Tame the barracuda that is your anxiety

by Stephen Joseph

Have you ever equated your anxiety disorder with a barracuda fish?

I thought not.

But I will.

Now barracuda fish are pretty ugly fish and they look as mean as hell. Their appearance is a good indicator of their character. Barracudas are also voracious and opportunistic predators that rely on surprise and short bursts of speed.

Sound familiar to something you may suffer from?

Well, I was reading a fascinating story recently about an experiment by a group of marine biologists, told by Michael Hyatt of michaelhyatt.com

They constructed a large water tank into which they placed one of these ferocious barracudas, together with a whole load of ‘bait fish’ (its usual lunch menu).

Of course, the barracuda attacked and ate many of these poor bait fish. However, before too much damage could be done, the marine biologists inserted a glass panel into the tank which in effect created two separate chambers. The barracuda was on one side and the bait fish were on the other side.

Again, the barracuda went for the kill but this time crashed into the glass panel divider. This was repeated a number of times. In the other chamber, the barracuda’s lunch menu was happily swimming round without a care in the world.

Over the course of a week or two, the experiment was repeated daily, each time with the protective glass panel between hunter and prey. As the days went by, the barracuda (which must have had quite a headache) began to become less aggressive and gradually ceased banging into the glass wall.

Finally, the marine biologists removed the protective glass panel entirely and left the big bad killer fish to mingle with the bait fish.

Nothing happened.

No attacks, no murder spree, no le saumon fume.

The barracuda ignored the bait fish as though they were still behind the glass panel.

Amazing right?

Yep, the barracuda in this story can be seen as your anxiety.

If you suffer from “voracious and opportunistic” panic attacks then you’ll know full well the terror that this mental bite causes when it comes upon you quickly and takes you by surprise.

However, with something like the protective glass panel between you and the fear, the panic attacks (as well as general anxiety) will begin to fade.

So the question you’re probably asking now is: “What can be my glass panel?”

My personal protective glass panel was the changing of my response to panic attacks, generalized anxiety and the variety of other anxiety disorders I suffered from.

When I was able to effectively teach my brain to tame the anxiety barracuda by itself then within a very short period of time, I was able to swim free.

At the moment, your brain is miscalculating things quite badly. If it wasn’t then you wouldn’t have an anxiety disorder. Somehow you have programed your subconscious mind to be anxious all (or a lot) of the time.

To be honest, it doesn’t really matter how you did it anymore. What matters is retraining your mind now to act in a suitable manner, free from unnecessary fear and tension.

I did it and so can you.

The brain can do some amazing things.

Just like the amazing things marine biologists do.

And the amazing things glass walls can do to barracudas.

Not to mention the amazing feelings you’ll have when you are relaxed and at ease on a daily basis.

Heck, it’s all amazing!

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Fish dinner anyone?

Stephen Joseph