At times we all find ourselves feeling anxious. To feel anxious when we attempt something new is natural, it becomes a problem though when it stops us achieving our goals and grows into a feeling that we just don’t seem to be able to shake off.
We can distract ourselves for a while by going to the cinema, going for a massage or reading a good book for example. Only, in the long run, do any of these help us overcome our anxiety and achieve our goals? So, what about a more ling-term solution?
Let’s consider, where does anxiety come from? Try this exercise, recall a happy event or a peaceful time and notice how you feel. Did you find that the exercise of just thinking about that event brought back those feelings?
What were you doing? You were just using your thoughts and re-creating those feelings in your mind weren’t you? Do you see the connection between your thoughts and feelings?
Likewise, the feeling of anxiety is connected with certain types of thoughts. Generally, worries about the future, fears related to past events repeating, imagining worst case scenarios, wanting others to like us, fear of making mistakes, fear of failure and ego.
This gives us a clue as to how we can find for ourselves a more workable solution to anxiety, i.e. one that will also allow us to achieve our goals. One that begins with checking and changing our thinking.
Do you believe you have the power to choose your thoughts? Try it now, actively choose to think thoughts filled with courage or understanding or peace. How do you feel?
Knowing that our thoughts affect our feelings we can begin to first of all reason with our anxious thoughts. Ask yourself, ‘Is this really true?’ ‘Am I exaggerating?’ ‘Am I anticipating the worst?’ ‘How many of my past worries have come true?’
Now, add in some more optimistic thoughts, and give yourself a chance. The more time we spend entertaining optimistic thoughts the less time we can spend worrying!
Another great help is to set the tone of our day first thing in the morning. Before starting the day, it is a great boost to, give yourself 10 minutes to sit quietly and create a positive mind-set for the day or connect to your original state of peace, for example. Then, throughout the day whenever you have a few moments return to this experience.
What about mistakes? These are another big cause of anxiety. We all make mistakes. The trick is to learn from them. Ask yourself, ‘What can I learn from this?’ Mistakes then become opportunities to learn and grow.
Have the courage to say to yourself, I am going to practice thinking differently. Never think that you can’t conquer your anxiety. You can. Just imagine a life without anxiety.