Ep.69: Letting Go of Anxiety with Ashley James
Today we get to talk about how to let go of your anxiety. Ashley James will be joining us to share her wealth of knowledge on holistic health and anxiety. Ashley struggled with health issues her whole adult life, including infertility. When she was 19 she was told, by an MD and an endocrinologist, that she couldn’t have kids. Through holistic medicine, Ashley cured her diabetes, resolved her hormone issues, got her energy back and stopped the chronic infections. What’s most impressive is after 6 years of trying to get pregnant without natural medicine, Ashley and her husband were able to naturally have a baby thanks to naturopathic medicine and nutrition! Over the last 6 years, Ashley and her husband have built several interesting businesses including reaching the top rank of a holistic network marketing company, living off of a thrifty eBay business and building and selling bat houses from their garage to aid in bat conservation.
When Ashley was 22 she lost her Mom to cancer. This loss was so great it caused Ashley to reassess her life. She became determined to learn how to help others lead healthier happier lives. First, Ashley became a massage therapist and Reiki Master. Then she became a master practitioner and trainer in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Time Line Therapy, Hypnosis, and coaching.
Ashley is passionate about her podcast and building it’s listenership because she is on a mission to changes lives by bringing holistic health information to those who, like her, are seeking better health naturally!
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
Register for her free webinar on Ending Anxiety: HERE
Learn more about Ashley and her podcast Learn True Health: http://learntruehealth.com/
Robyn: Hey, everyone. It’s Robyn Openshaw, and welcome back to Vibe. I have someone interesting I want to introduce you to today. I feel like it’s become a theme that everybody in the health and wellness world that I brought on this show to talk about their expertise in health, in wellness, in nutrition, had quite a path, quite a journey, and I have a new friend. Her name’s Ashley James. She’s a health coach. She had struggled with health issues her whole life, and like me, she struggled with infertility as one of her issues. I personally went through five years of infertility and treatments, the testing, all of the tests twice, five artificial inseminations. She had been told, when she was 19, an endocrinologist told her that she would never have children. When Ashley was only 22, her mother died of cancer, and this was a really devastating loss and caused her to take a close look at what she wanted to spend the rest of her life doing, and she decided she really wanted to be part of helping other people live healthier lives.
She became a massage therapist, a Reiki master, a master practitioner in neuro-linguistic programming, if you’re familiar with NLP, and a lot of other things, like hypnosis, Time Line Therapy, different types of health coaching. Throughout her young life, in her 20s, she was struggling with hormone issues, diabetes, weight gain, lots of infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, and the medical doctors had just been offering drugs to manage symptoms, but she had not arrived at answers to help her body heal, so in 2011, she started looking at naturopathy and holistic medicine for answers.
She completely reversed her diabetes, resolved her hormone issues, got her energy back, stopped all the chronic infections, and what’s most exciting is that, like me, after six years of trying to get pregnant the traditional medical way, only their interventions, Ashley and her husband, after six years, were able to actually have a baby recently thanks to naturopathic medicine and cleaning up her diet. Same thing for me. Once I cleaned up my diet, the other three babies came easily, quickly, without intervention. Ashley actually is, I know this is a really long intro, but one of the reasons I wanted to have her on this show is that I’ve actually sort of tried to hire her, because she interviewed me on her podcast, which is not very old. She’s only two years old, and she’s had two million downloads of her podcast for health coaches.
You really want to plug into her Learn True Health Podcast, because I learned a lot there. She’s always interviewing doctors and holistic health experts. In two years, she’s done well over … I think she’s at like 220 episodes right now, and she’s just a really good interviewer. When she interviewed me for Vibe, I was really blown away. You’re probably thinking I’m not actually going to interview Ashley, that I’m just going to talk about Ashley, but welcome.
Ashley: It’s such a pleasure to be here. I loved our interview. We, it was episode 178, and my husband and I had been really big bacon eaters, like nitrate-free bacon, like all-natural bacon, and after our interview, we actually cut pork out of our diet. That was like, I walked out of my office, my home office, and the first thing I said to him was, “Guess what frequency pork is?” He just said, “That’s it. No more pork,” and since then we’ve actually gone pretty much meatless. I went from being ketogenic and paleo for about seven years to going more meatless.
Because what’s amazing about being a health podcaster, and I’m sure you can attest to this, is that every time I interview another doctor, another expert, I learn something new, and then I go and try it, and I see for myself what … Like does my body respond to it, and I hear from my listeners how it helped them as well. I’ve had a series of these holistic health experts on the show that all say, “You can really get a lot of protein from natural sources, from pumpkin seeds and legumes, and look for the cleaner sources of protein that have a better impact on the environment and also on your body.” If you had told me a year ago that I’d be wanting to try out more meatless options, I would have told you you’re crazy, because I was like practically Atkins, but now, finding that I feel so good, and it just took my health to a whole new level, and I’m just playing around with it.
I’m not saying I’m going to give up meat forever, but this is what happens. I interview people, and then I try on what they teach, and so I learn so much from you and our interview about becoming more conscious of the frequency of our foods than that. I implement that, and our whole family loved it, and it’s so cool that every episode, I make sure that in my interviews, like you do, that listeners walk away with tangible, actionable steps they can take to better their health.
