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This is a transcript of Live the 8Wise™ Way Podcast.

Episode Twenty-Four:

Forever Fearing Fear

Welcome everybody to the Live The 8WiseTM Way podcast with me, Kim Rutherford, Psychotherapist, author, and the creator of the 8WiseTM method for better mental health and wellbeing.

How are you all doing? How is life going for you right now? Are you in a good place? Are you struggling? Whatever your answer, you are in the right place today because today we are going to be talking about a topic that affects every single human on the planet. Today we are talking about fear, and every single human on the planet experiences fear from time to time. So today it’s about forever fearing the fear.

It’s one of the big questions I ask an awful lot of my clients when they come and see me for the first time, especially those clients who come to me experiencing things such as anxiety and I will ask them straight out, do you know what the fear is? And a lot of people will say to me “I don’t know, I don’t think I’m scared of anything, I just feel anxious”. So I thought it’s really important to go through fear with you guys today and make sure that you understand the link between fear and your mental health and how it can trigger certain mental health responses as well, and then for some of you who might be experiencing some of these mental health responses, what I’m going to do in the next episode is I’m going to go into a lot more detail with regards to coping mechanisms for how to manage fear and how to manage some of those mental health conditions that link to it as well.

For me to really, really be able to help people, I think it’s really important that you understand what sits behind the thing you think something is. So, for me, if somebody comes to me with anxiety, it’s important for them to understand that it’s what sits behind the anxiety that’s the issue, not the anxiety itself. The anxiety in the present can feel like it’s the most dominant thing in your life at that time, for example, but actually, when it comes to managing the anxiety or overcoming the anxiety, we really need to understand what sits behind it. I’m a firm believer of understanding the why behind everything, and I say that an awful lot in these episodes, it’s about understanding the why. When you understand the why, you have more knowledge, you have more data to deal with or to work with when trying to resolve what the issue might be. And so today, one of the big whys for many mental health conditions is fear.

So, what is it? Let’s have a look at what fear really is, well, let’s get rid of some of the myths as quickly as we possibly can. Number one, fear is really healthy for us because fear is a killer king emotion. It’s an emotion that’s telling us that we might be in danger, or we are in perceived danger, and it’s that fear that lets us respond to whatever we think that danger might be so it’s actually really healthy to experience fear. Fear itself comes in lots of different shades. There’s no such thing as black and white when it comes to fear. It’s not like you’re not scared, and you are scared, it comes in many shades. Some are not great for us, some actually are really good for us and some we love, some we chase, some we go for the thrill. You imagine ever being scared when you go on the rides at the fairground and it’s fantastic. You absolutely love that fear, it’s the adrenaline that comes with it. For those of you might be addicted to a horror movie, fair play to you, I’m absolutely petrified of horror movies, but that fear that you get there gives you a buzz, it gives you an adrenaline rush.

So not every fear is really bad, not every fear makes you feel incredibly uncomfortable. Some fear we chase because it actually is fun and then on top of that, it’s not as simple as one minute I’m scared and one minute I’m not or one minute I’m not scared and the next minute I am, fear is not as automatic as that. A lot of other emotions can happen really quickly and with regards to fear, in some cases it can come on really, really quickly, but in other cases fear can build up over a period of time. Sometimes that can be hours, other times it can be months, other times it can be years. So, fear isn’t black and white. It isn’t simple. It isn’t something that you can go, right it’s here with us right now, it’s very different for lots of different people and although fear, in theory, is connected to this perceived danger, this perceived threat, perceived is the word to focus on here really, you do not necessarily have to be in danger to be scared. For example, watching a horror movie is a classic example. Again, you’re watching a horror movie, you know you are not in danger, but you can still be scared at the same time, and that’s what fear is. Fear can be nothing, it could be nothing in front of you, and you can still be scared of something, you can still be fearful of something, you could still feel that you’re in danger of something even when there’s no danger there.

