Red Thread Discovery

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Anxiety disorder

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Eine der großen Herausforderungen


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Angst Mut

 “Liberation is blocked above all by refusing to let go because we strive for security, certainty and fixed results. Liberation (…) requires taking risks. ‘Letting go’ means that (…) the desire for security is given up; you could call it the breaking of shackles, the shaking off of fear and obsession: we “wake up” and discover that the locks of our chains have disappeared, raise our arms – and our shackles fall off.
But – they cannot fall if we are so attached to them that we are afraid without them. Perhaps the chains are no longer attached to us, but we are still attached to them. The real task then is to free ourselves from our attachment to the chains that bind us.”

Dr. Ernest Kurtz, 1935-2015


The word anxiety goes back to the Latin root “angustus” (narrow, constricted) or angustia (narrowness, constriction, distress).

We take a holistic approach with the Red Thread. We look at things on several levels and ultimately it is always about which forces within us we have “given control”.
We think – or these forces make us think – that our freedom has been taken away from us by something or someone else.

But before we come to the topics where anxiety has taken over in an “unnatural” way and where it has begun to impair our quality of life, here are the positive sides(!) of fear and anxiety:

Anxiety is normal and necessary for survival
What pain is to our body, fear is to our psyche.

Fear makes us human
People laugh, they cry, they are afraid, they feel joy. They think about things. And is – hopefully – creative with all of this.

Fear is part of culture and makes us grow up
Think of the Grimm’s fairy tale “One who set out to learn to fear”.
Part of the process of growing up is discovering fear and facing up to your fears.

Fear makes us think ahead
Fear can be a good companion to creativity, sometimes vetoing it, causing us to hesitate and think things through again and possibly work out an idea further before we act.

Fear can make us creative
Even and especially in critical situations, we are capable of amazing creative ideas and approaches – e.g. when it comes to the big picture and a quick way out is needed.

From my point of view, it is highly problematic to immediately describe oneself as “ill” or “disturbed” or to speak of a “disorder”.

Of course and explicitly, there are severe cases in which medication can, and perhaps even must, help. But in most cases, in my observation, doctors are far too quick to prescribe antidepressants, anxiolytics or other psychotropic drugs.

The vivid sensation is simply dimmed down further (so it doesn’t hurt anymore) and one of the great roots of evil is further strengthened, namely the defense reaction in the fight against fear.

So no, you are most probably not “ill” – but life is knocking particularly hard on your door and you are not one of those who send the letter of life back unopened!
It is worth opening the door (slowly) and opening the letter!

If you have the courage to do this, the quality of life can (re)emerge. It can then be carried by lightness and joy if you really embark on a journey into your inner self.

Generalized anxiety disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder is – as the name suggests – a ‘generalized feeling of anxiety’ that often manifests itself diffusely.

It manifests itself in frequent worry and tension, even about everyday things – and directly through the body – see also anxiety disorder symptoms.

The defensive and evasive behavior is pronounced. And you often look for external confirmation of your worries (this results in “self-fulfilling prophecies”).

Constant tension is perhaps the most typical symptom; and since we and our system and our brain(!) naturally seek more balance and security – even if it is perceived as security! – we look for this in different ways. This can be physical or by starting to avoid certain situations – but this makes the cage we have put ourselves in smaller and tighter.

“Triggers” / anxiety triggers are avoided and we increasingly prefer only environments in which these triggers are no longer (or no longer so often) addressed.

Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

There are numerous symptoms of anxiety. These can include:

=> Sweating
=> Stomach problems
=> A feeling of a constricted throat
=> Dry mouth
=> Difficulty falling asleep and sleeping
=> Muscle tension
=> Hot flushes or cold shivers
=> Palpitations

and much more.

We can also observe things about ourselves on a mental level:

We actively avoid certain situations as far as possible – for fear that the anxiety will be triggered again. These can be places where there are a lot of people (e.g. public transport or supermarkets, etc.) see also Social Anxiety.

Or there can be situations that connect us even more directly on a deep level with our primal fear or fear of death (see Fear of death) – such as the fear of driving.

This is how our brain works:
Whenever an incoherent state (high energy consumption) is brought into a coherent state (significantly lower energy consumption), a pseudo-feeling of relief (because the fear was “once again warded off”!) can spread.

In the best case scenario, coherence can even create a feeling of happiness via circuits and messenger substance in the respective areas of the brain.

In the case of our topic here, we are dealing with learned anxiety or learned avoidance strategies.

