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You’ll Never Believe What I Learned From A Deer!

Written by: Mark D. Lakowske, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Imagine a beautiful forest…It’s a pleasant day with a warm gentle breeze. The leaves rustle and wave in the wind. Streaks of golden sun are piercing through the branches of the tall trees. The sounds of tiny birds can be heard as they fly from branch to branch. It’s peaceful and calm. In a clearing in the middle of the woods is a still pond. The water’s surface looks like glass and the image of tall grasses and trees reflect out of it. A majestic deer slowly walks out from between the birch trees and easily makes its way to the water’s edge. Lowering its head it begins to take a cool refreshing drink. As it drinks, ripples cascade throughout the pond creating lazy waves that distort the reflections. All of a sudden a noise can be heard from inside of the woods. The deer stops…it looks up…its anxiety kicks in…it assesses the truth about the current situation.

Now if the deer notices that there is something truly wrong and it is in fact in danger, it will do what it needs to do to keep itself safe and alive. However, if it notices that there is no real threat, and it was just a noise, the deer will go back to living its life. It makes a choice towards the best course of action.

In other words, the deer’s natural anxiety is used as the tool that it was always meant to be. It kicks in to alert the deer of what it needs to pay attention to so the deer can do what it needs to do to affect the best outcome. Once the deer has done what it needs to do the anxiety turns back off again. This is how anxiety is designed to work.

Can you imagine the deer standing around in the woods after the “noise” has long passed and it's still worrying about the sound? Can you imagine the deer talking to the other deer saying “I have anxiety”?

Now I’m being a little “tongue-in-cheek” here, the point is – It does none of that. The deer don’t stop living its life. It just continues on being a deer and knowing that it’s okay. It knows that if something were to happen it would handle it to the best of its ability and do what needed to be done and then it would move on.

This is how our anxiety is supposed to work too. Back in the cave days our anxiety functioned more like the deers. It kept us alert, safe and alive. We as humans have forgotten how to use anxiety as it was meant to be used and we let the worries stack up over the years. For a lot of us we worry about almost every little thing; real or imagined – but even imagined it’s all real to our mind. This conditions the mind to be hypervigilant to spot anxieties that lead to a default of thinking in ways that aren’t helpful to you. That’s why logically we know that in most cases we are just fine…but the anxiety has already kicked in and we get stuck in that loop.

When this happens we don’t look at the situations that we are encountering objectively – we just react to them. This can make us feel out of control, like anxiety is happening to us. Changing this mindset will require us to let go of the story most of us like to tell about how the anxiety is wronging us. Like the deer we’ll have to take time to stop, look and listen to our surroundings, situations or even our own selves to figure out what’s really going on or what we might need. It’s about empowering ourselves to be able to make a choice that will move us out of the worries and into what feels better

Part of our big problem with human anxiety is we are the only species that don’t shut it off after the “threat” or “trigger” has passed. We replay, retell and relive anxieties we experienced, sometimes we do this with worries from years ago. We are suffering something that is over and done with. Or we suffer from something that hasn’t even happened yet…but it might…and when we think that, of course we worry, because we don’t understand or believe that we will know what to do or be able to handle it if the thing we don’t want happening actually happens. It’s silly when you think of it like this isn’t it? Yet, as humans, we do that all the time.

Anxiety is simply a way of thinking about things and when we can learn to think differently about it, it can then shift and change for us.

When we look at anxiety we also have to look at fear. Fear, like anxiety, isn’t totally a bad thing…when it’s appropriate. Both alert us to what we need to pay attention to. Fear really is nothing more than feeling powerless. At its core anxiety is a form of fear – the fear of something going wrong in the future. When we aren’t sure of how something will turn out, how we will deal with it or even if we will be able to handle it we feel a sense of powerlessness. This feeling makes us question and wonder and worry about something going wrong in the future.

So worrying about something is just a way of thinking about something. It’s a way of thinking that our minds learned how to do; it learned how to automatically think about the bad things that used to happen or what might happen to us that we really don’t want to happen.

The truth is, when we really look at most of the things we worry about, those things are simply an idea or a fear rather than a cold hard fact or truth that it WILL happen…we are suffering from our imagination of the future or memory of the past.

If you want to begin to think differently about anxiety there are a few key points to keep in mind.

To illustrate my first point; for a brief moment I’d like you to think of something now that has been creating stress in your mind…Don’t think too deeply or long on it…got it!? Okay now, if I asked you to do the problem and experience that anxiety, can you do that now? If you were to think about something that makes you worry, could you feel it or experience it? Yes or No?