The more scared you feel about something, the scarier things will actually seem to you. And again, if we work the horror movie theme into this, if you think about a horror movie, they build up the fear throughout the film. It starts subtle, you know at the beginning something’s going to happen because they want to get you interested, but then it’s quite subtle. You’re expecting something around every corner, but it’s never there and it gets scarier and scarier and scarier. So the more scared you become, the more scarier things become. Things at the beginning of the film that weren’t that scary, suddenly you’re sat on the edge of your seat mid film because that’s what they’ve done, they’ve built up the fear in you, they’ve made you feel more and more scared as time goes on.

And it’s the same with yourself and fear. The more you become scared of something, the more times you will increase how that scarier feeling is you will increase it. So, for example, if you’re scared in the beginning of the day, and this is a classic example of when anxiety comes in for some people actually, if you start feeling scared at the beginning of the day, as the day goes along, more and more things will feel scarier to you. Things that on another day wouldn’t be scarier in any way, shape, or form and because of that, it can dictate the actions that you take. So, I, for anybody who’s listened to any of the previous episodes, when I’ve talked about my own experiences with mental health, my own experiences with agoraphobia specifically, my fear dictated my actions. So, my fear at the time was not knowing where I lived very well, I felt I was scared to drive anywhere, I didn’t really know where I was going anywhere. I suddenly become scared of an awful lot of things that were going on in my life and the way that dictated my actions is I just chose to stop going out.

As soon as you stop going out, your world becomes smaller and smaller and smaller. So that fear that you might be experiencing with regards to it might be the most irrational things in the world when you are going outside all the time, that’s linked to the outside but when your world becomes small and you’re inside all the time, those fears can then navigate inside as well, making your world even smaller and smaller and smaller.

So, for me, my fear dictated the fact that I never left the house, and, at my worst, my fear dictated that I wouldn’t even leave certain spaces in my house. Your fear dictates the actions you take to try and manage it and those actions themselves can sometimes feel really scary for you. And when it comes to fear, it has this amazing way of making us feel like superheroes in the moment. You may have read stories about how in the most scariest of moments, people become the most heroic people ever and that’s because the more real the threat is, the more real the threat that leads to that fear, the more heroic our actions actually become because the chain reaction that happens to us in response to fear really does use every part of our body and our mind to get us out of that situation so you suddenly do have that super strength. You suddenly can see things so clearly that you can make decisions. Suddenly, those things that might have stopped you in the past because you would’ve thought it through too much now, in the moment, you can make decisions really quickly and react really quickly and get yourself or others out of danger.

Those heroic actions linked to fear come from the fear itself. The more real the threat, the more real the heroic actions can be. So based on all of that, I mean, fear isn’t as simple as maybe you may have thought it was, it isn’t as simple as one minute you have it, one minute you don’t, or only really brave people don’t have it in all of this kind of thing we hearing. But fear is probably one of the most normal things that we would ever, ever experience, and it’s the universal trigger. The universal trigger for fear is that we are feeling threat, under threat, and that’s feeling the threat of harm whether that’s real or it’s imagined. So, I want to make it quite clear to everybody right now, that if you are living with somebody who has anxiety, for example, or has a phobia or may struggle with panic disorders, things like that, and you are saying that you’re not making any sense, it’s not clear, it’s not rational, there’s nothing here to scare you, this isn’t scary, you keep telling them that then you’re actually doing a lot more harm than good because the reality of it is the fear is within the person. The threat of harm is what is a threat or a harm to them. You might not see it, you might not understand it, but it doesn’t mean it’s not real to them, and the response that you see from them is a response to incredible fear.

In your case, if you have that, it’s worth listening to the person and understanding what they are scared of, what they are fearful of, not trying to look at it from your point of view, but trying to really understand it from their point of view because a threat can be for our physical, emotional or psychological wellbeing, meaning that it can be linked to absolutely any of those things.