Causes of anxiety disorders

There can be numerous causes – or rather triggers – of anxiety. Apart from our natural (and sensible!) fear, in most cases it is primal fear.
This has a lot to do with how we treat babies and toddlers in our so-called civilized world especially between the ages of 0 and 3.
And no, this has not always been the case; there were times in the evolutionary history of mankind when things were very different.
In her brilliant book “In Search of Lost Happiness”, Jean Liedloff shows that there is a kind of “developmental continuum”, i.e. as with other animals, there is something like an expectation in humans – already present in the system – as to WHEN certain developmental impulses and drive satisfactions will or should occur.
However, if these do not occur until much later or not at all, then defense and avoidance mechanisms are built up due to the infinite primal pain experienced in this way.
That is also meant in a physical-physiological sense (synapse connections).
These mechanisms, programs and patterns are present in almost all of us!

The good news: No, you don’t have to live with them to the end :).
One of the most beautiful findings of neuroscience is that our brain is highly plastic, i.e. malleable. It is absolutely possible to change something! And to return to a joyful and natural flow of your own life.

Feel free to contact me at or via the contact form.

What are the causes of an anxiety disorder?

The development of so-called anxiety disorders can have various causes.

It is perhaps better to put it another way: It is often a combination of different factors that break through our fear defenses and awaken an inkling of our primal fear.

And then we are faced with real difficulties.

Possible such factors can be:

=> Stress (here we mean the negative so-called disstress, there is also a “positive stress” that allows us to be particularly creative, this is eustress).
=> Events or triggers that remind us of traumatic or stressful personal experiences from the past.
=> In exceptional cases, genetic factors (bsd. in connection with depression)
=> Psychological predisposition
=> Physical illnesses (e.g. diabetes, hormonal problems)
=> (Heavy) Alcohol or drug consumption

How does anxiety arise, simply explained? 

Again, there are two different stages:

Roughly speaking, anxiety is a very old reaction and responsiveness(!) of humans to react to danger and is generated in us particularly quickly and without detours, whereby all physical systems are also put on alert via hormones such as cortisol and especially adrenaline. The following three typical reactions are generally known: Flight, Fight and Freeze, or FFF for short.

Apart from these evolutionarily positive and almost necessary aspects of anxiety  and based on the explanations above, in particular the expectation continuum (link to anxiety disorder causes), (unnatural) anxiety arises in the first stage if the following drive needs – i.e. in the sense of innate expectations – are not fulfilled (in time) as a very young child (according to Rainer Taëni):

=> For total, unrestricted acceptance
=> For comprehensive physical contact (with stimulation of ALL senses)
=> Freedom for creative exploration and playful experimenting in relation to the environment
=> For unhindered expression of ALL feelings
=> For their own rhythm of growth in which self-responsibility can be increasingly practiced – this becomes more and more pronounced with growing language and thinking skills.

In a certain way, this is followed by further independent urges, which in turn want to be satisfied in the same way … :

=> Social instinct – the innate urge to behave in such a way that one is perceived favorably and recognized by the human environment.
=> Cuddling instinct – a powerful need that manifests itself later in adult life as the sex drive.
=> Play instinct (creative curiosity) – this also determines the desire to experiment without  purpose
=> Drive for self-expression – i.e. for direct, spontaneous expression of existing feelings Emancipation drive – i.e. the need for self-determination

If these drives and needs are not satisfied or not satisfied at the right time, if these connections which are expected to be vital do not come about, feeling remains incomplete – at least in the helpless and abandoned infant. The resulting pain is largely repressed. 

The second stage is latent fear and a general blockage, which arise precisely from this.
Fear has taken the place of the expression of urges.

On the one hand, the sum of the patterns and programs then develops from the system’s efforts to ward off fear. And on the other hand, numerous compensations naturally arise in our own behavior – whether it is the tendency to to work far too much, not being able to let oneself go, for example in sexuality (“keeping everything under control”) or in the subliminal misconception that a lot of money or wealth or anything else could heal (the permanent inner tension).

Social anxiety, fear of driving, fear of failure and much more can also arise from latent anxiety.

What is the fear of fear?

As explained above, fear is also an important emotion in our lives. It helps us to react more quickly in dangerous situations. The hormones released and the physical reactions increase alertness (the body prepares itself for flight or attack).
Fear is therefore not only essential for survival, but can also have a positive effect on our ability to things or to overcome our own limits.
However, if anxiety becomes too strong, it can paralyze us and anxiety and panic attacks have a significant impact on our quality of life.
Both psychotherapy and consistent personal coaching can be very helpful here.

