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The 5-Step Process For Curbing Your Anxiety

These days, thoughts seem to be swirling around in our heads faster than a tornado on uppers.

Did you know that the human mind makes up to 35,000 decisions a day? No wonder we feel overwhelmed, depleted, anxious, and stressed.

Anxiety and overthinking affects many people. Our brains work like a computer, and sometimes, it can experience meltdown.

2020 has brought an enormous amount of things to light—our habits, our worth, our way of doing things, and the way we exist and co-create. As we get to know ourselves better and our conditioning falls away, we can start to analyze our thoughts with more love, understanding, and compassion.

When our thoughts start to take over and we feel like our brain may burst straight out of the top of our heads, try this five-step process to ease yourself back to peace.

1. STOP.

When the mind starts to churn, take a pause. Ask yourself some basic questions to bring you back to the present moment:

Where am I?

Am I safe?

What is the most important next step?

Is there someone near who can assist?

Is there a trigger? What is it?

2. OBSERVE.

Imagine yourself as your own best friend who is standing outside of you. If you were trying to help you, what would you say or do?

If you are upset, nurture yourself.

If you are scared, comfort yourself.

If you are angry, allow the anger and find a safe way to release it.

This is a great practice to build up more self acceptance. We are way too hard on ourselves, especially in a crisis because we assume we aren’t doing something correctly.

What would you say to the person you love most in the world? Please say that to yourself.

3. BREATHE.

A few deep breaths are essential to get our mind to calm down and our body to relax. When we go into fight vs. flight mode, certain bodily systems shut down so we can deduce the threat in front of us.

In the modern world, the threat is probably not a bear or tiger but an email, a child’s tantrum, stress at work, or our own conditioning.

Breathing also allows us to focus on ONE thing. It soothes the mind and eases the body to return to the rest and digest state.

When we take a few deep breaths, we allow our true guidance to bubble up from below.

4. DON’T ADD.

I heard this in a workshop years ago and it literally changed my life. It’s so simple, yet so profound. When we are facing a problem or situation, it can be very tempting to start micro-managing. Our need to control our state of being spills over into our need to control the environment we are in.

Don’t add fuel to the fire. Surrender the thoughts you are having to a higher power and then move on with your day. Resist quick fixes that may require you to do more work.

Allow solutions to find you, and they will.

5. CHOOSE A BETTER THOUGHT.

We are so addicted to stress thinking and we rarely realize it. It’s so ingrained in us to react rather than observe and slow down.

After we stop, observe, breathe and surrender, it’s time to choose a better thought. Have a few in your back pocket so they are easily accessible.

Here are a few of my favorites:

I am safe.

Life supports me.

Solutions are all around me.

Thank you.

I love and accept myself.

This too shall pass.

I trust my inner wisdom.

The Universe has my back.

My soul knows the way.

I am lovable.

Try this process for 30 days and notice how you feel. Having something we can count on and turn to in times of stress will help us retreat into our natural state of ease and grace.

About the author
Favorite time of day: early morning. Follow Elizabeth on Instagram or read more articles from Elizabeth on Thought Catalog.

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