We could be fearful that something physical is happening to us. So, for example, health anxiety is a classic one. Again, if you’ve ever listened to my previous episodes, I’ve talked about my own experience with health anxiety and whenever I felt any form of physical pain, it would trigger me into incredible levels of anxiety to the extent where I truly thought I was dying. I thought that something horrific was happening to me to the extent where I even went to the hospital thinking I was having a heart attack. So, in that moment, my threat was to my mortality, to my health. It can be emotional pain, this is one of the strongest pains there is, and we can be very fearful of experiencing emotional pain. So if you think about people who actively choose not to go into relationships or be very fearful of starting new relationships because they’ve experienced pain in their previous relationship, that’s because they’re fearful of experiencing that emotional pain again. Their pain is so strong that it’s led to a fear of emotional pain. And so, people can then change their behaviours. They can choose to live in isolation in order not to feel that again.

And then we’ve got the psychological elements as well. Anxiety itself is a psychological effect. It’s a threat to our psychological wellbeing, and for some people, just waking up and feeling anxious is enough to trigger longer periods of anxiety, longer periods of fear, simply because they’re feeling that something is wrong with them mentally. I have it a lot. An awful lot of my clients will say to me, I’m just scared that I’m going crazy. I’m scared I’m losing my mind. And that’s that, that’s a threat, that’s a threat to their psychological wellbeing and that in itself can then trigger many, many more responses connected to things like the anxiety. So, it’s a threat. It’s a major threat, and it’s a threat for everybody.

So, fear is a threat of harm, whether it’s real, whether it’s imagined and it’s a threat to our physical, emotional, psychological wellbeing, and there are certain things that trigger fear in most of us, and we can become afraid and we can learn to become afraid of nearly anything. Things that you might have not worried about at all when you were young. For me, I never cared about fairgrounds. I used to love going on all the fairgrounds, never worried about it at all. As I’ve got older, and I’ve read more stories and I’ve heard about more experiences, now I have a bigger fear connected to fairgrounds. I still face my fear, but it doesn’t stop me feeling more scared now than I would’ve done 20 years ago. And so that fear, that fear in all of us, tends to manifest in lots of different ways, but the most common ways that fear manifests inside of us is in anxiety, is in panic, and is in phobias.

If you ask somebody who experiences any form of level of anxiety, any form of level of panic or phobias, then really if you want to know the why, what lies behind those things, then it’s that you are fearful. You are fearful of something, whether it is in your past, whether it is in your present, whether it is in your future, whether it is it’s in the life around you, or whether it’s perceived, you are feeling fear and its fear that is driving that response. And again, it’s reminding you, fear is natural. There’s nothing wrong with you, you’re not weird, you’re not crazy, you’re not losing your mind. Fear is natural. It’s incredibly powerful, and it’s primitive. It’s a primitive human emotion that alerts us to danger. When I say primitive, I mean that within all of us, obviously, although the human race has evolved, we still have a primitive part to our brain, which is primitive in the fact that it’s that early day’s caveman response to things and fear is one of our primitive emotions. It’s that emotion that, in the days where we really did and where everything in the world around us was a potential danger, we needed to be on high alert.

And so, fear is our natural way of being on high alert. So never ever think that there is something wrong with you just because you are scared of something and don’t ever make the error of judging others because they are scared of certain things. What might seem completely irrational to you is not irrational to them, and in their case, they feel fear at its most raw, at its most primitive state.

Fear itself can be a symptom of some mental health conditions. So mental health conditions such as panic disorder, fear is a symptom of panic disorder and can also be a trigger for panic disorder. Social anxiety disorder is linked to fear. Phobias are linked to fear. PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder is linked to fear. So fear is very much connected to mental health, it tends to be composed of two primary reactions. So, we could have two types of reaction to fear, one is biochemical, and one is emotional.

