How To Stop Your Anxious Thoughts From Destroying Your Happiness?
- What is
- What has happened
- What might happen
Imagine‚ for example‚ it is Donald Duck telling you that “Something awful is going to happen. Aren’t you scared?”
Give the character a squeaky voice and make it a totally ridiculous scene. How can you take seriously an anxious duck with his big feet?
This use of cartoon imagery reprograms the initial emotional reaction you might have had to the thought and eliminates any authority the thought may have over you. You are reducing the thought’s threat.
When that is done‚ move your attention back to whatever you were doing. Remember‚ you are not trying to push the thought away or drown it out with some outside stimulus.
This takes practice in the beginning‚ but what will happen is that you will find yourself checking how you think/feel less and less during the day‚ and as it does not have a strong fearful emotion connected to it‚ your mind will not be drawn to troublesome intrusive thoughts.
To put in another way‚ the thought becomes unstuck and fades away because the emotional reaction has been neutralized.
In fact‚ that is the first step to moving away from anxious thoughts — neutrality. It is as if your mental energy was spinning in a negative cycle while you were caught in the anxious intrusive thoughts. Now‚ you are learning to stop the negative cycle‚ and move into neutral (see illustration below).
From this new position of neutrality‚ you will experience a much greater sense of clarity away from the confusion of an overanxious mind.
Moving into this mindset of neutrality is your first step. Thoughts generally lead us in one direction or another — a positive cycle (peace/sense of control and order) or a negative cycle (anxiety/ fear/ disorder).
The next step is to adopt a relaxed, peaceful state of mind and move your energy into a positive cycle of thinking.
Neutral thoughts to have in your mind
You might have wondered why it is that some people seem more susceptible to worries and unwanted intrusive thoughts than others.
You now know the answer to that. The difference is that the people who seem carefree are the ones who are not reacting with a strong fearful emotion to an anxious thought.
These people see the same array of thoughts as an anxious person‚ but they do not make a fearful thought a part of their
They dismiss the thought or laugh it off and have a sense of trust that things will work out fine. They see no point in reacting with fear to these thoughts‚ and that ensures the thought has no power or authority over them.
You may feel that you are by nature an anxious person and that you will always react with fear to these thoughts because you have done so for years. That is not the case.
Continuous or obsessive anxious thinking is a behavioral habit‚ and just like any habit it can be unlearned.
I have outlined the quickest and most effective way to do this by using a unique shift in attitude. You can undo years of anxious thinking and reduce your level of general anxiety very quickly.
All it takes is practice.
End Anxious Thoughts In 4 Easy Steps
After having visited my site I can almost imagine what your repetitive anxious thought might be.
Maybe it’s a fear of:
panic attack a
being free of general anxiety never
bodily sensation that worries you a
fear of losing control to your anxiety a
My name is Barry McDonagh and I have successfully taught thousands of people in over 30 different countries, how to end general anxiety and panic attacks.
Whatever your particular fear is, I want to share some tips and techniques with you over the coming days that will not only help you end these fears but also reduce your general anxiety level dramatically.
After many years of coaching people to be anxiety free, I have noticed that those who experience panic attacks or general anxiety almost always deal with the frequent occurrence of anxious thoughts.
Anxiety has a sneaky way of seeding doubt regardless of whether the fear is rational or irrational.
So what can be done for people who suffer from repetitive anxious thoughts?
Say for example you
Whatever the nature of the thought, the pattern that follows is usually quite predictable.
The anxious thought flashes briefly in your awareness and as it does so you immediately react with fear as you contemplate the thought.
Because of the intense bodily reaction to the thought you then get sucked into examining the anxious thought over and over.
The continuous fearful reaction you have to the thought, increases the intensity of the experience.
The more you react, the stronger the thought rebounds again in your awareness, creating more anxious shock-waves throughout your body. This is the typical cycle of anxious thoughts.
For some it feels like the anxious thoughts are hijacking their peace of mind.
Because of the reaction you are having, you may continue to spend the rest of your day thinking about the anxious thoughts you experienced.
“Why am I thinking these thoughts?” “Why can’t I shake off this eerie feeling?”
The harder you try not to think about it, the more upset you become. It is like telling someone
‘Whatever happens do not think of a pink elephant’.
So how can you eliminate these unwanted anxious thoughts?
To begin with:
you start to experience anxious thoughts, it is very important not to force the thoughts away. when
Let the thoughts in. The more comfortable you can become with them, the better. These thoughts will never go away fully but what you can learn is to change your reaction to them.
By changing your reaction to the anxious thoughts you become free of them.
Once you establish a new way of reacting to the thoughts it does not matter if you have them or not. Your reaction is what defines the whole experience (and that applies to almost everything).
Everybody experiences fleeting thoughts that many would consider scary or crazy.
The difference between most people and somebody who gets caught up in them, is that the average person sees them for exactly what they are, fleeting anxious thoughts, and casually ignores them.
The anxious person is at a disadvantage as they already have a certain level of anxiety in their system.
The thoughts easily spark feelings of further anxiety which builds into a cycle of fear. You break the cycle by changing how you react to the fearful thought.
Here is an example of how to approach this:
You are enjoying the way your day is going but then all of sudden a fearful thought comes to mind.
This time, however, say:
“That’s a fear of X. I could worry and even obsess over that, but this time I’m going to do something different. I’m not going to react to it. I’m also not going to try and stop it either. I’m just going to label the thought and not react.”
Then the thought comes again with more intensity and possibly with new ‘scary’ angles you never considered. When this
- -Observe it,
- -Label it (fear
), then of whatever
- -Watch it as it passes by with no judgment.
- -Move your attention on to what you were doing.
Observe, Label, Watch, Move on
See the anxious thought for what it really is: -one of the thousands of fleeting sane and insane thoughts every one of us experiences daily.
If you are a more indoors type of person
The key thing to remember is to:
Observe, Label, Watch, Move on
By practicing this approach you gradually stop reacting with fear to the thought and you learn to treat it as nothing more than an odd peculiarity.
When you are at a stage where you are comfortable doing the above exercise and you feel you are making good progress, then try this additional step:
Actually invite one of your more regular fearful thoughts in.
It may seem like the last thing you would wish to bring upon yourself, as you don’t particularly enjoy these thoughts but this approach can be very empowering. You are now calling the shots. You actually invited the issue in.
By doing this you are discharging
The fear quickly evaporates when you turn around and say “yes of course I can handle these thoughts.”
Fear intensifies when we pull away from it. Anxious thoughts become a mental tug of war if we struggle with them.
It is the mental struggle of pulling against the anxious thoughts that creates the inner psychological tension.
The inner tension is fueled by thoughts like:
- “I can’t handle to think about this -please go away”
- “I don’t like that thought- I want it to stop!”
Take a different stance. Invite anxious thoughts in. Willingly sit with them, label them and do your very best not to react.
Yes, it does take
As with every technique there is always a level of practice involved in the beginning. Initially you start
Keep at it. Practice and you will quickly see how less impacting those fearful thoughts become.
Do not let your mind trick you into believing that your anxiety is something you will always have to struggle with. That is simply not true.
Not alone is it possible to control the occurrence of anxious
You can have the life of your dreams. Anxiety does not have the right to steal that hope from you.
I’m going to e-mail you my mini series. It will help reduce anxiety levels significantly.
Some of this information forms a small part of the Panic Away Program.
My full program eliminates panic attacks and general anxiety very quickly and has proved highly successful with both long and short term sufferers of anxiety. The results speak for themselves.