Reducing Anxiety Without Drugs

All creative people experience anxiety from time to time but if it becomes a state of mind that prevents you from achieving your best then it may be time to take a closer look at how you can manage it better.

Anxiety is the emotional state which according to medical journals is on the increase. According to Beyond Blue ( ) more than 2 million Australians experience anxiety. That’s a lot of people!



Are Creatives More Anxious?

In my work as a coach, a number of clients have shared that from time to time they experience anxiety particularly in relation to their art and their career and for some, its a fine line between feeling ‘crazy’ and ‘coping’.

In my experience, there seems to be a higher level of anxiety among creative people but I do acknowledge that may be a gross generalisation on my part! In many cases, coaching can help by showing you how to ‘rewire’ the thinking patterns that are at the heart of the struggle.



Symptoms of Anxiety

Most people who suffer with anxiety would describe a range of symptoms including feeling restless, fatigued, irritable, muscular tension, sleeplessness and difficulty in concentrating.  More severe anxiety, such as a panic attack are more intense and include heart palpitations, sweating, shaking, difficulty breathing, nausea, chest and abdominal pain, dizziness, and intense fear.

Depending on the severity of the anxiety people may engage in some form of escapism – does that sound familiar?  Some of my clients have in the past or are currently dealing with excessive intake of alcohol, drug taking or over eating.  In severe cases of anxiety violence to self and others may be evident.



Anxiety and NLP

Traditional treatments for anxiety include medications such as Valium (Diazepam). These medications are often prescribed in association with counselling or psychotherapy. What is not widely known is the positive affect that NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) can offer people suffering with anxiety. NLP provides short term change processes which give the person back control over their own state. Even hearing that there is a means of addressing this debilitating state has helped my clients.

As an NLP Master Practitioner, I am careful not to give false hope to people suffering with anxiety. I do not believe that NLP should replace the role of a medical practitioner and I would not take a client suffering with anxiety into coaching without a clear understanding of their emotional state and without their doctor’s consent.  Having said this, I have witnessed significant positive change using NLP techniques and daily practices with clients who suffer milder forms of anxiety.

Unchecked symptoms of anxiety can develop into major health and emotional issues. What is your experience and how would you recommend managing anxiety? Please share in the comments area.



Monica O’Brien is a Certified Coach with more than 15 years’ experience working with creative people, business innovators and coaches in various stages of their careers. She is the founder of Creative Edge Coaching. She helps her clients identify their ideal audience and build strong, mutually beneficial relationships, while also empowering them to craft truly authentic offerings, acknowledging themselves and their creativity as having genuine value.


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