basic CTs or the eefs as well?

    Do you know what sorts of situations trigger the shakes? Or is the anxiety non-specific. You were in a stressful situation when the shakes started “Huge life changes” and a “threatening work colleague”. Your ability to handle stress depends on your support network around you, your family and friends and how you well you communicate with them.

    Some initial suggestions.
    Click Track that precise fear that you might get the anxiety/shakes at work while watched. This sort of situation causes a negative spiral and makes things worse.
    Click Track any fears around that threatening colleague and any similar people or incidents when you were younger at school or as a child.
    Click Track any negative feelings concerning those “life changes”.

    There is much, much more, but this seems like enough for the time being and one forum post.
    Thanks for sharing so much. Your story will give others hope.
    Please get back to us if this does not answer your questions and please keep us updated on your progress.
    Regards
    Peter

    #23995
    AvatarGoingForItMore
    PSTEC User

    Hello Peter Bunyan,
    I will start this reply to your response by saying I had to change my registration because I could not remember or obtain my password. So, GoingForIt has changed to GoingForItMore.
    Thanks for your response and advice, very appreciated. So far, I have not used EEF's but from your advice it seems I should do so.
    Interestingly, as you suggested, I had already decided to click on the precise fear of anxiety rearing up while being watched. I am very sure it has made a difference. And, while doing so, a childhood situation came into my head (walking into a new school class in a different country and being 'introduced and watched'), so I clicked on that too.
    Possibly the thing that I find most difficult is trying to figure out whether or not thoughts always precipitate the anxiety or whether anxiety emotions and heart palpitations just 'kick in' before the thoughts for reasons I cannot obtain. If that is correct, how do I click on the emotions without specific thoughts?? In other words, as asked, sometimes it seems the anxiety is non specific so if you can give me any further advice it would be appreciated.
    One more observation: on the internet there are thousands of people talking about and asking questions about having anxiety but very rarely do people state they have got rid of it. Do you think that is because plenty of people fix it and forget it and don't then post positive?!
    Thanks again for your response so far.
    GoingForItMore.

    #23996
    AvatarPeter Bunyan
    PSTEC User

    Hi GoingForitMore
    For Registration and Login issues contact Jeff, he’s a real star.
    Glad to hear you are making some progress, keep on Clicking!
    Re the thing you find most difficult. Let me tell you a fictional story…
    As a young child you fall down a set of red stairs, it hurt, your mother was not around to comfort you. Your language skills are not yet sufficiently developed to explain it, but you remember it. The next time you try those stairs you feel anxious and stumble. You really do not like those stairs. Next time you can manage those stairs but you really hate them. Fast forward many years, you have grown up. You have an irrational fear of heights, avoid stairs and always use lifts, you know you have always hated stairs. Furthermore you get anxious for no reason that you can see at all, at all sorts of times. Actually without you making the connection being near anything the colour red sets off the anxious feelings. Someone who knows that you have this fear of stairs talks to you about it, but not actually near any at the time, but just talking about it makes you anxious. You feel fearful even thinking that you might have to go up some, or approaching a set. You now have a spiral of beliefs and feelings which at some point is a phobia.
    This might seem a stupid story but these sorts of things happen.
    All animals including homo sapiens grow and learn from environmental clues and pressures. We react to learnt feelings and impressions many years later in the form of habits and beliefs. Other animals do also just they do not have the language for complex beliefs. Your subconscious mind processes information far quicker than your conscious mind which has to formulate language from feelings via your imagination. So you actually are triggered to feel before the words to explain those feelings appear. Once however the words are embedded with the feelings it can work the other way. However because the words come later they may be associated with other overlaid feelings besides the initial set, making the associations to the initial set evermore complex. This is why in therapy it is best if possible to work with the earliest set of memories you can recall, the feelings are simpler, more direct. Also why generally we suggest Click Tracks before Positives or Negatives.
    However as it may difficult or not even possible for you to recall things I further suggest using the PSTEC Accelerators. These can also help stimulate recall and help you make connections you did not even know existed.
    Furthermore your subconscious treats scenarios in your imagination as  real. You can use this to help yourself. If you know the sorts of situations that cause your anxiety but cannot recall any reason for it. try to imagine a fictional situation that you would expect to give you problems, feel the feelings and Click Track that. In the fictional story above I would try to get you to imagine that you are about to climb the biggest, highest set of stairs you can imagine and then run the Track. It might also bring to mind that these stairs are red, if so, good!
    Hopefully this helps clarify rather than muddy the waters for you.
    Peter

    #23997
    AvatarPeter Bunyan
    PSTEC User

    Hi GoingForitMore

    I regard anxiety as a mix of emotions mainly fears. Since you can only experience one emotion at a time, these fears can flip-flop quickly or rapidly cycle through, too fast to stick a simple name on. This leads to confusion as well, generates procrastination and the inability to perform. This difficulty to describe can lead to problems in trying to treat, especially where spirals of thought and emotion have built up so you have problems trying to sort out what causes what. If causes cannot be found then using your imagination, that is talking to your own subconscious in a language it can understand, is a way forward. There are many ways to do this but to start with keep working with the PSTEC tools.
    Peter

    #23998
    AvatarGoingForItMore
    PSTEC User

    Thanks Peter. I have done a lot of research and had a lot of counselling about anxiety and panic attacks. In my opinion, your explanation of how the subconscious mind 'works' is excellent and I believe it.
    The way my mind works, I need to have awareness, realisation and knowledge to take effective action.
    At work yesterday I did not shake at all nor have any feelings of panic while attending patients. I hope that continues!
    I will follow your advice and keep on hoping for a great result.
    I might ask more questions down the track.
    Regards, GoingForItMore.

    #23999
    AvatarGoingForItMore
    PSTEC User

    Hello again Peter. If you read this, can you tell me whether I should just use PSTEC Negative on my anxiety. My 'beliefs' seems to be “I have anxiety”. And “I will shake.” And, I will feel anxious” Thanks for a reply!

    #24000
    AvatarPeter Bunyan
    PSTEC User

    Hi GoingForitMore and everyone

    “Just use PSTEC Negative”

    PSTEC Negative is best used as part of a three part system. First Click Tracks, then Negative, then Positive, rather than a stand-alone package.

    My suggestion is to start with the desired outcome stated as an absolute positive. Start taking notes. Words that mean things to you. Example “I do not get the shakes anymore”. Then work backwards what is your negative belief that contradicts that “I will shake”. From that what underlying fears are brought up by that negative. Write all of your ideas and thoughts down.

    Now using your fears imagine a worst case future scenario that would definitely create the shakes. Possibly including things like “loss of control” being “found out” someone else “watching” you. This does not have to be real or logical just a mishmash of horrible things to you, think more dreamlike or more accurately nightmare like.

    Next write out your negative and separately your counter examples. Then your absolute positive, which may have changed a little by now and a softer version, example “Soon my shakes will go away”.

    Now go through run the Click Tracks, then the Negative finishing by tearing up your sheet of paper, then if you feel OK with your absolute run the Positive with that, if not the softer version first.

    If you have it then finish with a Relaxational Accelerator.

    An hour or more is required. This should get some positive movement in your problem.

    Hope this very brief run through helps
    Peter

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