Song: You’ve Lost, That Tin-gly Feel-ing

There’s that well-known scene in the movie Top Gun when Maverick (Tom Cruise) sings to Kelly McGillis in the bar. It’s the Righteous Brothers song, You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling. Well, we’re changing that up a bit. And yes, I know that’s totally cheesy… But this is a great illustration of anxiety and how misunderstood it us. And how simple it actually is when we understand it. And how ingenious it is as a way for the body to communicate to us. Here we go…

So I was traveling a while back and having breakfast with an old friend. He mentioned that he’d had this tight, tingly feeling in his chest for a couple of weeks. That’s a long time to have a tight, tingly feeling in your chest, by the way. One that you’ve never had before. So I just sort of listened without rushing in. Because it’s annoying when Counselor Guy tries to fix everyone all the time. That ain’t how it works. Relax and let the game come to you.

So I did just that, eating my breakfast and listening, and do you know what he said next? “I think it might be anxiety.” (So it took only 2.3 seconds for the game to come). My readers can certainly guess what I said next: relax for a minute and just take a breath into it. And if it is anxiety, then we’ll know because it’s your body trying to get your attention that something’s bothering you. So I asked him what it might be. But don’t try to figure it out; just relax, breathe, and ask the questions. Then see what comes up. He said that most of his life’s stressors are pretty much the same as they’ve been for a while, so it didn’t seem like that. Things like his job. His job had ramped up a bit recently, but he’s done it for years and he’s seen it all by now. So he didn’t feel like that was it (notice the word “feel”… nice).

Then he said he wondered if it had to do with another situation regarding a loved one. He wondered if he’d been too invested in this other person’s life. This person had some important things going on, and when my friend thought about it, he realized that he’d been totally worried… on behalf of the other person! What a nice thing to notice. He noted that this person is an adult and will be able to survive the situation just fine, and he can let it go. He can help him or support him, but he doesn’t have to worry about it. His body doesn’t have to latch onto it.

So we finished breakfast and hung out some more that day and then we parted ways. And then I got a text the next day saying you know what, that feeling has been totally gone since after we talked about it. Bam! Hells yeah. Love that. Classic stuff, folks. No anxiety disorder, nothing wrong, and certainly no need for medication in this case. All that was needed was an understanding of how this system called the human works and how the body communicates to us about what’s going on in the mind. He was worrying a ton and wasn’t even aware of it, so the body said, “Hey dude, you’re worrying too much. Just calmly think about it instead. Use your wisdom/common sense.” And the voice that the body used to say this was that tight, tingly feeling in the chest. Isn’t that just super cool?? I love this stuff…

Folks, all we’re doing here is learning more about what’s going on. Learning some facts. Psychology has never had facts. It’s been a bunch of theories, and that’s just not good enough. That’s why counseling has always been so hit or miss. I mean, let’s face it, the track record is not that impressive, especially since it’s already 2015. I don’t think anyone can argue with that. It’s time to evolve! I’ve been fortunate to learn some facts about how we’re feeling our thinking and that we have good thinking built in, and I’m doing my best to spread this far and near. And upgrade the field of psychology along the way (good luck with that). There are others out there doing the same as well. It’s like turning the Titanic, though, but we might as well get the ball rolling. So there you go. This is pretty cool. And if you know anyone who is a “victim” to anxiety and doesn’t understand they’re creating it from scratch with their thinking, then please share this! It just takes learning and then gentle practice. Peace out!