If you like, the fear of fear is the real problem.
And almost everything in our environment is designed to support our defense reactions against fear:
There are an infinite number of distraction and avoidance options and, ultimately, psychotropic drugs are also used to combat anxiety.

However, if you are not just looking for “aspirin solutions”, but really want to understand what is going on with you, if you really want to make a lasting change, then the Red Thread may be the right place for you.

I am happy to hear from you – do feel free to make contact.

Fear of death

How can you overcome the fear of death?

In psychology, thanatophobia is the fear of death when it manifests itself as a specific phobia. Such fears often occur together with depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The mortality paradox describes the fact that people often live as if they could or would never die, even though they know that they will die one day. Death is usually only the death of others.

I can really recommend – as a kind of first step towards a new way of dealing with death and the fear of it – that you deal more with death!

The following book titles are highly recommended:
“Inseparable: On Death and Life” (btb 2022) by Marilyn and Irvin Yalom”
“The Choice: Embrace the Possible” (Scribner 2018) by Edit Eva Egner.

The fear of death is often associated with the fear of suffering, of illness and, in some cases, with the “uncertainty behind it”. And – once again – dealing with this can lead to more serenity, especially in a society like ours where death is often a taboo.

At the Red Thread, we always tackle the issues on several levels:
We look at the mental and emotional levels and sometimes at the neuropsychological and developmental levels. And – if there is an openness for it – we also look at the spiritual dimension.
Just so much here: The more you succeed in taking yourself (and your thoughts) importantly and AT THE SAME TIME less seriously, the better off you will be.

Ultimately, it is the human ‘ego’ that produces our thinking apparatus and causes us a great deal of suffering. The friend and teacher of the great Sufi scholar, preacher and poet Rumi, Shams-e-Tabrizi put it like this some 800 years ago(!):

“Die before you die”.

And what he meant by that was, of course, the ‘ego’. For those who at least move in this direction (and this is not possible with thought and willpower), biological death increasingly loses its horror.

What is fear of rejection?

As a baby or toddler, we are at the mercy of the outer world – and especially of our parents. If he/she utters the expectations of his/her drives and needs according to the “developmental continuum” – e.g. through crying – it can be quite stressful for parents.
At the same time a response, which is rather angry (during that phase particularly by the mother), can lead to anxiety of retaliation. That then is the basis for patterns, which are fueled by shame and guilt(!).

Much later that very fear of rejection can be transferred to a partner, a colleague or a boss.

If you read this text you already belong to a small minority – the vast majority usually prefers to cherish their strategies to inwardly reject anxiety so that they don’t have to feel the pain.

The path to yourself – which is an adventure – can lead to a completely new quality of the joy of life.

If I can support or help you in any way on this very path I’d be pleased to hear from you.

Examples for special Anxieties:

Fear of driving

This can – again – be a symptom of the fear of being totally exposed and at the mercy of your environment and of others. Our ‘ego’ and our whole thinking mechanism want to control everything – The drivers of the other cars, the weather outside, possible traffic-jams and what have you …
But alas that doesn’t work of course …
And you cannot even know whether there’ll be someone who bumps into the back of your car

The more you get worked up about it the more it’ll connect itself with a fear of accidents, the fear of dying and then the fear of death.
This fear can – at the same time – be a great teacher to learn to differentiate between the things that are within and those that are beyond our circle of influence.

To become and stay aware, to find awareness – that is something we can “train” to do.
Not by “doing” anything, rather by letting something go.
But yes, you MAY hoot if the blockhead in front of you drives like a madman …

Want to know more and work at it?
Drop me an email:!  I’m happy to hear from you.

Social Anxiety

when the fear of humiliation and hurt wins … Social anxiety is the third most common psychological challenge people face – after alcohol addiction and depression(!).
But, again, I strongly recommend you to detach yourself from the framing that you are sick or psychologically ill. Your soul is communicating with you.
If your body sends you constant or recurring pain you would also know that there’s probably something wrong physically!
The fear of being criticized or judged by other people can be demanding, be courageous however and realize that it is a great chance to get to know a lot more about yourself. 

Facing that fear and – at the same time – working on different levels (mental, emotional, spiritual, psychological) will bring about healing.
And the best motive to do that was once put into these words of a client of mine:
I do have a lust for my own life and want to (re)discover it!  

I’d be glad to hear from you – If you want to work at it, I’ll be happy to hear from you: contact.

