3 Ways to Stop Anxiety From Controlling Your Thoughts
Updated: May 24, 2021
Every Thursday I go Live inside my Facebook Group to answer questions asked by my group members. There's a theme coming up with questions, Stress and Anxiety! Here's the latest question.
How do I stop anxiety from controlling my thoughts?
Stop it Early!
Meditate 15-20 minutes every morning.
Mindfully approach anxious thoughts.
Stop it Early!
The earlier you can catch anxious thoughts, the easier they are to STOP! You accomplish this by checking in with yourself throughout the day, asking yourself 2 questions.
1. How do I feel?
2. What am I thinking?
By asking these 2 questions periodically throughout the day you are reminding yourself to check in. You are reminding yourself to keep a tiny bit of focus on how you feel and what you are thinking. Eventually this becomes a habit and your body will start giving you warning signals when you are feeling anxious or thinking anxiety driven thoughts.
2. Meditate 15-20 minutes every morning.
When we meditate 15-20 minutes every morning, we are training our brains to be quiet. We are training our emotions to stay in check. We are training ourselves to notice when something is not quite right. If you really want to stop anxiety early, meditate 15-20 minutes every morning.
3. Mindfully approach anxious thoughts.
If it's a little bit of anxiety, you can easily distract yourself from it. When it is more than a little anxiety, it takes a little more work. This is when distraction is not the best method. When feeling more than a little anxiety, take a moment and acknowledge how you are feeling. I like to do this in writing. I'll take a moment, and write down how I am feeling and why in a few sentences. "I am feeling anxious about this thing that is happening. I'm worried that this might happen. I know I am thinking about it too much and that the more attention I give it the bigger it will get." Now switch it up, and go for more general statements that feel a little better than anxiety. "This really isn't a time sensitive problem so I don't have to figure it out right now. There's nothing really serious going on right this minute. I can choose to feel better about things and then look for solutions instead of looking at the problem. I can choose my thoughts that way. I am aware more often than not that things usually work out well for me. I can just take it easy, this isn't really pressing." This is a perfect segway into finding things that have worked out for you in the past and reminding yourself of that. Do you really believe that everything is always working out for your good? This is a great time to remind yourself of those things!
BONUS: When you are in panic attack level anxiety, box breathing is very helpful! Start by counting your breaths and slowing them, 1 for breathing in, 2 for breathing out. It might start really fast! That's ok. Just keep counting and slowing your breaths. When you begin to feel a little more in control of your breath, breathe in slowly and count how long it takes you to breath in. It may only be 2-3 seconds. That's good! Now slow your exhale to the same time it took you to breath in. Repeat this a few times. Now you can create a box with your breath! Breathe in slowly and count. However long it took you to breath in, hold your breathe in for the same count. Then slowly exhale, again counting to the same number as your breath in. Now hold your breath out for the same # of seconds. For example: 4 second breath in, hold it in for 4 seconds, breath out slowly taking 4 seconds, hold your breath out for 4 seconds. Repeat the box breath 4 or 5 times. If you have the time you can even increase the # of seconds, which is an amazing skill and tool to have at your disposal in those moments of extreme anxiety!
These are the kind of things I talk about every week in my Free Facebook Group! Join me over there and ask your own questions!
Remember: I'm hosting a free Workshop in the Group April 12-14, to activate your intuition and your self healing abilities and teach you techniques to deepen your trust for your skills!