Today I want to share 5 steps with you to help you cope with anxiety when you’ve tried everything else.
Most of us know that anxiety doesn’t produce results we want in our health or our lives.
It causes many physiological disruptions in our bodies, it keeps us from creating what we want in our life, and it keeps us stuck and in fear.
Step 1. The first thing to realize and remember is anxiety is a feeling. It’s an emotion that happens in our body and it comes from thoughts we think. You see, It often feels like our feelings will kill us, but they won’t.
It seems like anxiety is happening to us but really we are having a thought that creates a chemical reaction that produces the feeling. That’s it. Nothing has gone wrong.
So step one is about processing the feeling of anxiety.
Close your eyes and let yourself feel anxiety. Where do you feel it in your body? Is it fast or slow? What color is it? Just notice it and let it be there. Let it sit with you like it’s on the end of the couch then let it inch closer to you until it goes away.
Notice you felt it and didn’t die. Pat yourself on the back and keep practicing this when it comes up.
Step two- Since anxiety is a feeling and it comes from our thinking it’s useful to know what feelings caused it. When you are feeling anxious get out a pen and paper and start writing down all of the thoughts you are having. Get it all out of your head.
Empty out the cupboard of your brain and see what is actually causing this feeling. Don’t skip this step. You will get lots of insight just from this.
It’s key to help you cope with anxiety when you’ve tried everything else.
Step three- Now go back and look at these thoughts individually and ask yourself, is it true? Is it really 100% true? In a court of law would everyone agree that this thought was the truth?
If it’s the truth then it’s a circumstance and circumstances are different than thoughts. A thought could be, “I shouldn’t have to ask him five times to take out the trash.” Circumstances are actual facts. “I asked him five times to take out the trash”. See the difference?
Most of what we think are circumstances are really thoughts.
So decide what is actually the truth (the circumstance) and what exactly your thoughts are. Put a circle around all of your thoughts.
Step three- Go back to your list after you figured out what exactly your thoughts are and have circled them. Next to each put a one-word feeling that each thought creates. Sad, Angry, Frustrated, Disappointed. Just one word.
Can you start to see why you are feeling anxious?
These thoughts and feelings are creating the anxiousness you are experiencing.
Step four- Now start questioning these thoughts. Get curious about them. Are they useful? If so, how? Is the answer to that 100% true. Why am I choosing these thoughts? What else could be true? What else could I choose to think and believe that feels true? How do I want to feel? What thoughts could I think that creates these feelings?
Get curious. Write it all down.
Step five- Now choose a few of these new thoughts and feelings to practice several times a day.
You’ve created a habit of thinking the old thoughts that are on default by practicing them over and over but to create new ones you have to practice them.
Post them around the house and in your car or put reminders in your phone. Record them and listen to them with music throughout the day. You’ll notice that soon they will become your default more than the old ones.
And if you start feeling like the new ones aren’t working, start again at step one.
Being willing to feel the feelings and be aware of your thoughts is everything. It will not only ease anxiety, it will give you the courage to live a life you could only have imagined.
Want help with overcoming your anxiety? Making friends with emotions so when they surface it doesn’t throw you off coarse and cause you to spin in thoughts that take you further down the hole (yes, I’ve been there).