Time flies! I have been busy working on other projects related to my passion of helping those suffering from anxiety. Anxiety can be so debilitating it can definitely affect our whole being. I specialize in anxiety because I have been through it and understand how debilitating it can be on every level. I nicknamed my website and coined the phrase “Just Be Mentally Free” for a reason. “Just Be” to me means living in the present, seizing the moment (Carpe Diem). “Mentally Free” means having a mind that is free from anything that can keep us from being “Just Be.” Hence, “Just Be Mentally Free.” If we can achieve this, to me, we are living in the moment, out of pure love, joy, our mind and body are one, we are in total peace. This is my goal for all of my clients especially those suffering from anxiety.
For those suffering from anxiety it’s nearly impossible to “Just Be” in the present. It takes a real conscious effort. The tragedy here is that TIME flies by when we cannot enjoy the moment, the right here, right now. When we are constantly thinking ahead, or dwelling on the past we lose time, the present time. You cannot get time back! I personally feel that time expands and slows down when we can let go of everything that distracts us. I am in this place and can get anyone here too!
As I stated earlier, I specialize in anxiety and I am on a mission to help those suffering from anxiety. So, please join me on April 16th, at 8:30pm for a live webinar about Anxiety and how you or someone you love can overcome this condition. You can visit my website http://www.justbementallyfree.com and sign up at “Get Anxiety Webinar Access Here” tab or simply click here to sign up and get free access.
If you are not suffering from anxiety please forward this to anyone you know who is. It will change their life!
Have you ever wondered why you cannot make a decision when you’re feeling anxious or you feel like you cannot remember a word or think clearly when you are experiencing anxiety? Anxiety literally shuts down our higher order thinking and makes learning very difficult. There is a scientific reason for this and an explanation why you cannot make a decision when you are feeling fear and anxiety.
The amygdala is a small, almond-shaped clump of neurons deep in the center of our brain. It’s the integrative center for emotions, emotional behavior and motivation. Research has shown that it plays a primary role in the processing of memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions. It’s the filter that leads to the prefrontal cortex. The prefontal cortex is where all of our executive functions take place. The prefrontal cortex resides at the front of the brain and acts as an “executive” for the decision making process, weaving past events to present experiences in order to make the best choices. If the filter (amygdala) is “clogged” with anxiety and fears, our executive functioning (prefrontal cortex) is shut down making it nearly impossible to make decisions, remember information or process new information.
Researchers from the Hawn Foundation have found that, “When we are calm and peaceful the filter [amygdala: an information filter regulated by our emotional state] is wide open and information flows to the prefrontal cortex, where the brain’s so-called executive functions take place. On the other hand when we are feeling negative and stressed out, these executive functions, which provide cognitive control, are inhibited. Indeed information stays in the amygdala; it doesn’t flow into the prefrontal cortex for executive processing. Instead it’s processed right on the spot as fight, flight or freeze. In this way, fear and anxiety effectively shut down higher-order thinking (Scholastic 9).” The MindUp Curriculum. [brain-focused Strategies for Learning-and Living]. New York, NY: Scholastic, 2011. Print.
Remember, you’re not stupid, incompetent or incapable of learning! Anxiety can be very debilitating and can shut us down not only emotionally, but intellectually as well. However, you do not have to live a life being controlled by anxiety. You can overcome this condition and even live an anxiety free life. There is hope. I am proof you can be in control of this condition and live a life of peace that you deserve!
Sign up for my “Be Free From Anxiety” Webinar on April 16th at 8pm EST and learn valuable information about anxiety and how to begin to live a life free from Anxiety and Panic Attacks.
Developing the mind of a champion athlete is just as important as training physically. To reach your full potential as an athlete, you have to start training your mind. Just as you develop physical skills and techniques, you must learn to develop mental skills. In the world of sports psychology, mental skills include staying relaxed under pressure, being in the present, focusing on what’s important, letting go of mistakes, letting go of bad breaks and failures, handling self-doubts and negative thinking, using visualization for upcoming events, motivating yourself, recognizing mental traps and avoiding them, and developing self-confidence.
These mental skills will be difficult to master if you are not “Emotionally Fit.” Emotional fitness is defined as the state wherein the mind is capable of staying away from negative thoughts and can focus on creative and constructive tasks. Being emotionally fit is the key to success in all aspects of life especially as an athlete. Unresolved, negative emotions can weigh you down and prevent success and drain you of the energy you need to be productive daily and optimize your performance.
So what does this have to do with sports performance? Everything. Ultimately, we want congruence between our logic and emotions. If there is conflict between the two, this will cause problems; if not sooner than definitely later. Our toxic emotions can take over our logic, creating self-doubt, fears and lack of confidence. We want our logic to lead the way with a clear vision and plan to achieve our goals. An “Emotionally Fit Self” supports and feeds our logic with confidence and positive feelings. There are some athletes that use athletics as an escape from their unhealthy environment. These athletes may argue they will lose their “competitive edge” if the negative emotions or anger they harbor is resolved. They believe those negative feelings are fueling them to become a better athlete, stronger mentally, and more competitive. Quite the opposite happens. Over time, the negative emotions take over and pose problems. The negative emotions win and personal problems begin to interfere with their sports performance. Negative toxic emotions take over their logic. A professional golfer (name withheld) is a perfect example of this. He is having a lot of problems with his game, especially his short game. He was trained at a young age to have the mental skills to be a champion and based on his incredible success was “Emotionally Fit.” Or was he? There was a reason and deep-rooted cause for his infidelity and sex addiction that came out in 2010 which led to his demise. This has caused his professional sports career to plummet and most recently he blames his “injuries” on his poor play but I will argue he is not “Emotionally Fit.” His logic tells him he has all the physical ability in the world, but his unresolved negative toxic emotions are wreaking havoc and taking over to the point he cannot perform like he used to .