I wonder if you realize that If you said “yes” that means you are in control. In other words, you could do it if you wanted to or not do it just by thinking about it. If you said “no” that means you are in control, because you are saying no to it and don’t have to do it or experience it.

Yes, anxiety can feel so strong and has a way of making people forget that it’s YOUR life and YOU are in charge. Keep in mind though, that at the end of the day, anxiety is no more than a pattern of thoughts. Start to break that pattern by reminding yourself that YOU truly are in control. That is key number one! As I always say, you are the thinker of the thoughts and the feeler of the feels. What you think about you will create, but YOU ARE IN CONTROL!

The second key is to recognize the truth in that what you might be worrying about is just a passing thing that will really be of no major importance soon. You probably don’t remember much of what you had been worrying about five months ago or five years? Worries pass if you let them go.

Key three is to understand that whatever it is that is bothering you, you have the ability to think of it in two ways. The worst way or the best way.

As you probably already know, when you think about things in the worst way, all you can do is worry or stress about it. That’s no fun! If you think about it in the best way, you are activating that part of your mind that is solution oriented and thinking of what you actually want to happen. The best way helps you to move towards the positive solution, what feels better and what you really want to happen.

So let’s try something to help your mind start to think differently about anxieties. The more you can practice this when worries come up the better!

So here’s what I’d like you to practice; close your eyes and imagine that thing that you thought of a moment ago that was causing you stress… Now, pretend, think or just know as vividly as you can something you actually really want to happen in that situation. How do you really want it to go?

– We aren’t interested in what you don’t want, “I don’t want this”, “I don’t want that”. What you don’t want is not the question – What DO YOU WANT? How do you really want it to go? – Don’t put limits on yourself. The key is you must imagine it going 100% perfectly the way that would feel best for you! Make that thing turn out exactly how you want it to be in your mind.

Once you’ve imagined it going 100% perfectly the way you want it to go I’d like you to imagine yourself 15 to 20 minutes AFTER the event about which you thought you were anxious. Notice what you are doing then, how you are feeling better. Having just gotten clear through the event with flying colors, turn and look back towards now and think about what used to make you anxious…notice where the anxiety is? Is it there or is it gone?

The mind doesn’t know if something is real or made up, so after perfectly getting through what used to worry you in the mind, the worry should be less or gone. If not, go back and imagine it more perfectly than before and repeat until it’s gone.

This trains our minds to understand that the situation is the situation, but by thinking of it in a different, more positive way it can create a much better feeling and outcome. Studies have found that practicing this you can rewire your brain and change the neural pathways to create a more positive outlook. These changes can help you worry far less!

Now I understand that sometimes things are just out of our control. A disaster happens, a death in the family, you get really sick, a breakup happens, all your money is spent, etc. Those things in life are unfortunate and do happen. Even then, we can think of things in the worst way or the best way. We always have that perspective available to us. When we choose to hold the perspective of the best way then we better equip ourselves to know that whatever happens, it’s simply a part of life and we will find a way to deal with it. As we always have. Before long that worry will become a thing of the past just like that noise in the woods became a thing of the past for the deer.

So moving forward I want you to remember that deer and the lessons we can learn from it. When things happen that set us off, take a breath and observe and assess. Look at what’s going on more objectively. Ask yourself – What is really going on? Is this situation something that I need to worry about? Will the worry help or change anything? Say to yourself – I may not like it, but I’ve handled things like this before, how can I handle this better?

Thinking in these terms puts us at cause and back in control. It takes us out of our sympathetic nervous system (fight, flight, freeze) and moves us into our parasympathetic nervous system so we can more calmly and rationally make better decisions that will make us feel better.

Think like a Deer!

No matter where you are in the world, If you need support and help to quickly and easily change your life and live happier I’m here for you. Please feel free to reach out to me at the following link – or visit my website at

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Hypnotist, Mark D. Lakowske CTC® CMHT®

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Mark D. Lakowske, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Multiple award-winning & internationally renowned clinical hypnotherapist Mark D. Lakowske has trained practitioners worldwide in his groundbreaking methods. Through this and his own practice, he has helped improve the lives of tens of thousands of people in countries ranging from the United States to Australia & New Zealand. Mark is an author of three books & regularly tours the world, contributing ideas to the development of hypnotherapy practice. His passion & drive is assisting people to overcome the overwhelming & live with more confident joy & happiness!



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