Robyn: Yeah. You got to go read John Robbins’ book, The Food Revolution. It’s a book that I read when I was your age with one little guy, like you have. I read his book … I’m actually publishing tomorrow on the Green Smoothie Girl blog a review of The Food Revolution, and it’s some blog posts that I published in multi-part form many years ago, and we’re kind of cleaning up the Green Smoothie Girl site and taking old, great content and bringing it up to 2018 standards. It’s part of that effort, but it’s kind of a tribute to John Robbins’ work, because when I read The Food Revolution and I read how much foodborne illness is in pork and how many microbes are in just a cubic square inch of beef and pork, how many, all the foodborne illnesses come from, the vast majority of it comes from those animal products. When I learned the impact on the ecosystem, specifically, of beef and pork and how very, very toxic the byproducts are of pork, which I know is not where we’re going with this podcast episode, I gave up cold turkey, and I was like you.
If somebody tried to tell me I can’t have something, then I’m just going to have it, and I don’t even do that to myself, but I don’t think I realized until recently that I stopped eating pork and beef completely overnight after reading his work. If you want to be a motivator, go read that book. He’s not strident or angry or … You’re just going to read, you’re going to read hundreds of data points and reasoning. He is actually not entirely vegan. He eats a little bit of fish, and I have interviewed him, and you may be able to find him to interview him. He’s in his mid-seventies, and he can do pull-ups around most 20-year-olds. He’s just an amazing American hero. He’s been on this podcast. He said no to the Baskin-Robbins fortune. He was the heir to the throne and said, “No, I don’t want to be part of making people sick.”
First of all, two years is all, and you have two million downloads of your podcast. I was hoping that you could kind of go through some of the podcast episodes and just riff a little bit. Like I might bust in every now and then, but talk about some of the people you’ve interviewed and why they’re amazing and what you learned from them. You just told me some stuff about interviewing me that made an impact on your life, which I couldn’t be more grateful for. This is why I like doing podcast interviews, but you’ve learned a lot from a lot of people, I think.
Ashley: Oh, yeah. It’s been amazing. Episode 54 with Michael Weinberger, I’ve had him on the show multiple times since, but that one episode, it really blew my mind. He is bipolar, and he was suicidal. He wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for about 18 medications. Me, I’m not like a Big Pharma kind of person. I’m like the exact opposite, but you know what? If it keeps him alive, all power to him. His story’s amazing, and it’s actually very, a lighthearted interview. He’s very comical, but he developed a strategy for how to stay sane, basically. It’s an app that he created that’s amazing for mental health and emotional health, and you don’t have to have a mental or emotional illness or conflict in order to gain the benefits from his app. He talks about the power of doing a gratitude journal and the power of becoming aware of your happiness level, and he has these strategies for gaining happiness.
I thought that was so impactful, because here we are focusing so much on health, but we have to understand that health, we have to look at health holistically. Where are you in your emotional health, and your mental health, and your physical health, and your spiritual health, and your energetic health, and taking that all in? I love that I … I’ll make sure that I get guests that touch on the emotional and the mental, as well as the physical. Stephanie Seneff, Dr. Stephanie Seneff, who’s a PhD, MIT top research scientist, was episode 89, and she uncovers, through a collaboration of research, that glyphosate is found in the MRI vaccine, which is causing autism. It’s very controversial, but she comes at it from a pure science standpoint, and she explains the health impact of glyphosate.
Not just the negative impacts of vaccines, but she actually, her whole episode goes into understanding, what does glyphosate do to our body, and what does it do to the planet? Glyphosate’s in Roundup, so basically if you’re eating conventionally grown wheat, even legumes, there’s many crops now that they won’t spray glyphosate on while they’re, because they’re not Roundup Ready, so they’re not genetically modified, like-
Ashley: … soy, for example.
Robyn: … and I should bust in and say that if the animals you eat are not organic, they have even higher concentrations of glyphosate in their organs and their tissues that you eat, even more than conventionally sprayed, unwashed produce, because it concentrates in-
Robyn: … animal protein. Yup.
Ashley: Yes, and what they’re doing is, they’re using glyphosate to sort of finish the crop off, so if there’s a crop of legumes, they’ll spray on it to basically kill the plant and make it easier to harvest. That is detrimental to the soil, because glyphosate is a chelator. What that means is, it binds to the minerals in the soil, washes them away, so now the soil is void of nutrition, but it does the same to our body, and what glyphosate does is, it binds to heavy metals like aluminum and mercury and lead, and it then releases them into our brain.
It does this, glyphosate does this thing where when it hits a certain acidity, so when it goes from the blood to the blood-brain barrier, it’ll release heavy metals into the brain and cause all sorts of damage. She has lots of interesting facts about that, and then she talks about how we can reverse it, because she’s seen, with the help of natural medicine, children detox, and then they no longer are on the spectrum, so were they ever autistic to begin with. I find that fascinating, because so many parents are desperate to seek out the answers to help their children be the healthiest they can be, and we should really be concerned about that. I actually just interviewed Dr. Klinghardt, who’s world renowned for detoxification of heavy metals. That’s episode 218, and he blew my mind. He shares natural things you can do, chlorella, garlic, cilantro, natural things you could eat every day that pull heavy metals out of the body. I thought that was really fascinating.
