Berkley Anxiety Coach Shannon Avana Shares 3 Secrets To Happiness

Do you ever wonder why some people are happy and productive, while others are anxious and seem to be constantly chasing their tails?  Life coach Shannon Avana says finding your personal North Star may be the answer.

In her study of anxiety and depression, Business Coach Shannon Avana has discovered that the most important skill that you can learn is the ability to identify and focus on what you truly want.  What you focus on, you nurture and you create more of.

What does this mean?  It means that the fundamental truth of reality is that you create your own destiny.

At first, this writer was skeptical, but her client testimonials and statistics prompted me to dig deeper. I asked Shannon to share her secrets to getting these results her clients report.

Shannon agreed to explain her technique.

Shannon helps her clients identify and orient to what they truly want.  She explained that most people who come to her for help are looking to increase their productivity.  They’re afraid of losing their jobs, or that they won’t finish college.

What Shannon found is what is stopping them is that they are not looking forward to the future they see for themselves.  Who wants to work at a boring job?   While many of us do work toward simple stability and productivity, none are inspired by this.

What Shannon does is to help her clients connect with the dreams that they have that they’ve considered “too good to be true,” and to actually make them real in today’s reality.

Shannon says “One of the first things I do is to help my clients find their individualized North Star to orient their life by.”  After she finds her client’s dream of what they truly want, then she helps them increase their productivity, so that they can reach it.

“Productivity is boring,” says Shannon boldly. “I advertise about being someone who helps people be more productive, because that’s what will get them in the door. Then I let them know that being productive by itself will never be what gets them out of bed in the morning, and that it is only the future that they imagine that will do this.  When you are excited about the future you are creating, that is what will cause you to joyfully leap out of bed.”

Shannon also reports “I find that most people start life with glorious ideals, and then get them beaten out of them over time.  What I do is remind my clients of what it was like to be inspired as children, and that they actually do have the power to reach those sorts of dreams now.  I then personally help them realign their lives to be back on the path of their dreams as empowered adults rather than living in a state of learned helplessness just trying to survive.”  “We know our potential as children, but then we often forget it and become cynical, and its can be difficult to believe in ourselves again, even though we know that us succeeding beyond our wildest dreams really feels like how reality should be.”

Shannon has the following three suggestions to make for you if you need help straightening out your professional life:

1.  Get clear about what you really want.

Anxiety tends to stem from not being clear about what you want in life and what you should be doing.  You tend to move from one goal to the next, depending on what is drawing your attention most in the moment.  No matter what you do, you’re always distracted wondering if its the wrong thing and you should be doing something else.

Severely anxious people often do not know what they want.  They need to get clear about whether they want a job or they don’t want a job, whether they want to be with their partner or they don’t want to be with their partner.  Anxious people often follow other people’s priorities rather than their own, which means that they need to create a *consistent* map for themselves of “What is right” in order to overcome their anxiety.

There are many methods for getting clear about what you really want.  Try journaling, drawing, or creating mind maps.

Software programs can help you visualize these, you can put up your mind maps with Post-its on your wall, or make elaborate drawings or paintings that help you visualize all of the pieces of your life together.  The main point of this exercise is to get all of these ideas in one place where you can see them.

Working with a life coach can help you work through this.  Coaches like Shannon help people get through the confusion so that they can prioritize their life according to who they truly are and what they want.

2.  Use Positive Reinforcement rather than Punishment and Rewards.

Societally many of us tend to believe that if we punish ourselves until we get the task done, or if we deprive ourselves until we get it done and then reward ourselves when we get our Big Task done, that this is good motivation.

These strategies make a lot of logical sense, but they just don’t work very well for most people.  In general, you are far better off feeling good about each thing you do right, and then incrementally building by focusing on and growing everything you do that moves you in the direction you want to go, than to deprive or punish until you are there.  For more information about how to do this, see the book: Don’t Shoot the Dog.

3.  Look for ways to improve your physical health.

Your brain is an organ in your body.   If your body is not healthy, it affects your mind, and causes symptoms such as anxiety.  Shannon notes that most of her anxious clients have a common problem, which is difficulty with sleep.  She has a list of physical anxiety resources which she gives her clients along with the psychological.

One of these improvements would be to simulate natural lighting, such as what is done by the program or something similar to it.  Natural lighting prior to modern times was more blue during the day (like a blue sky), and more orange in the evening (like fire/candle light).  The change in color of light over the course of the day affects our circadian rhythms and melatonin production.

Shannon also recommends the book Great Sleep Reduced Cancer that is available on Amazon provides more information.

# # #

For more information, contact