Last week I had a client who arrived at our session with anxiety at work.
After some coaching inquiry, it was revealed that in his previous job, his manager gave him some serious negative grief over missing his sales numbers. Apparently his manager was a student of negative reinforcement and proceeded to make his life miserable in an attempt to “motivate” him.
While it did “motivate” him, it also caused him to feel a ton of stress, feel anxiety and failure towards his job when previously he was able to shrug off negative events and move forward. It was so severe that he would feel tremendous tension in his shoulders and a massive tightening in his chest.
Now, in his new job, he continued to feel the same reactions in his body when he worries about meeting his sales numbers. This, despite the fact that he acknowledges that his current manager is very supportive and a totally different personality than his previous one.
What to do?
This was a perfect opportunity to reprogram his nervous system.
What? Huh? Reprogram someone’s nervous system?
Yep. It can be done.
The computer metaphor is very applicable here. The software that runs inside us is more malleable than you think.
It is constantly being programmed and reprogrammed, from the time of our birth and up until today.
Our bodies are always looking for safety and coping with 21st century saber tooth tigers. Encounters with saber tooth tigers both large and small program and reprogram our bodies to respond to the ongoing mass of stimuli every day.
Sometimes, though, we are programmed to respond in a way that no longer serves us, but the program is still running inside us.
Just like with my client. He was no longer threatened by the original saber tooth tiger, but he still responded as if the same tiger was about to eat him.
OK here we go. Through a simple visualization exercise along with breathing, in a few minutes we were able to reprogram his response to the situation. At the end of this exercise, he brought the situation back into his consciousness and reported no longer feeling tightness in his chest, dramatically reduced tension in his shoulders, and he noted feeling no anxiety but only peace.
Hey my computer science degree still useful now after all these years!
Now…how about you?
What situations can you think of where your body reacts? Sweating? Tension? Shaking? Hot or cold? Shortness of breath or quickened breathing?
If you have these situations with physical reactions, would you like to get rid of them? Post your situations in the comments and let’s see if we can reprogram you!