The most intense episode of my now 219 episodes is episode 200 with Chris Masterjohn. That one I took pages of notes while interviewing him, just personal pages of notes, because he goes into the understanding of the methylation process. If you’ve ever heard of the MTHFR, or if you’re worried that you’re not methylating your B vitamins, he goes in depth into what you can eat and what you can balance in your diet to support methylation and detoxification. I love looking at my plate going like, “Well, this broccoli is helping my immune system,” or, “These mushrooms are helping my immune system,” and just knowing these certain foods help the body in a certain way. I think it’s fun. It makes, making sure, adding that food to my plate much more enjoyable.
Robyn: Yeah. It was very interesting. Okay, so keep going. Who else really struck you and taught you interesting things that stay with you and pop out as you think about 219 interviews?
Ashley: Stephen Flansbaum is episode 17, and I had him on twice. He is a mental health counselor, and he said something that, I mean, made me cry, when he said that I’d never … Now that he’s said it to me, it seems so true, like it’s been a truth I’ve always carried, but he said, “Look at the relationship you have with yourself. If you looked at the relationship you have with yourself like two separate people, you would have called the cops on yourself by now.” We are so abusive towards ourselves, and we put up with it because it’s us, our relationship with ourself. He talks about how to heal the body through healing the relationship you have with yourself. He ended up losing a lot of weight and overcoming his years of being overweight and feeling like the fat kid, and went on to become a licensed mental health professional because he wanted to help people heal that relationship they have with themselves. It’s a really beautiful interview. I was still totally wet behind the ears, and he did a great job as an interview guest.
Robyn: I love that. It reminds me of, I was having a conversation with a lot of our detoxers last night. We put people through a 26-day detox protocol. We take people live through it two or three times a year for the last four years, so we’ve taken almost 13,000 people through now, and I was doing a live support call for them last night. It went almost two hours, and I was talking about how, on our Facebook page, it’s a private page. It’s not public-facing. Anybody can get into just for those who sign up for support and I saw, had seen someone that day saying, “It was my day one, and I already failed. I had ordered, weeks ago I had ordered from some fundraiser some Krispy Kreme and they came, and I ate the donuts.”
Everyone came to her rescue and said, “Hey, tomorrow, let’s start again tomorrow.” I was talking on this support call about, which really reminds me of what you said, I said, “Stop yourself a few times in the next day or two when you catch the way that you talk to yourself and check yourself and say, “No, you don’t have to be a parent to be able to answer this question. If you’re not a parent, imagine that you were. This person came from you genetically and came out of your body after you spent nine months gestating him, and he came into the world, and he’s a little fledgling, five years old. Would you talk to your child the way you talk to yourself?”
Robyn: If you don’t, that’s not true, if you talk to yourself much more harshly than you would talk to a child, why is that, and how is that ever going to be productive? Do we ever respond to being beaten, to being criticized, to being told we’re not good enough, to being called names? Like he said, you would have called the cops on yourself. It’s really a good awareness, and I don’t know that we can even say it in enough ways and enough times to get really clear that it needs to become habitual that we treat ourselves with softness and compassion and put the past in the past and just look at what we can do right now instead of all the mistakes we’ve made. Would we look at our child and see that child as defined by the mistakes he’s made? Are you going to raise your son that way?
Ashley: Absolutely not. It’s just, it’s amazing that when we put it in that light, we realize how hard we are on ourselves and how much forgiveness we need to practice. There’s a big correlation between our ability to succeed and the goals we set out for ourselves and self-trust, our level of self-trust. If we’ve broken promises to ourself in the past, we’ve beat ourselves up for, we kind of hold the past against ourselves, we’ve deteriorated our self-trust, and so when we go to set out these health goals, for example, or business goals, or life goals, the smaller amount of self-trust, we’re more likely to not succeed or more likely to give up along the way, talk ourselves out of it, beat ourselves up emotionally about it. What we need to do is build, build ourselves up, build our level of self-trust up, because the more self-trust we have, the more we’re going to hold ourselves accountable, which also builds better relationships.
Robyn: I love it, so you have a career as a psychotherapist if ever it doesn’t work out for you as a health coach.
Ashley: Absolutely. Well, that’s what neuro-linguistic programming, for me, is a combination of behavioral psychology and cognitive therapy. Becoming a master practitioner and trainer of NLP back in 2005, it has taken me on a wonderful journey of self-discovery and also helping a lot of people. That’s one of my passions, and another passion of mine is holistic health because, like you had mentioned in my intro, I had type 2 diabetes. I had chronic adrenal fatigue. I had chronic infections. I had high blood pressure. I had, for infertility, I was told when I was 19 I’d never had kids. I had polycystic ovarian syndrome, and I reversed all of that with natural medicine. I don’t have any of that, and so just through diet and lifestyle changes and some holistic supplements, when needed, and that is … I mean, most of the things out there can be healed that way easily, and I get so angry when I think about that there’s an entire institution making billions of dollars off of people’s sickness rather than uplifting them and helping them gain their health back.