Now we tend to pay more attention to the emotional responses, to our fear because they’re the ones that we feel in our internal world. So, it’s when it’s highly personalized to us, we can have lots of chemical reactions to our brain, but they will be more linked to our own emotions such as happiness and excitement and things like that. And fear, in certain circumstances as I’ve said, can be incredibly fun. I mean, a lot of us chase fun and any of you adrenaline junkies out there, you are addicted to fear my friend. You are somebody who uses fear in a very different way to somebody who might be experiencing anxiety, for example. Your fear is where your adrenaline and your fun in life comes from and when it comes to biochemical stuff, what we’re really looking at is how our bodies respond in certain ways to help us manage that fear, manage that danger, and this is when I was talking about those superhero powers coming in. These superhero powers come in from the biochemical reaction to the fear so you might feel things like sweating, that increased heart rate, your adrenaline levels are getting higher and higher and higher. It’s known as your fear, fight or flight response. You probably heard me talk about it quite a few times, but it’s an amazing piece of internal biochemical equipment that we have to help change our body so that we can learn to get ourselves out of whatever danger that is.

One of the problems that we’ve got is when there is no danger and we still have all of those symptoms, it is those symptoms that we become very, very fearful of, and that’s what we tend to be feeling when we have anxiety, panic, and things like that.

So when it comes to anxiety, this is a mental and physical reaction to those perceived threats. What happens is we are fearful of something. It makes us feel that we’re fearing a threat of some form, and the combination of the mental and physical reaction to those threats causes us anxiety. Now in really small doses, this is absolutely fine. When people are talking about anxiety as a major, major mental health condition or mental illness, I don’t want to be blasé back a bit, but it isn’t because we’re supposed to experience anxiety. So, you experiencing small amounts of anxiety is not you having a mental health problem. That is not you having a mental illness. That’s not a mental health condition that is normal. It is a normal part of the human body and the human brain. We are supposed to feel anxiety, anxiety helps us to manage the dangers that we might be in, manage the threats we might be in. The problem that we’ve got with anxiety is when it starts to grow, basically when it grows and it grows and it grows and it’s no longer a response to something, and then it’s actually changed our lives and it’s changed the way that we live our lives.

Anxiety itself only becomes problematic when it affects how we live our lives or makes the quality of our life a lot worse and when anxiety decreases the quality of our life, that’s when it then also tends to link to other mental health issues as well.

So, for example, my anxiety triggered my depression. My anxiety with my depression triggered my agoraphobia. The anxiety alone was not enough for me to have mental illness, but it combined with other elements, became something that I had to deal with as a mental illness. So, we know anxiety protects us from danger and it focuses our attention on the problem because it changes the way our brain works, because it changes the way that our body works, it means that we’re hyper focused, hyper super focused on problem solving, which is why for those of you who find that you can’t sleep when you’re experiencing anxiety because you’re overthinking, overthinking, overthinking, what is actually happening is that anxiety is providing you with a lot more attention, a lot more focus to try and problem solve what you think might be there. And so when you don’t know what it is, you are basically trying to look at all the different things that might be going in your life and you’re trying to process all of them in order to problem solve them, and that can keep you awake for hours and hours and hours.

For those of you, for example, who might have to have a big important conversation, whether it be with a partner or a friend or a boss, the night before it’s very likely that you don’t sleep very well because what you tend to do is try to manage your anxiety, trying to manage the problem, why is it scary, so it becomes less scary for you. And what tends to happen in that moment is what you do is think of every potential thing that could happen within the conversation you’re due to have, you plan everything, how you’re going to talk, how you’re going to walk, how you’re going to respond, the information you want to give, the information you want to get, what you want to come away with, and you think about every possible scenario to help you feel in control of the situation.

And by feeling in control of the situation, you feel less scared, you feel less fearful, so you reduce your anxiety symptoms and therefore reduce your fear with regards to that situation as well. Therefore, anxiety does affect your overall mind and your overall body and so it has this really, really powerful way of controlling us, which is why, although it’s very normal and it’s very natural for us if we stay in a state of anxiety for much longer, and by that I mean something that it doesn’t just trigger as a stage of this for 10 minutes, for example, that suddenly it’s with us for a day, two days, three days, and so on, and so on and so on and before you know it, you’re living in a constant state of anxiety. Then that’s really, really important to get rectified, because what’s happening with that is it’s now affecting your body and it’s affecting your mind so it’s affecting you psychologically and physically at the same time.