Anxiety of failure

… the fear of making (any) mistakes.
There can be various symptoms:

=> trembling
=> perspiring
=> panic attacks
=> nervousness and uptightness
=> pressure on your breast and difficulties to breathe
=> a lack of appetite
=> palpitations
=> problems with your stomach or diarrhea
=> difficulties to sleep through the night

Just the thought alone of an upcoming exam, a presentation or any kind of challenge – also for example to date a man or a woman for the first time –, or a scheduled conversation or review with your boss...
All of that can possibly trigger your anxiety. And your anxiety may make you procrastinate, freeze (being unable to continue to carry on with your work) or look for excuses (to avoid the situation).
Not surprisingly, this often leads to depression.

The opposite does exist also: an extreme perfectionism „If I manage to achieve at least 150%, then maybe – really only maybe – it’ll be enough [and actually I know it can’t, because neither myself nor I are really worth a lot at all]”.

All of that leads to a lot of stress – which wants to be somehow compensated, be it via alcohol, other drugs or constant distraction (internet, smartphone, media in general).
Worst case is a real Burnout, with all its consequences.

The task is to slowly (re)build your self esteem and your feeling of self-worth.

Fear of life

Why am I afraid to live?

There are many people who are so afraid to die that they actually forget to live.
“While you are procrastinating it, life passes away” said Roman philosopher Seneca – about 2000 years ago.
As pointed out above, the non-satisfaction of our deepest and most natural drives and needs during a very certain period of our early life generates a number of possible anxieties.
Often enough manifest themselves at first as latent anxieties – there is always a lack of wellbeing and we feel restless.

Overall it is a feeling of worthlessness, which prevents us from seeing the beauty and wonders of life – and we perceive everything as senseless.

Our own Ego is creative enough and invents all kinds of stories, which fit and there we are!
Trapped in a self-fulfilling prophecy.
That’s not what life actually wants us to be and do … Life is not hiding away and seeking security – we need to realize that we still have that deeply wounded little child in us that our system strives to protect.

The task is to let go of the very chains that hold you back to live your own life.
Maybe I can support you for a part of your journey?
I’d be glad to hear from you: contact me.

Why are people afraid of freedom?

If we do not experience satisfaction on that “developmental continuum” in our early lives that Jean Liedloff is talking about in her book “In Search of Lost Happiness”, we will run after these needs and we will be craving for it a lifelong … but it’s like a carrot which is being held in front of a donkey trying to get it: we will never really be satisfied. Unless we commit to a healing path.

What many crave for most is a feeling with all senses – if that need was not satisfied at the right time as a very young child, we’ll always yearn insatiably for security throughout our years.
That’s the very reason so many people are afraid of freedom. A true inner freedom and autonomy. Yearning for a sense of security (and that will always be “pseudo-security”) is incompatible to the development of freedom.
People avoid self determination, because they think they are not „okay“ — in whichever way.
So they tend to stay on a childish, infantile level. So many people run around out there as „children in adults‘ bodies“.

Inner freedom is worthwhile however and in a way a final step in our process of „growing up“, independent of our biological age.
Grant yourself the appreciation you deserve: You are reading these lines, because you are interested in yourself and the reasons why you are the way you are – and also the challenges you face in life.
That very interest is already the first step of healing!

Want to go to the next steps? I’ll help you if you want to.
Please do get in contact.

Anxiety of future

What is fear of the future?

Fear of future is closely related to the fear of life itself.

Life only happens in the present.  

The sum total of our patterns and inner programs, which are active via our ‘Ego’ and learned from the very early days of our childhood gear towards being suspicious of the present.
In fact our ‘Ego’ lives from regretting and brooding over the past as well as seeing the future as something menacing, using our full imagination for respective ‘stories’.

This anxiety cycle, which is upheld thereby, wants to convince us it can offer us something like “security”.
It holds us tightly in its grip – it is like an inner cage. Slowly we become used to a constant feeling of suffering underneath.

Do have the courage to find a way out of it!
With all your senses and slowly and yet persistently.

If I can assist you for a part of your journey, I’ll gladly do it.
Do make contact – I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Why am I always afraid that something terrible is about to happen?

Your patterns and inner programs have generated an addiction for security.
Your ‚Ego‘ is constantly busy with all sorts of threats and dangers and it makes sure that you are being kept busy avoiding them.
Anxiety is the engine that drives and steers your attention.

As it is naturally impossible to avoid all possible dangers of the future, that will cost you a lot of vitality – It literally sucks your energy of life out of you.
The “real life” is being permanently procrastinated into an imaginary risk-free future that will never come.

How can I overcome my fear of the future?