I know I’m totally preaching to the choir, but that’s what drives, that’s what gets me out of bed every morning, knowing that my podcast may help another person to gain their health back and to conceive a child, and to no longer have diabetes, and no longer have anxiety, and no longer have the things that are plaguing them. That’s what gets me out of bed.
Robyn: I love that you have mission. Mission does get us all out of bed, and we have to have something meaningful. Being a mom gives you great purpose and meaning and changes your life forever. I think we also do our children a great service when they see us progressing our own mind, our own careers, our own goals. I don’t know if our children are best served by us basically having no identity beyond the person who serves all their needs. I was raised in a tradition where it was very frowned on for women to have any kind of outside career goals, and so I felt very, very bad being a working mom-
Robyn: … for part of my children’s upbringing, and especially after I became single 10 years ago. It was absolutely earth-shattering for me to have my older daughter who’s graduating college this May in a few months come to me and say, “You know what, Mom? I appreciate seeing you do something hard. I appreciate getting to watch you build your career. I loved getting to go sit in your classroom when you were teaching at BYU, and I loved watching you build your business, and I brag about you all the time.” I was like, “You do? I-”
Ashley: That’s so [crosstalk 00:20:54].
Robyn: ” … didn’t … I don’t even … ” You don’t really know that your kids are paying any attention, and I certainly wasn’t aware of the fact that I was modeling anything for them, but if there was benefit to them, I mean, I was working because I needed to help feed my family, but yeah, lots of interesting conversations. I know that one thing that you and I have in common is a background of anxiety. You told me that one of your favorite things to teach, let’s go a little sideways into that, since we’re just having an organic conversation about whatever we want to talk about here today.
Ashley: Absolutely. Yeah, I love, so anxiety was something that I didn’t really have a label for when I was growing up. I didn’t know that that’s what my problem was, but I had separation anxiety. I couldn’t do sleepovers if it wasn’t at my house. I’d just have a mental breakdown, and I just thought that was normal. My parents, I’m an only child, so they thought that was normal too, but I had anxiety to the point where it affected my ability to succeed in school and in college. I loved college, but the anxiety when it came to tests was nerve-wracking and often would leave me not succeeding.
When I went down this rabbit hole, discovering personal growth after my mom died in 2002, I started to seek out … I really wanted to grieve healthfully. I was so depressed, I stopped eating. I stopped brushing my hair. I did all the very typical “you’re depressed” non-behaviors. I didn’t do anything, and then I kind of woke up one day going like, “I need to start grieving healthfully. That’s just what I want,” and so I started seeking the way to do that that wasn’t the standard, sit on a Freudian couch for 200 hours and get nowhere. I wasn’t going to go the drug route. I discovered neuro-linguistic programming through looking at all the different ways of personal growth, and I found it to be the most effective way of breaking through personal barriers and just having these amazing breakthroughs, because it allows you to learn tools that help you to work with how your brain works, basically.
There’s a technique I can teach you, and I can teach all the listeners, and it’s something that within three minutes, it’ll have your anxiety completely turn off. That’s because it addresses the root cause of anxiety. Now, there’s a small percentage of the population where anxiety is actually maybe a reaction to a food sensitivity or there’s other causes, but what happens is, often, if there’s a trigger, like a food sensitivity or an allergy, what happens is, we sort of start making a mental story about it, and we build it up, and build it up, and build it up. The anxiety, the trigger might be physical, but then we build it up in the mind, and so the, really, anxiety comes from the mind.
Anxiety is not a negative emotion like any other emotion. You can have negative emotions or positive emotions from the past, so you can think about a time in the past when you were insanely happy, or like that time when your daughter said that she looks up to you and she really was happy that she could model, learn from you and model you. You could think about that moment, and you could start to feel that warmth in your chest as you think about happy memories, or you could think about sad memories or angry memories, and you can bring up those emotions in the present. You cannot have anxiety about the past, because anxiety isn’t an emotion like any other emotion. Anxiety is a fear of the future. It’s all about our focus, so anxiety is directed by our focus.
What happens is, we often, we don’t even realize we’re doing it, we focus on what we don’t want, and so we say to ourselves like, “I don’t want to be fat,” or, “I don’t want to be broke,” or, “I don’t want to fail,” or, “I don’t want to slip and fall,” or, “I don’t want to get bad reviews,” or you [inaudible 00:24:42] want to disappoint that person. We say what we don’t want, but the unconscious mind cannot hear a negative directly, and I’ll give you an example of this. Don’t think of a red dress. What did you just think of?
Robyn: A red dress.
Ashley: Don’t think of a sandy beach on Hawaii.
Robyn: Thinking about the sandy beach.
Ashley: It’s because the unconscious mind, unless we’ve been, unless someone’s been intensely trained, the unconscious mind will focus on the subject of the, or like the object of the sentence, and the unconscious mind doesn’t hear a negation, doesn’t hear it directly. When you say to your kids, “Don’t slam the door,” the kid hears, “Slam the door.” The best thing to do is to say what you want, “Please close the door quietly.” That’s the best thing to do when you’re working with employees, is to state it in the positive. If you have to say something in the negative, follow it up with the positive. Because if you’re telling an employee what not to do, they’re only going to hear what you don’t want them to do, and the same goes for your unconscious mind.