That sense of doom that you might feel might be triggering panic attacks, extreme headaches, for example, depression starts to kick in, irritability, that constant pounding heartbeat is because your blood pressure’s increasing quite dramatically, irregular breathing issues because the way your breathing changes due to the change in your body, you can lose your libido so it can affect your relationships that you are in as well. You can get an upset stomach from it, so it actually starts to affect your eating and your digestion process. You can get extreme fatigue from it so this is when you can absolutely be exhausted all the time from excessive levels of anxiety.

And, like I said, it’s increasing your blood pressure so that in itself causes a problem. And then you can have your muscle aches and other pains as well. So having anxiety that stays with you for too long, in the short term those things happen and they happen within about two minutes and when the adrenaline burns off all of those aches and pains and all of that physical change changes back to how you were before. But if you are living in a constant state of anxiety linked to whatever you are fearful of, whatever’s triggering it, then the actual impact on your body can lead to some other health issues. And so it’s really, really important that if you are someone listening to this today saying, right, I know I’m in an unhealthy anxiety cycle, for example, then it is something you need to go and get sorted out and if you can’t do that alone and be realistic, most people can’t do it on their own, when we’ve got into that stage where the anxiety’s kind of taking over and having such an impact on us, we do tend to need to get help.

So, if that’s the case, then you do need to reach out. I would say most of the people that come to me, come to me with symptoms of anxiety. That could be because of the nature of the people that I tend to work with, people in very high powerful jobs, high powerful levels within their jobs, a certain age in their life. So they’re juggling lots of responsibilities at home and lots of responsibilities in work and the more responsibilities that we have, the more exposure we have to different things that can be triggering our fear and then triggering our anxiety. But some of the most common symptoms that people walk into my Therapy Suite with are anxiety and it is really important to be able to learn how to cope with the symptoms you’re experiencing in the moment, but also understand what lies behind them so that you understand what is there underneath. That’s the problem you need to solve.

When we’re talking about my mental health gun, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about then please go and listen to some of the previous episodes, then what I’m talking about is what lies behind your anxiety is those bullets. You need to understand which bullets you’ve got that are triggering your response with anxiety. So that’s the anxiety element.

Another really common condition linked to fear is panic and panic is in a deep cycle, so a lot of the time you’ve got the fear. The fear triggers the anxiety. As the anxiety stays with you for longer and longer, the anxiety can then trigger a panic attack. A panic response. Then what happens after a panic attack, you might have then generated a fear of panic attacks because panic attacks are really scary and for any of you who’ve ever experienced them, my heart goes out to you, it truly, truly does because they’re one of the most scariest things as a human we can ever experience.

When we’ve had a panic attack, now we are fearful of ever having another one because they’re so unpleasant. What that fear does is generates more anxiety. The more anxiety we have then generates more attacks. More attacks generate more fear. So, you’re then in this stage of living a life of a cycle of panic. The fear leads to the anxiety, the anxiety leads to the panic, the panic leading to more fear, more fear leading to more anxiety, more anxiety leading to more panic attacks, more panic attacks lead into more fear and round and round and round the circle goes. And with anything that’s in a cyclical format, you just need to learn to break the cycle somewhere.

The best way is to learn how to manage the fear or cope with the anxiety, so it never leads to the panic itself because panic attacks are brief periods of incredibly overwhelming fear and anxiety. They are so much more intense than normal anxiety itself and include a number of physical symptoms so they’re really, really scary. I mean, I’ve experienced panic attacks, they are petrifyingly scary, and they can leave us all feeling like we’re having a heart attack. As I said, mine felt like I was having a heart attack. I went to the hospital because I thought I was dying. I really, really did. I was in my late thirties. I was feeling every single part of my body felt like it was going to explode. It was horrific. Really, really horrific. But the funny thing is, panic attacks make us feel like something really, really bad is going to happen, but they don’t actually cause any physical harm themselves, and that’s the craziness of panic. It makes us feel like we’re in harm, but it actually causes no harm whatsoever.

