Anxiety is the most common problem we face today. It leads to all the bad things. All of them. Insomonia. Depression. Addictions. Suicide. Yes, there are different levels of anxiety. From a subtle worry to a full blown panic attack. But anxiety is anxiety and you want to stop it before it stops you.
I’ve had anxiety for most of my life. I would worry about everything, hold onto things I couldn’t control, and fight the universe daily. I’d cope with it through unhealthy food and reckless behavior. It put me into low frequency states and instead of living, I would be in survival mode. Fight or flight. Panic. This made me negative and angry. I was not pleasant to be around. I didn’t like myself. But I didn’t know how to live differently. I tried but I couldn’t get out of the trenches. I would tell myself not to worry or get stressed out but my anxiety owned me. It had control over me and my life. I became a prisoner.
Today I have the least amount of anxiety I’ve ever had. It took nearly a decade and lots of acquired tools. But it’s possible! You don’t have to live in a state of fight or flight. You can reduce your anxiety significantly and be happier. Have more peace. Actually live instead of panic.
Okay, here are the steps I took to reduce my anxiety. But I want you to remember, dissolving your anxiety is lifestyle, a daily practice, a way of living. It’s not a one time thing.
Everything starts with your thoughts so let’s begin there.
Be aware of your thoughts / feed the positive
This is probably the most beneficial piece but also the most difficult. What we choose to think about are deep rooted pattern we’ve been repeating for most of our lives. Our thoughts become automatic impulses that determine the quality of our state which directly impact our daily life.
Most people choose not to be aware of their thoughts. They allow their thoughts to play like broken records. And 90 percent of our thoughts are the same ones we had yesterday, which were most likely negative and lined with worry, stress, guilt, regret, all anxiety producing feelings. This process spreads anxiety like tear gas dropped into a boarded house and your thoughts turn into a toxic smoke that fogs your brain. You become greyed out. Your knuckles turn white. It becomes hard to breathe. You are no longer living at this point. You are suffering.
But once you choose to become aware of your thought, have control over them, then you can control how you want to feel. You have a choice on whether you want to feed your thoughts or not. Many don’t believe this because their thoughts are so powerful and overwhelming. But it is possible with practice and if you do not make a choice, your history will choose for you. You will fall into your default, old thinking partners that feed worry and fear and your anxiety will spread like wild fire.
So instead, stop feeding the old thoughts and create new ones. Let’s make it super simple. Let’s put your thoughts into two categories. Positive (living). Negative (suffering).
Positive thoughts produce encouragement, hope, calm, and a new pattern of thinking.
Negavtive thoughts create fear, panic, worry, dread, and reenforce old ways of thinking.
But how do you choose positive thoughts when you don’t feel positive?
You don’t have to feel something to think something. If we just went with what we feel all day, we would live in worry. You can guide how you feel by what you choose to think about. But it’s a practice. It has to be done daily, starting with small bites, and threaded into your life. It’s like flexiblity in your body. The more you stretch, the more flexible you become. When you stop being aware of your thoughts, you will snap back. So you have to constantly stretch by being aware of your thoughts, starving your negative thoughts and feeding your positive ones. Our brains are moldable. The more you practice controlling your thoughts, the easier it becomes. Until it becomes your new instinct. Like transforming your body, rewiring your mind and the way you think requires consistency and time. You’re reprograming years and years of impulses and learned behavior.
Live in the here and now
Most of us spend out days in time machines. We dwell on the past or worry about the future. This causes us to just go through the motions of our day. There is no axiety in the here and now. Anxiety lives in the past and future. So try to come back. To the present. Where life is happening.
Tip: Focus and describe what you are seeing, literally. This causes you to notice instead of think. Use all your senses. What do you smell? What do you feel? Notice the chair you are sitting on. Notice the air. The light. The sky. Notice people’s energy. Come into being. Stop thinking and see how long you can hold it, like you’re under water. But breathe. Until you become a fish and you can swim there.
Mediate every day
I know. I know. You know this. This is not new news. Well, do you? I know I don’t. And I know how I feel when I do. The secret to mediation is to do it enough where it’s no longer feels like a chore but you actually start to look forward to it. And if you go pass that, your day will not feel complete without it. So, you have to swim pass the breakers. There is calm after all the trying and struggling to get it in every day. So start small, 10 minutes. Don’t judge it. Just do it. Daily.
Take “I’s” our of your sentences
I’ve learned that the fastest way to let go is to believe in something bigger. It doesn’t matter what your “something bigger” is. God, the universe, aliens, trees. Or maybe all you need to believe in is your story, which is bigger than you.
I find that anxiety is created when we use a lot of “I’s” in our sentences. When we make everything about us. What we want. What’s not coming to us. What we are lacking.When we make things about us and things don’t go our way, there is instant anxiety. What we have in our mind doesn’t match reality. So instead, imagine that something greater is working through you that allows you to shine your gifts, to impact others, and teach you and who you collide with something about love, life, and ourselves.
Stop making it about you.
Make it about us, the world.
This mindset will cause you to expand instead of constrict and you’ll start to dissolve your anxiety, all the little things that seem so big in your head. They will become small. You will have more peace, feel more calm. Surrender. Let go. Accept. And finally, just be.