Your unconscious mind is your body, like your heart … Your unconscious mind is what beats your heart. It’s what breathes your breath when you’re not thinking about it. It’s what regulates your autonomic nervous system response to stress, or to relaxation and healing. Your unconscious mind is running your body while you’re doing the higher thinking, okay? Your conscious mind does the higher thinking. Your unconscious mind does everything else. Your unconscious mind, your body is listening to every thought you have.
You could be sitting there in a very safe environment in your home, or in your office, or in your car, you’re completely safe, but if you start thinking about Freddy Krueger coming after you, or zombies, or a bear, or the IRS, whatever it is that your fear is, I guarantee you, we … If you think about it for 30 seconds, your heart’s going to start racing, your breath is going to become shorter, your palms are going to start sweating, you will go into tunnel vision, and your body will shunt blood away from the logic centers of your brain, so you go into the fight-or-flight response, the sympathetic nervous system response of fight-or-flight.
All of this happens because you had 30 seconds of thinking about something that you perceive as a threat. We, all day long, we’re having these thoughts that are messages to our body that we are in a threatening situation, and that’s because we’re focusing on what we don’t want to have happen. There’s a way, first of all, there’s a technique I’m going to teach you now, and this technique is what you do when you’re in anxiety. You already thought about something you didn’t want and you’re already in anxiety. You’re already feeling it, maybe in your stomach or in your chest, wherever you feel it in your body, and this technique, it takes less than three minutes. In fact, once you learn it, it takes about 30 seconds to do, and it’ll turn off the anxiety response. You do it enough, and it becomes a neurological strategy that your brain goes towards instead of focusing on what you don’t want.
For me to teach this to you, do you have something that’s coming up in the future? It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but is there something, an event coming up in the future for when you think about it right now, you can feel anxiety right now?
Ashley: Great. It’s okay if you don’t share it. You don’t have to share what it is. For the listeners, think about something that’s going to happen in the next few weeks that, when you think about it, you feel anxiety. Now, ask yourself, on a scale of one to 10, 10 being the worst and one being very minimal, where’s your anxiety right now when you think about this event that’s coming up in the future?
Ashley: Great. The listeners, go ahead and just, on a scale of one to 10, where’s your anxiety? It’s okay if it’s a two. It’s okay if it’s a 10. Just know where your number is. Now, listeners, follow along as I guide Robyn. Robyn, what I’d like you to do is, I’d like you to float above your timeline. Your eyes are closed, and imagine like your entire life is a line out in front of you, past being in front and … Sorry, the past being behind you, the future being in front of you, and I’d like you to just float up above that timeline, and I’d like you to float 15 minutes past the successful completion of the event for which you have anxiety around. Staying, floating above it, I want you to float 15 minutes past the successful completion. Look down on the event. Now, where’s your anxiety?
Ashley: It’s at zero. Great. You can come back to now and open your eyes. Now, there are some people in the listening audience that still have a bit of anxiety, and so there’s two things I’m going to teach that are … The additional steps, if you still have anxiety. Most people, I’m going to say 90% of people at this point, just like you, Robyn, have zero anxiety from this one step. The people who still have anxiety, they either didn’t focus on the success, so they just focused on the completion of the event and they didn’t see the successful completion, so you … For those that did that, you need to focus on the successful completion.
What that looks like is, it’s a very mundane event. It’s like, what’s 15 minutes after you wrote an exam, or you took a, or you got off a plane, or you had a meeting with your accountant or your boss. All these things that we’re nervous about, or you were anxious about, well, what’s 15 minutes after that? It’s something totally mundane, like you’re in your hotel room already, or you’re driving home already, or you’ve gotten home already, or you’re walking to your car. Like you’re just seeing 15 minutes past the successful completion. Or maybe it was a job interview and it went successfully, so 15 minutes after that, you’re calling your friend or your mom and telling them how well it went. But once you’ve visualized that, the threat …
You’re basically telling your body, “There is no threat. It went successfully. Everything’s fine,” but those who still have anxiety after they imagine the successful completion, it’s because they have a deeper … There’s layers to their anxiety, and I’ll give you an example. I was working with an author who had published a book successfully, and he was about to publish the second book, and I’m sure you can relate. He had anxiety around all the book going, the launch going well, and he really wanted to make sure it went well, and he was kind of like biting his nails at the thought of going, doing the launch again.
I had him visualize 15 minutes past the successful completion of the book launch, and his anxiety went from about an eight to about a two. I said, “Okay, what are you anxious of right now?” It took him a second, and he said, “Oh, the reviews.” He didn’t realize that. He had to go out to like, he had to go past the first step to realize that it was deeper, that it was really the reviews he was worried about. I said, “Go 15 minutes past the successful completion of all the reviews of your book.” I mean, that could be 200 years from now. He went out and he imagined the last, the very last review his book ever got, and his anxiety went to zero. He sat back in his chair and he said, it’s like this weight just melted off of him, and he said, “Every time I get off of an interview,” because he also does podcasts, and he says, “Every time I get out of an interview, for about an hour my wife can’t even talk to me. I become so depressed.”