And they are very brief, but the intensity of them is what is so petrifying, and it stays with us for such a long time. So, the symptoms of a panic attack, it tends to peak at around about 10 minutes, and it can end within about 30 minutes. But we have to be realistic, some of the symptoms can linger around and last for at least over an hour in some cases. So we can sometimes feel like we’re still having a panic attack but it’s actually a little bit like if you were walking up a big mountain, it gets bigger and bigger and bigger. As you get to the top, it peaks at the top, and even though you’re rolling down the other side, you can still feel the fatigue and everything that came from walking up that mountain.

And that’s exactly what happens with panic attacks. A strange thing about panic attacks is they can seem to occur really randomly, so it might just happen. You’ve got no idea where it’s come from. Remember how I said earlier, when it comes to fear, fear can build up. It doesn’t have to be something that’s in the moment around you.

You could be going through a phase of being very fearful about numerous things and it’s building up and building up and building up subconsciously, and you’re not aware of it and then suddenly, boom, it hits you with a panic attack. So it can, it can happen very randomly and that can be the scariest one of all, not just because you go through that whole fearful experience of panic, but then our brains naturally, because of the anxiety, naturally lead us to trying to problem solve it.

It’s really hard to problem solve something when you don’t know where it started from. On the other side of that, it can be really closely linked to anxiety, so you’ll know you are feeling the anxiety, the anxiety’s building, building, and building and building, and, bang, it turns into panic. The concept of what we call panic disorders, these occur when a person has frequent worry or fear of future panic attacks. So, again, when I said that cycle, we go to anxiety, panic, and then we fear another one. The more fear, the bigger the fear it actually leads to a panic disorder, and it’s when it becomes a panic disorder that becomes a mental health issue or a mental illness.

Then the other side of most common fears for humans is phobias, are you that person who’s scared of spiders, for example. Is there something in your life you’re absolutely petrified of that nobody else understands? It’s not rational to anybody else, but for you, it really, really is.

Most common things are a phobia of an object, a phobia of a place, a phobia of a situation, a feeling, or an animal. The more pronounced fears are phobias. So, it’s really pronounced, it’s really exaggerated, it can be incredibly unrealistic about the situation or the object or the animal that you can see in front of you or not even see in front of you and a phobia becomes very severe if a person organizes their life around avoiding the thing that’s causing them the anxiety. So, for me, I became petrified. I had a phobia of driving. I had my car crash, it led to high levels of anxiety and all of those types of things, and it grew and it grew and it grew and before you knew it, I had a phobia of driving, so I would change my entire life. And considering I had a job that needed me to be able to drive, I changed my entire life in order to not have to get behind the wheel of a car and that caused problems in so many different areas of my life. But that was how I was managing that fear and that phobia at that time, I had to learn to face the fear, and that’s what I did. And I now can drive, and I can sit behind a car and I’m absolutely fine, but at that time, for a good few year, I would do absolutely anything within my power not to have to be able to ever sit behind a wheel of a car again, which made my life very difficult and my job incredibly difficult. So, what can happen is you can end up restricting your life, your day-to-day life.

