I have a powerful exercise for you today.
This exercise is not an easy one but none of the powerful ones are.
It is called the Big Picture Exercise and it will give you the motivation to achieve a full recovery from anxiety.
This is an imaginary exercise but I really want you to play along with it in order to get the full benefit of doing it.
You will need a pen and paper for this exercise.
The Big Picture
The exercise begins with an ending…
I want you to imagine your life has suddenly ended!
This very second without any warning, you have just passed away (from natural causes).
You now find yourself in the peaceful celestial realms of the afterlife.
In your hands you find a beautiful book with your name inscribed on the front of it.
As you open it and look inside, you find snapshots of your entire life.
The snapshots start with your birth and lead right up until this very moment.
Start at the beginning of the book and take as much time as you need to go through it all in your imagination.
Close your eyes if it helps to achieve this.
Recall as much of your life as you can.
Events from your early childhood leading up and through your adolescence and into your adult life.
It does not matter if you can’t remember much from certain periods. The idea is to just get a nice overview of your life.
Flow with whatever comes to mind.
As you do this exercise pay attention to any feelings that arise.
What moments do you remember that bring you joy?
Are there regrets?
Are there things you wished you could have said or done?
Is this more difficult now that you have passed away and can no longer change anything about your life?
What would you give to have just one more shot at life?
Write down whatever comes to mind down.
Now lets focus on just the anxiety you experienced in your life.
I want you to, as honestly as possible, see what effect anxiety has had on your life up until your imaginary passing.
As painful as it might be, consider what the cost of anxiety has been to your life.
I don’t mean in financial terms, (that’s pretty irrelevant now that you have passed away), I mean more so in terms of how it affected your sense of freedom, or friendships , career, love, or family.
Be as honest in your feelings as possible and allow whatever comes up to surface and just sit with it.
I understand how hard this can be but trust me it is important to get a proper perspective and understand of the impact anxiety has had on your life.
Take some time and write down whatever comes to mind.
Now… by divine intervention, your life has been miraculously returned to you. You find yourself back in your old life alive and well!
What is it like to suddenly have your life back?
If you really threw yourself into this imaginary journey you might have a few things that you want to address.
Maybe people you want to communicate with or maybe things you want to put right.
Maybe no such things have come to mind and that is ok too.
I want to keep the focus now just on the anxiety aspect of your life.
You might now have a clearer understanding of the impact anxiety has had on your life in general.
If your anxiety is only a recent problem then that impact will be negligible but if it has been going on for many years the impact has probably been quite significant.
Now with the same paper and pen I want you to set some goals for the life that has been given back to you.
You are the master of your fate.
How do you wish your remaining years to be?
What are the obstacles anxiety has created that you now wish to finally overcome?
Write it all out on a new page.
Go into detail about the things you want to achieve with the time that has been given to you back on this earth.
Each person is different. Some may map out small goals others will have really big ones.
These goals are going to become your motivation to keep you focused on achieving a full recovery from anxiety.
What you write here will give you the power to achieve what you want and to get you through any setback.
Keep this piece of paper someplace private that you can revisit any time you need a reminder.
Your brave new life is waiting for you.
Comment from Dr. Ron Grisanti:
The diagnosis and treatment/management of anxiety has both a physiological and psychological component. Both are essential for a successful outcome. I have recommended a program called “Panic Away” created by Barry Joe McDonagh for many of my patients with good success. This program does a good job on helping patients with the psychological component of anxiety and panic attacks.
For more information on Barry Joe McDonagh’s Panic Away Program Click Here!
The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his functional medicine community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Visit www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com to find practitioners thoroughly trained in functional medicine. Look for practitioners who have successfully completed the Functional Medicine University’s Certification Program (CFMP) www.functionalmedicinedoctors.com. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Dr. Grisanti is required.
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