Simple Method To Break Your Anxiety

Question Your Anxiety Away

Good morning fellow mental warriors.

It’s been a minute and you bet your bottom dollar I’ve missed you.


I moved recently and crashed mentally my first week into the move (post on the crash coming soon…)

Anyhow, I want to share with you an incredibly SIMPLE technique that I’ve used for the past few years to break out of anxiety and other unwanted mental states.

Recently, a few close friends of mine have been going through rough patches and I shared this process with them and thought you know what let’s share this with the community.

This technique comes from Neuro Linguistic Programming and is referred to as the pain paradigm.

It’s called the pain paradigm because it’s typically used for people who suffer from chronic pain.

Work Office GIF by Stepstone

If you don’t struggle with chronic pain, here’s a brief synopsis of why this technique works for chronic pain:

Often we develop chronic pain and other chronic conditions due to chronic suppressed emotions. This theory was popularized by the late Dr. John Sarno, who after examining countless x-rays realized that there were people with seriously screwed-up backs who didn’t have back pain, and people with perfect backs who struggled with excruciating back pain.

Sarno hypothesized that chronic back pain was due to patients’ mental and emotional states after recognizing the low impact rate of back surgeries on reducing back pain.

Patients of Sarno were diagnosed with TMS, Tension Myositis Syndrome which encapsulates the above hypothesis that your mind creates pain symptoms to aid the repression of our subconscious thoughts and feelings.

Patients were prescribed a series of protocols from education to journaling to alleviate and ultimately eliminate their chronic pain symptoms. There are countless anecdotal stories online of people who were wheelchair-bound and now walk pain-free. If you struggle with chronic pain, I highly recommend researching TMS and Nicole Sachs (who’s one of Sarno’s successors and biggest advocates).

But chronic pain isn’t what this post is about. It’s about breaking out of your anxiety or other unwanted thought loops and emotional states.

Scream Anxiety GIF by Life of a Potato

The pain paradigm is this sequence:

  1. Ask yourself, “What emotion am I feeling now?”

  2. Answer with the emotion. If anxiety it’s usually fear, anger, sadness, shame, or something similar.

  3. Ask yourself, “Is the sensation still there?”

  4. Answer, yes or no. If no, great, go about your day.

  5. If yes, respond, “Great!” and start over at question number 1.

It’s important to note that sometimes you must repeat this sequence of questions 10-20 times before noticing a positive change in your state.

For example, if I’m ever having a terrible bout of anxiety or panic, I might sit there and run through this sequence 10+ times with the answer to the first question being fear every single time. Then my answer might shift to anger, then sadness, and then I’ll feel better.

It’s common for your answer to the first question to shift around from fear to sadness to anger to guilt, etc. You might even start crying or laughing. This is GREAT because it means you’re expressing your EMOTIONS.

Season 6 Reaction GIF by The Office

Expressing my… real emotions?

The more confident you become in expressing your genuine emotions, the less and less mental turmoil you’ll experience.

The whole point of this exercise is to shift your mind from your current negative state, anxiety or something else, to a state of curiosity.

This process allows you to recognize the emotions you’re feeling and potentially suppressing that are causing you to be in a state of anxiety, depression, or panic.

Doing so breaks your negative thought loops and gives you more agency over the feelings you’re experiencing.

If you have ANY questions about using this technique to snap out of bouts of anxiety, depression, or another unwanted state - shoot me a message! I want to make sure this makes sense for all and helps you on your journey to blissful mental health.

You deserve to feel happy, loved, and to hold within you a deep sense of belonging.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and family as this helps grow our community. If you REALLY enjoyed this post, consider becoming a paid subscriber as this helps me pay my bills and write more of these posts. Thank you and love you!


or to participate.