So again, a lot of my agoraphobia came from my phobia because what would happen originally, the only way that I could get around where I was living was to drive. There were no buses, there was nothing like that and it was a place I didn’t really know so there’s no chance I was ever going to get behind the wheel. So suddenly I wouldn’t get behind the wheel. Now I don’t know where I’m going when I’m walking anywhere, so I’m now scared of leaving the house and that then led to my agoraphobia. So, as well as restricting your day-to-day life, it can also cause you so much distress as well and, as I said there’s lots of very, very simple phobias. So simple phobias tend to centre around particular objects, animals, situations or activities they tend to develop during childhood or adolescence and the most common ones are simple phobias, such as animal phobias, dogs, spiders, snakes, and rodents being the most common. Environmental phobias such as heights, deep water and germs being most common with those. Situational phobias, this is things like visiting the dentist or having to fly. I spend a lot of time doing hypnotherapy on people who are petrified of flying. Bodily phobias such as blood, vomit or having injections and sexual phobias such as performance anxiety or fear of getting STIs. So, they’re the most simple phobias. Simple in the fact that they are a simple reaction to something, not simple in the way we experience them.

Then there are complex phobias as well. Complex phobias tend to be more disabling than simple phobias. They usually develop during adulthood and are often associated with much more deep-rooted fear or anxiety about particular circumstances or particular situations. So, the two most common complex phobias are agoraphobia and social phobia, and these develop in adulthood. They don’t tend to develop in childhood or in our teenage years. That’s not to say that people in childhood or adolescence don’t experience them, they do, but it is more common to actually develop in adulthood.

So that is pretty much what I wanted to explain to you about fears today and the reason I want to explain this to you is because, again, it’s the why, it’s the why behind anything. If any of you listened to my podcast last week, I read chapter two from my book with regards to the meaning of life and to live a meaningful life. The reason those questions mean so much to me is because I want to understand what sits behind something. I want to know how something works. You know, I will look at a magic trick and go, yeah, the magic trick’s great, but how did they make that happen? I watch a film and go, yeah, that was great, but how did they make that happen? And that’s how I’ve lived my life. So, for me, in order to understand and to overcome major obstacles in life and things that might block us in life, and things that might cause us major issues in life, the best way to handle them, the best way to overcome them, is to understand what lies behind them, what lies beneath as such, because what we see on the surface is never what the true issue is.

When you walk into a therapy room, you come to me and you would say to me, Kim, this is my issue, I’m experiencing this at this moment in time. And if you think of yourself as an iceberg, what you are coming to me to talk about is what you think sits on top of the water of your iceberg and what I know is what sits at the bottom of that iceberg, the bit that sits under the water, the bigger part of the iceberg is what we will need to work on. If you are walking in saying to me or to any other therapist, I’m experiencing phobias, I’m experiencing panic disorders, I’m experiencing anxiety, for example, then the therapist is going to work with you on learning to cope with the symptoms linked to what you’re experiencing so we can make your everyday life a little bit better. But then also to really, really sort it out for you, we need to get to the crux of the issue. We need to understand the why. What lies beneath the top of your iceberg, what is triggering those fears? And some of them can be so deep rooted, you would never be able to just have an idea of what it is. It’s not as simple as, oh, I knew this happened to me when I was 12 years old, for example.

Life isn’t as simple as that sometimes. Sometimes the fears that we’re experiencing are really deep rooted, and it doesn’t even have to be because they’re the most horrific things that have ever happened to us, it just could be that they were such a long time ago and they’re embedded in us in such a deep way, they’re not something that we consciously recall very often, but it doesn’t mean they’re not triggering us. It doesn’t mean they’re not navigating us, it doesn’t mean they’re not driving us. So, working with me in therapy, that’s exactly how I work. I will help you with the coping mechanisms in order to then be able to do the deep-rooted work, what I call ‘heal from the past’, learn to manage the challenges of the present and then create a healthy, happier future for a better quality of life moving forward. And that’s what managing fear should help you to do.

So, I hope you have found that useful. As I said, if you find that you are experiencing issues connected to anxiety or any of the anxiety disorders I mentioned, then I do highly recommend that you get some support. Therapy is a very, very good way of getting support with regards to fear, anxiety, OCD, phobias, agoraphobia, anything like that whatsoever. Anything that you know is a fear stopping you from living your life. A fear that has stopped you having a good quality of life, a fear that stopped you being healthy and happy in your life, then go and get some support with it because I say to everybody, we all deserve to have the best quality of life we can possibly have and if fear of whatever that fear might be linked to is stopping you, then go and get it sorted. Don’t be scared of your life. You’re going to be living your life to the full as much as you can.

