As much pain and suffering that sensitive people go through because of worry and anxiety, these are traits that have actually saved humanity’s collective butt since time immemorial.

What do I mean?

Well, first of all you have to understand that anxiety is a thought process. It is NOT a mental disease. When you are anxious, you are thinking about what?

What’s great? What’s wonderful? How everything is going to turn out better than you can possibly imagine?


You are imagining the worst case scenario. Anxiety is thinking about what you DON’T want to have happen.

Am I right? Think about it!

So let’s float back in time for a moment to One Gazillion B.C. You are hanging out with your hunter gatherer tribal buddies and it’s summer time…

As the old blues song goes…

“Summer time and the livin’ is easy…”

It’s warm, there’s plenty to eat and it’s party time.

All of a sudden you have a thought about the future…You suddenly think of the coming… WINTER! You imagine digging through snow drifts for whatever you can find….

You imagine starving…

You imagine your children…hungry…cold…sick…

Hmmmm That just feels really, really bad, right?

So you come up with a brilliant idea. In order to avoid starvation in the winter you come up with the concept of drying food, and storing it in underground containers.

Then thinking about the cold, you come up with the idea that you can make warm clothing…

Thus the first root cellar is born and the fur coat is invented.

Not only is necessity the mother of invention, your ability to think ahead and visualize “bad things” happening enables you to plan ahead and take decisive action to create a different outcome…

Planning for the winter results in your family and tribe surviving! Your children and their children pass along this genetic code. The “lug-heads” who don’t have this ability don’t. They perish. Whoa! Pretty amazing huh?

Survival is a great thing isn’t it?

So those who were able to foresee the future and imagine the worst were able to better plan and as a result create a better future.

Now, fast forward to today. I would be willing to bet that if you are anything like me you’ve been using this wonderful imagination of yours to imagine the worst…

Before every performance as a singer/songwriter I would worry about getting a cold or worry about forgetting my lyrics or a guitar string breaking, or the audience not liking my music…

I could resolve the guitar sting thing by putting on new ones.

I could resolve the fear of going “blank” by having my lyric notebooks on a music stand.

The head cold…and whether people dug my sound or not…Those areas I had to use my NLP Modern Jedi Mind Mastery techniques on.

The point of this story is to:

1. Stop beating yourself up for “having anxiety.” It’s not a defect. It’s not a “sickness.” It’s not a “mental disease.” It’s a survival skill. It’s one of the best things that ever happened to the human race.
2. Start taking charge of what you think about. Easier said than done, I know. For today suffice it to say that the major Anxiety busting technique we use is from Time Line Therapy(tm) (which grew out of NLP) and it is simply a reversal of what you’ve been doing all along: Instead of thinking about what you DON’T want to happen, think about what you DO want to happen.

So, imagine floating out to the future to the event about which you thought you were anxious… stay floating up above the event, looking down on the event as an observer…

Now go 15 minutes farther out into the future and turn and look back seeing that event “working out better than you can possibly imagine.”

Now where’s the anxiety? It’s gone isn’t it?

The reason this technique works is that your unconscious mind does not know the difference between what is real and what is imagined.

So if you imagine horrible stuff you body will literally react as if it’s really happening. Imagine really good stuff and your body will relax as if that good stuff is actually happening.

So practice this. This is not a one time “fix it.” This is a habit that you have to practice. There are days when I am literally walking around chanting:

“Why does it work out better than I can possibly imagine?”,the linguistic equivalent of this visualization technique.

And remember to THINK about what you WANT to have happen. And BTW how about a little appreciation for your “anxious” ancestors. Preparation is a great thing huh?

Anxiety – the ultimate survival tool!


Author's Bio: 

Mark Shepard, NLPT is a master practitioner and trainer of NLP, Hypnosis & Time Line Therapy as well as a singer/songwriter, guitarist, storyteller. He incorporates his original songs into his NLP trainings which he offers online. He is the Author of the Free Multi-Media Special Report: "Clear The Fear Fast: 7 Ways To Stop Anxiety Without Harmful Drugs or Endless Therapy" available at