He didn’t know why, and he realized it’s because what he has running, the story that’s running in his head is, “Everyone that’s listening to this interview is going to hate me, is not going to like it.” He starts making up in his mind all these negative reviews of what he just did. Once he learned this technique, then every time he ends an interview, he just imagines 15 minutes past the successful completion of every person that’s every listened to it and loved it. He had to imagine the success. Now, it’s like, that has brought him infinitely more joy and relaxation into his life, and passion, like a new passion for what he does, because he no longer has this level of anxiety around the reviews.
All you have to do is, ask yourself, “What am I anxious of?” Then go 15 minutes past the successful completion of that. That takes, what, 30 seconds? You do that every time you have anxiety, it will begin to rewire the brain. Now, that’s just one technique, I’ve got over 20 techniques that I teach. That’s just, that’s kind of, sort of like if you’re already in anxiety. My goal with you, with all the listeners, is to teach you all the techniques so that you, your brain doesn’t even go there in the first place, that your brain focuses on what it wants to begin with.
When I was a kid in Canada, I would slip and fall every winter on the ice, around February, where we get freezing rain, and I would damage my tailbone, bruise it so bad, sometimes that I just, you had to sit on like a donut, one of those inflatable donuts. It was so painful, I became very afraid of walking to the car, or walking to school, or walking to the bus in the wintertime for fear of falling. Well, when I learned this technique, I was still in Canada, and when I learned this technique, I learned this series of techniques, I caught myself and started listening to my thoughts. For the first time, I could hear them, because once you learn these techniques, you start to hear your thoughts and become conscious of them.
What I realized I’d been saying my whole life is, “I don’t want to slip.” Well, I was telling my body to slip. I was giving the message to my body to slip. I said, “I don’t want to slip. I don’t want to fall. I don’t want to hurt myself.” Well, what does my mind hear? What does my body hear? “Slip, fall, hurt yourself.” I stood there on the ice, halfway between the house and the car, thinking, “What can I say … What’s the opposite of, ‘I don’t want to slip, fall, and hurt myself’?” It took me a while. It does take a while to … That’s just like you have to put on the brakes in your thinking and then try a new way. I said to myself, “I want to remain erect, walk safely to my car,” and then I imagined bear claws coming out of my feet. To this day, I have never slipped on the ice and hurt my tailbone, and it has been many years. This works.
Ashley: Every time I end up walking on ice, I just say this to myself, “I want to remain erect, walk safely to my car,” and then I imagine bear claws coming out. I’m telling my body the messages, because your body, your mind-body connection, your body listens to your mind, so what … You’ve got to catch yourself, what are you focusing on? Are you focusing on what you want or what you don’t want? When you focus on what you don’t want, you trigger the autonomic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response which shunts blood away from the logic centers of the brain, so now we can’t think clearly, and triggers the anxiety, the anxiety response in the body. Now, we’re sort of held captive, we’re held hostage by our lower brain because the autonomic nervous system’s, sympathetic nervous system response shunts blood away from the logic centers of the brain, so now we’re really not in charge anymore. We’ve got to catch it beforehand, and we’ve got to catch it as soon as we can, so we’ve got to focus on what we want. That’s my technique. How did you like it?
Robyn: I loved it, and people with anxiety cling to things like that. I can say that, as a person who suffered with anxiety since I was very young, and I’m kind of a hybrid of … You mentioned that some people have food triggers. For me, if I eat corn syrup, if I eat anything with corn syrup in it … Actually, refined sugar is really bad. Refined sugars and alcohols are really bad for me, but corn syrup is the worst, and I’ll wake up the nest morning, doesn’t, if I wake up at 5:00 AM, if I wake up at 6:00 AM, it doesn’t matter.
If I wake up at 4:00 AM, I’m dead, because I’m just going to lie there in a complete and total panic attack, but if I’ve had corn syrup or sugar, I will wake up the next morning with a dread that makes me not even want to get out of bed, and it cannot be … Not, doesn’t necessarily have to be attached to anything. It doesn’t have to be necessarily an event in my day that I’m worried about or that I don’t like my life. It’s just, it’s almost just like this, they call it generalized anxiety disorder.
I appreciate those thoughts, because I think that a person with anxiety thinks that the anxiety is the thing that they’re stressed about, “Oh, well, I’m just afraid of public speaking,” or, “I’m having some financial problems.” No, that’s just … Everybody has issues going on all the time. Why does yours provoke anxiety? If that’s your neurological response to stressors, then tips like that can be really, really invaluable, so that was really practical. I know you’ve got more where that came from, so we’re setting up greensmoothiegirl.com/anxiety, and that will take you to some great stuff from Ashley, because this is one of her tips. Tell a little more about what they’ll get there.
Ashley: Great. Well, I have a webinar where I teach another technique. I teach that one, so you get to learn … I get more in depth into that technique and why it works, and I teach another technique, actually, for also eliminating general anxiety, something, the technique I teach in this webinar will be really beneficial to you as well. Then, I offer, so I teach, for over 40 minutes in the webinar, a lot of great tools. Then I offer, if they’d like to join the online class, which is very … I make it very affordable for everyone, because I want everyone around the world who suffers from anxiety to no longer have it. I just, I’m so passionate. I’ve been helping people for so many years.
My first, very first client, when I first graduated as a trainer and master practitioner of NLP, she came to me because she was in chronic pain, and I have a great technique for eliminating chronic pain. It’s similar to Dr. John E. Sarno’s work of understanding the mind-body connection and how the brain creates pain when we have unresolved emotions. She came to me for that, and we successfully got rid of her chronic pain. What she didn’t tell me was that she was also on anxiety medication, and a few days later after our … I did a follow-up with her after our really successful breakthrough session.
She said to me, “Oh, yeah, I got rid of my two pain medications, and I flushed my … ” Of course, I never tell someone to just flush their meds. You go back to your doctor or pharmacist and work with them to get off of it safely, but she just, she was kind of like done. She just said, “Listen, I just flushed my anxiety meds, and I haven’t taken my pain meds or my anxiety meds since I met you.” Then we kept following up, and sure enough … I just thought it was so cool. It just hit me, like people … Because I just didn’t get it. People are on medication for this? Like it’s a big deal, like a lot of people are on anxiety meds and … But they don’t have to be. They learn these techniques, and they just, they don’t have to be.
In terms of your food sugar, what I want to say is that there’s a way to change the relationship you have, on a conscious level, with that unconscious experience, so with the unconscious mind sort of communicating you with symptoms, like unconscious mind, the body speaks to us in symptoms, and then it’s our brain that runs with it. “Oh, my God, because I feel this way, the rest of the day is screwed.” We sort of, our conscious mind will create … We’re meaning-making machines, so we’re going to create like a story around, “I feel this crappy, and therefore this is what’s going to happen.”
You may not consciously catch yourself or be aware, but you may just be like, “I don’t want to get out of bed because I feel really bad,” but then the mind sort of begins to race and make meaning around it. The best thing you can do, when you wake up in the morning after having eaten a food that is giving you that trigger is, imagine that evening, so imagine the successful completion of your day having gone really well, because that, you got to turn off the stress response. You’re sending a signal to your mind and to your body that you’re safe and that everything’s going to work out. That is the way to break that cycle, but I have a whole technique around that, and I’d love to teach it to you.
Robyn: Yeah, so you can get that at greensmoothiegirl.com/anxiety. I was telling you before our interview that, for the most part, I see my anxiety as fuel for my life, and a little bit of anxiety is a good thing. The problem is when it gets too big and I wake up in the morning and I’m not happy. The funny thing is, even when I’ve been in really intense periods of anxiety in my life, which now I know how to manage it, I still get up and get going, and I’m fine by like 9:00, 10:00 AM, and feel perfectly happy, but it’s that something about which makes me feels like it’s some kind of hormonal or serotonin, some kind of neurochemical.
It’s when I wake up in the morning, and I just wake up in just a pit of dread and anxiety. The lucky thing is, for me, related to it being that food, is, now my anxiety’s around sugar. Like, “Hey, don’t eat it, because you’re going to pay the price for this later.” That’s not a bad thing, because is sugar good for any of us? No, it’s not.
Robyn: It’s particularly bad for me, and just, funny side note, Ashley, just because you and I talk about nutrition and stuff, and it’s a big part of what we do in our platform, I am in a 90-day sugar bet right now with one of my best friends, Matthew, and about six or seven years ago, he and I did a kickoff for a one-year sugar bet. Before I did a year of eating no sugar, I thought, wait for it, I thought that it would be the least fun year of my life. I thought that it would be like a really lame year, where I kind of just gutted it out, and suffered, and you would think, from that, that all I do is eat sugar, and it’s not really true. It’s not really true.
I didn’t eat a ton of sugar back then. I ate far, far, far less sugar than most people do, but it was like psychologically, it was like the way I rewarded myself for working all day. It was like some little afternoon treat or whatever. I’ll tell you, the thing that I learned from challenging myself to not eat any sugar for a year is that life was just as good. It’s just as fun. I enjoy food as much. I didn’t feel deprived. Once I got past those first few days, I knew I was in it for the long haul. It actually took all the choices off the table that I would sit there and stew about, “Am I going eat that or am I not going to eat that?” You start to have that stupid conversation-
Robyn: … with yourself for two hours at a restaurant or at a party, and it just took that conversation away, because I wasn’t about to pay Matthew $10,000 because I ate a brownie, right?
Ashley: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:43:27].
Robyn: That was on the table. This time, we’re only, I want to say, a week and a half in in our 90-day sugar bet, and the reason it’s 90 days is because that’s what Matthew wanted to do. He didn’t want to commit to a year. I would’ve committed to a year easily, but you know what? This time is like not even hard, and I really feel bad for him, because this isn’t going to be hard for me, and so he’s going to be the only one who’s fighting his sugar addiction. I mean, I’m kind of kidding, but … This time, we did not go for a $10,000 bet. There’s no money on the table, and instead, we bought edible spiders, and-
Ashley: Oh, no.
Robyn: Yeah, silkworm larva that, if we lose, we have to eat in front of the other one on camera. We have shock collars ordered that are on their way, remote control shock collars, where you wear it and I can zap him as many times as I want for a period of time if he loses. We’re making this sugar bet all, completely about fear and anxiety, so this is not a tip for how to manage your anxiety, is what I’m telling you right now. This would be the opposite of a tip for how to deal with anxiety, but I’m totally okay with my anxiety about sugar increasing, because we would all be better if we never ate processed sugar again. But it was a thing to step into a year of not eating sugar, knowing that, on my birthday, I would be not having birthday cake, and on Thanksgiving, I would not be having pecan pie, but what a cool awareness that I came to realize I still enjoy food, I still enjoy my life. I don’t need a treat every afternoon. I will find another way to reward myself.
Ashley: Yeah, and you can get really creative and make something for your birthday, like stevia … Do you, are you allowing stevia as part of your sugar fast?
Robyn: Yeah, we haven’t gotten really granular, double meaning intended right there, about our rules this time, but last time, for that year we couldn’t have ketchup or anything with any kind of sugar added, and so yeah. [inaudible 00:45:23]. Yeah, but anyway, back to this. I appreciate your thoughts on anxiety, and we’re hearing this from someone who suffered with it a lot from childhood, like me, so everybody loves an actionable tip. Ashley, you’re really articulate for your young age. I know you’ve come through a lot. You’ve suffered through a lot in your early life, and it always shows up as wisdom and compassion, and I really, really feel that from you.
Ashley’s podcast is Learn True Health. I really love it. If I’m really lucky, I’ll maybe talk her into doing some interviews for us. We’re putting up new sites in 2018, holisticdentistanswers.com, and emfanswers.com, and I just think, at some point, Ashley and I will be collaborating on something, because I really connect with her, and I love what she’s doing. But Ashley, thanks for enlightening us on what works in neuro-linguistic programming and your own personal experience as a practitioner for anxiety, and thanks so much for doing your podcast. It’s fantastic. Really, the audience is for health coaches, ladies and gentlemen, but just as a regular layperson, you’re going to love it. Tell people where else they might find you if I’ve missed anything.
Ashley: Oh, you got it. They can go to learntruehealth.com, or if they’re, they’re probably listening to this on iTunes, or Stitcher, iHeartRadio, or any of the podcast directories that you’re on, I’m on as well, so they could just google “Learn True Health” and then choose whatever their favorite podcast directory is and subscribe. I got so many episodes, and I … Yes, I don’t agree with all my guests, but that’s not the point. The point is to get the information out there, and so you’re just going to find lots of actionable steps. I’ve done interviews with EMF experts, and I had a holistic dentist on, and those are … Though, really, I’m passionate about EMF. It’s amazing. Like, episode I just did with Dr. Klinghardt, 218, he talks about that Wi-Fi specifically, Wi-Fi is making autism, and not only autism, but dementia.
The reason why dementia’s becoming the number one disease, it’s surpassed, it’s surpassing cancer and heart disease, is because Wi-Fi causes the heavy metals in the brain to vibrate, basically, on a certain frequency. It’s like the heavy metals become like an antenna in the brain. He has this whole talk that he gave in the interview about how just … I mean, EMF is bad, but specifically Wi-Fi is damaging our brain and causing dementia. When he gets autistic children, the parents to remove Wi-Fi from the house, like you could still have internet, just do hard-wired in, and then do heavy metal detox, that’s the one-two punch he does, and he sees kids no longer be on the spectrum. If they’re affected by Wi-Fi and heavy metals, he says that there’s a lot of other health conditions, autoimmune conditions, that are also affected by it.
I’m excited. I definitely would love to work with you, and I’m excited about all the information we can bring people about cleaning up their EMF, and also everything about holistic dentistry. That’s such a big topic that needs to be explored.
Robyn: It does, and we want to be part of educating people more about it. I know you’ve done some interviews, I’ve done some. I heard Joe Mercola on another podcast recently say that we will look back at the EMF epidemic, the fact that there are all these chaotic frequencies everywhere, we will look back 20 years from now and we will see it as a bigger threat to public health than we currently see second-hand smoking. You’re young enough that you don’t remember restaurants and sections on airplanes that were for smokers, but I did, and I was a waitress in the smoking section of a restaurant and put myself through college that way. It’s unthinkable now that we would have people smoking …
I mean, if you go to Europe or Las Vegas is the only place that you’re going to experience that. It’s unthinkable now, in America, that there could be indoor smoking, but remember, that was our reality until literally so much evidence about the second-hand smoking effects made it so that the U.S. government had to protect us from it. Well, we have a lot of work to do, you and I, on educating people so that we demand protection from the 5G network rolling out, and from being in yoga class where the teacher doesn’t say, “Hey, everybody, put your phone on airplane mode,” and so many other things. But it all starts here, you and me, stepping out there and getting the experts to tell our audiences what they can do to be healthier, so turn that Wi-Fi off in your house. Ashley James, you’re an absolute delight. Thanks for being with me today.
Ashley: Thank you so much, Robyn. It has been such a pleasure to be here today.