So, I hope you have enjoyed this episode. As I said, what I’m going to do in the next episode is talk through a lot of coping mechanisms that you can use to manage some of the things that we have been talking about, so we’re going to talk about those in the next episode and I hope you join me for that.

If this is your first time joining me, thank you so much. I really appreciate you coming along and being part of the 8WiseTM Way. Living the 8WiseTM Way is how I’ve managed my mental health and wellbeing. It’s how I help my clients manage their mental health and wellbeing as well and so I hope by listening to this podcast and gathering all the tools and information, it can help you improve your mental health and wellbeing too. But if you’re loving it, then please go back and listen to the other episodes. I do recommend listening from episode one, because episode one takes you through the entire methodology step by step by step, so you can almost use it as having a psychotherapist in your hand and implement your own strategies for looking after yourself.

Now, what I would love for you to do as well is hit the like button. Comment below if you want to get in touch. If you want to, you can come to me directly at and we’ll make sure that information is in the comments below. You can always check out my website and on the website you will be able to find lots of resources, free resources, to help you to manage your mental health and wellbeing, including the 8WiseTM evaluations and the 8WiseTM action plans and you can also access all of the other episodes of the podcast as well as all the transcripts from every previous episode too and as you always know, my book 8WiseTM Ways to a Healthier, Happier Mind plus the 12 Week Journal, the 12 month planner, and the pocket book are all available there as well.

What I am really, really excited to tell you is that I’m currently in the process of recording 8WiseTM Ways to a Healthier, Happier Mind into the audio book and the audio book will be available for you in 2023. So, if you are that person who prefers to listen to books rather than read them, then you will get all of that coming to, well, coming to a set of headphones to you very, very soon, hopefully.

So I’m in the process of recording that as well and if there is anybody out there, as I’ve said, who is struggling and would like some support, but maybe you can’t afford to get to see a therapist or your life doesn’t let you get to have the time to see therapists, for example, then I will be launching in January the 8WiseTM Ways courses with regards to how you can come, there’s three courses, there’s the Masterclass, which is a really simple knowledge based course that can give you some more information on how you can look after yourself using 8WiseTM, there is the 8WiseTM Discovery which is all about looking at yourself, understanding yourself on a slightly deeper level so that you then know yourself better for creating your own strategy for Living the 8WiseTM Way or for those of you who really want to make some major change, then you can actually come onto the 8WiseTM Accelerator course. The 8WiseTM Accelerator course really is, it’s the process that I would use with you on a one-to-one. We do it over 12 modules, and it takes you through the knowledge and understanding, it helps you with the self-discovery. But what we then also do is help you to develop your own strategy and actual tangible action plan with the things that you need to do to improve all the elements of 8WiseTM for you. So, your wellness spectrum is much better, much better balanced, and therefore you’re improving your mental health and wellbeing as well.

So, if you are interested in that, then please get in touch and I will give you lots more detail and lots more information. And as I said, the whole reason I did this, the whole reason I set up 8WiseTM was I set it up to help me, to help me with my mental health and it worked so now I use it to help as many other people as I possibly can. That’s why I ask for you to share. That’s why I ask for you to like, that’s why I ask for you to subscribe because we know across this world right now, a lot of people are struggling in isolation. They’re struggling alone. They think there’s no one there for them. They don’t know what to do to get the help and the support they need. I want this to be the help and support people can access. So, the more people we share it with, the more people we might be able to help, and I hope it helps you too.

So, thank you very much for joining me, Kim Rutherford, Psychotherapist, author and creator of 8WiseTM and I look forward to seeing you at the next episode of Live The 8WiseTM Way.

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