Now here’s the good message: It is possible to do something.
It all begins with the task to just let things be the way they are now.
The fear of anxiety is mostly the worst part – the actual imagined fears behind it turn out to not be as terrible as we thought.
Another very helpful measure is to practice attention exercises.
One of the simplest and at the same time most effective is to concentrate on your own breath.
Every time a thought comes along and wants to divert your attention you come back to your breathing. At first that will take less than a second. Get back to your breathing!
Now comes the most important part: Do not judge yourself that you didn’t last longer than that second. See it as a kind of muscle: Muscles do not grow overnight either; appreciate yourself for doing it. Next time it’ll be 1 1⁄2 seconds, then 2 seconds and so on. You are making progress, keep at it!
Just come back to your breathing and be proud to have “caught in the act” another thought (which often carries a worry with it) trying to lead you away!

10 Rules if you suffer from Anxiety

Here are the 10 rules of the Red Thread, if you are dealing with anxiety:

  1.  To begin with, anxiety is a normal stress reaction that also applies to physical sensations
  2. Anxiety reactions are not hazardous to your health
  3. Stay with yourself and watch yourself! What happens? With you? With your body? With your environment? By this very act of describing it you take the edge off the sword and reduce your anxiety.
  4. If you notice your head „catastrophizing“ via imagined scenarios, take a step back and look at yourself.
    Take a close look and realize who is in charge at this moment in time.
    Don’t try to change anything, just look.
  5. Stay with your anxiety and do not run away in the sense of distractions – and there are so many distractions available nowadays.
    Do nothing, just stay. Until the anxiety reaction subsides.
  6. Make use of the „zoom technique“ – What does the anxiety look like, if you zoom out slowly and it becomes smaller and smaller?
  7. Make small commitments and little courage tests. That can start with something tiny and then become bigger. You’ll build up self-confidence and you’ll break the avoidance cycle.
  8. Establish the inner motto If I am anxious and scared of something I am on my path of personal growth and if not I enjoy the joy of life.
  9. Use the „slow motion mode“, if your head once again tells you a frightening story!
    Do not fight. Just look at the story in slow motion – it’ll calm down your anxiety.
  10. Joy / Happiness is a feeling that you should never postpone.
    Be happy about little steps, be happy about your progress.
    Be happy about your growing ability to stay in the present and about your growing courage (the root of courage is the French word le coeur – the heart!).
    And thus the disempowerment of your anxiety demons!

If you want me to help and assist you on your path to inner freedom, please write to me!


Methods and approaches to calm down and overcome anxiety

There are many different possibilities to face the issue.
At ‚Red Thread Coaching‘ we approach it on various levels.
That also means to find ways „around your mind“– because it’s usually the mind and our “thinking processes”, which are in the way. We work with EMDR, with Introvision and also with the Emotion Code (Dr. Bradley); you as a human being are my first priority, so it always depends on the context and the circumstances that you are in.

You yourself can contribute most to your own healing by not running away from yourself anymore.

What can be helpful if you are afraid to go to work?

It is important to reflect upon the tasks that want to be tackled and less and lesser the fear of work. What exactly is next? Ask yourself as many questions as possible but do it from the standpoint of a good minded and curious observer: How could that work? What do I need? What are the goals at stake? What’s supposed to be the outcome?

Once you have established this mode of asking questions, do also ask yourself whether it actually IS the right thing you’re doing?  Are your strengths and competencies best invested here? Does your workplace offer the possibility to develop them further or even discover new ones?
Or would you actually need to invent and redefine yourself in a new way?
A new orientation and/or positioning?

If your fear comes, do not push it aside but analyze it. Be like a scientist, who wants to know exactly what this is. What is it really? Where does it come from? What are sentences that go through your mind, when you think of it?

With such attempts you are on the right track!

Would you like some help?  I’d be pleased to hear from you, contact me.

How to deal with your anxiety in a better way

As described above the first step is to accept and acknowledge yourself the way you are.
With wanting to be somebody else you only fuel your anxiety / anxieties.

In a second step, deal with your emotions. Those that are there. Now.
What are the patterns, programs, thoughts and emotions, which govern you?
Become the director of your own life again!

One of the best pieces of news from neuroscience is the plasticity of the brain:
It is able to form, reform, to change and to develop until the very end.

So thirdly, by the time you are in a good connection with your soul again, your thinking, feeling and acting become coherent (again) – they fit together in a consistent way:
The joy of life can be perceived again!

If you want to be coached on this journey to yourself, I’d be happy to hear from you!