Was I funny enough? Did I seem unintelligent? Did I unknowingly offend someone?
These kinds of questions would creep into my mind and take over my mood on a daily basis. My self-doubt and fear of confrontation not only affected how I represented myself in social settings, it also caused a lot of unnecessary worry and tension in my relationships.
Only your thoughts create the anxiety
There was a turning point when I was fed up with avoiding conflict and tired of feeling hurt. I realized that in order to change how I felt, I needed to perceive the world through a different lens. In college, I remember one of my professors asking each person in the classroom what they wanted to accomplish at the end of their academic career.
While completing my degree, I worked closely with people who had been abused and neglected. They had been completely and utterly unseen by the people they trusted most. Not only did my heart ache for what they had lived through, my eyes slowly started to open. These amazing individuals were enough, even if no one ever led them to believe that they were. And I was enough. Shortly after this discovery, I met a kind Buddhist mentor, and through deep daily mindfulness practices, I learned how to tame the anxious, unproductive thoughts that came into my mind and not get swept away by them.
As I continued my inner work, I was kinder and more patient with others and myself. In time, I realized that struggle is universal and that we all share these encounters in some form, at some point in our lives.
Why fighting anxiety is wrong
Our true nature is who we are underneath our struggles and stories, and accessing that nature is the key to feeling at peace. Our disposition and family of origin greatly affect how we observe and react to the world around us. Have you ever admired someone who came out of the other end of adversity stronger, wiser, and better equipped for the road ahead?
Take a brief moment and think back to a time when someone said or did something that troubled you. Did negative thoughts take over your mind? Was your heart pounding? Did you find it hard to concentrate? Did this moment feel like it would never end?
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I know from personal experience that stress can sometimes feel like an out-of-body experience. Our thoughts can quickly take over and we can get caught up in our heads.
5 Steps to Reduce Worrying and Anxiety
Over time we can start relying on that comfortable place of simply reacting without thinking, or we can push our feelings away and disconnect from situations completely, like I did. For this reason, I have adapted my own go-to mindfulness exercise that I have used time and time again, as well as referred to others. One of the first times I put this technique into practice, it helped me move into a more accepting, healing place. A few years back I was at a meet for new mothers. It was my first time there, and all the conversations made it difficult to hear. I wondered what I possibly could have done to offend this woman.
My thoughts spread like a wildfire. I proceeded to doubt myself, questioning if there was something I had said to the group that day which seemed silly or unintelligent. My next course of action was to start thinking of things to say to counteract her verbal attack; a way of proving my knowledge. Back Find a Therapist. What Causes Stress Eating?
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Parenting Adolescents and the Choice-Consequence Connection. Has Gender Always Been Binary? For example, we experience worry as more specific while anxiety is more diffuse. Read on to up your emotional health. By The Seleni Institute Figure out when worry works for you and when to let it go. Our unhealthy responses to fear.
Stop caring about anxiety by learning to let go of your thoughts - Calm and Courageous
Don't Worry, Be Happy: But if this pattern of chronic anxiety sounds familiar and you think you might be attached to your anxiety, here are three tips for letting go. The danger in believing that we need to worry for things to turn out okay is that it creates a misguided sense that we can control the outcome.
Becoming aware of this flaw in our thinking is the first step in changing our relationship to the anxiety and breaking the ingrained pattern. Life is full of uncertainty, and those of us who are chronic worriers tend to have a really hard time with that. Part of the process of letting go of anxiety is acknowledging and accepting that there are certain things that we just cannot control.
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- 1. Accept that you can’t control everything.!
But resisting anxiety only makes it come on stronger. Instead, allow yourself to feel anxious.
Chronic anxiety often results in our bodies learning bad habits, such as shallow breathing and muscle tension. If you notice your breath is shallow, take the opportunity to breathe deeply into your belly.