So you may be asking yourself, “How do I become emotionally fit?” Here is a simple test to see if you are emotionally fit. Answer some of these questions:
- Can I think of the past (as far back as infancy until now) and feel ok?
- Is there a negative emotion associated with some past event that I don’t want to deal with and keep burying?
- Is there something that’s plaguing you and you can’t identify what it is?
- Is there someone I have not forgiven in my life?
- Do I tend to see the glass half empty instead of half full?
- Am I sad much of the time?
- Is my current stress level high?
- Am I easily agitated or angered?
- Am I lacking confidence in my personal life and in my sport?
If you answered yes to any of these questions or you felt an “emotional charge,” then you need some work to resolve and become “Emotionally Fit.” If you do, it will require some work on your part with a professional Psychotherapist or Sports Performance Coach like myself. I have been helping people become emotionally fit for 16 years and have developed a system that will get you where you want to be quickly. I use traditional methods and an alternative cutting edge technique that will get you to a place of resolution. As a result, every aspect of your life will improve. It takes a strong person to resolve and deal with their emotions. Becoming “Emotionally Fit” brings you back to why you play your sport in the first place. For the love of the game!
©Copyright 2015 Paul Cartone, LMHC. All Rights Reserved
I combine traditional and non-traditional techniques when I work with clients. This traditional technique is absolutely necessary and happens to be the first step in overcoming anxiety and Panic Attacks. If you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety, this is a very difficult concept and and can be perceived as very risky.
The first step in overcoming anxiety is to Allow Yourself To Feel It. Allowing yourself to feel the anxiety and panic attack will lessen the intensity. If you can train your mind to allow yourself to feel it and experience it, over time, it will become less intense and less scary. This is difficult to do for many reasons. It comes down to fear. Fear, fear, fear. You don’t need to live in fear anymore!
A major characteristic of those with anxiety is the need to be in control. The thought of allowing yourself to feel it is beyond their comprehension especially if the anxiety and panic is so bad it’s ruling their world. When you try to control and contain the anxiety, just the opposite happens. It’s like trying to control this wild caged animal inside of you. It has to get out but the thought of letting it out for the anxiety sufferer is terrifying. So, the opposite happens when you try to control it. The feelings of anxiety intensify inside your body and take total control. This leads to obsessive thinking which can elicit a panic attack. When you try to lock it inside and control it, you are feeding it and giving it more power and fuel to last for a longer time. This is a vicious cycle. The anxiety sufferer must do the opposite. It takes a lot of practice and self-awareness. When the feelings of anxiety present themselves, instead of trying to control it and locking it in, you must immediately give yourself permission to experience it. By giving yourself permission, you are setting yourself up to manage the anxiety and take away it’s power. Making a simple statement like, “I am allowing myself to feel this and I am giving my body permission to have this feeling” is the first step. Next, take a deep breath, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Over time, this will be an automatic response and although you may feel the anxiety, it will be less and less intense. Ultimately, giving you power and control. So, bring it on and invite it to take over when you begin to feel it. Think of it as a game. Opening yourself up and allowing your body to feel it drains the power, and ultimately you win!
If you or your loved one is having difficulty with this first step, you will benefit by learning my non-traditional approach. I guarantee results! Contact me today for a free consult or to schedule an appointment!
A common characteristic of someone suffering from anxiety is the need to be “in control.” If you are suffering from anxiety, someone has probably told you, “Let go of things out of your control.” What exactly does this mean and why is it difficult to do this? What is it that someone suffering from anxiety is trying to “control?”
To sum it up, pretty much everything, i.e. their feelings, their relationships, others’ reactions, their environment and the list goes on. This is an exhausting way to live and a major reason anxiety is so debilitating. For those suffering from anxiety, the idea that the only thing we can control is our self is difficult to understand. What is really controlling them is fear. Fear has such stranglehold that it controls every aspect of their life. As a result, fear is the force behind the issue of control.
A simple traditional technique (Cognitive Restructuring) to help someone suffering from anxiety is to use self-dialogue. It starts with asking themselves a simple question. “Is this within my control?” Most of the time, the answer is no. The next step is to consciously make a statement to themselves saying, “When the time comes I will deal with the______.” The last step is to say, “At this very moment. I am choosing to let go of the this _______ because there is nothing I can do about it.” With practice, over time, it should be easier to manage the obsessive thinking about being “in control” of everything and let go. The goal is to be in the present moment. This technique takes time and discipline. In order for this technique to work, the individual must commit to taking the time to process their thoughts.
However, there is one caveat. This traditional technique may be difficult because underlying fears have taken over. In order to operate without fear, some work has to be done. I believe there is a root cause of fear and once these root causes are discovered, they can be resolved. The underlying root cause is toxic and causes inner turmoil. The result is feeling peaceful inside. So, with resolution, it’s easier to be in the present and to “let go of the things that are out of your control.”
My goal is for everyone to “Just Be Mentally Free” and live a life of peace that you deserve. “Just Be” means living in the present, seizing the moment (Carpe Diem). “Mentally Free” means having a mind that is free from anything that can keep us from being “Just Be.” Hence, “Just Be Mentally Free.” If we can achieve this, we are living in the moment out of pure love and joy. Our mind and body are one. We are in total peace. When we’re not mentally free, we perform below our true potential and fear keeps us from where we can or want to be.
©COPYRIGHT 2015 PAUL CARTONE, LMHC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED