Calming Your Anxious Mind

Anxieties happen when thoughts and situations bother you to the point of overthinking things, accompanied by physical and emotional distress. These thoughts and even feelings of anxiety distract you from making decisions, accomplishing tasks, and other dealings because of the stress your worries bring you.


Anxious thoughts must be overcome; however, repressing or ignoring them will not help either. When not dealt with accordingly, they will intensify, making it more challenging to manage and, in turn, may compromise your relationships and your efficacy and hinder you from finding joy in your actions.


Here are some great ways to help manage your stress and anxiety and move forward.


  1. Attempt Cognitive Distancing


Cognitive distancing recognizes thoughts and emotions as part of reality but not reality itself. They are just guesses rather than facts. The thoughts do not dictate your actions. Sit comfortably on your chair. Then recognize each thought as words like, “I am having a thought of…”.


  1. Try Cognitive De-Fusion


Treat each thought as data that is just passing through your head rather than considering them as facts. Let these thoughts come and go in your head. You are leading your heart rather than it is leading you. This will make you become a proactive thinker.


  1. Practice Mindfulness


Observe your thoughts. Do not react right away. Think of every thought as clouds floating by. Do not try to predict or connect to your thinking. Do this by breathing in and out while you visualize the idea passing along.


  1. Focus on Direct Experience


Your mind is a storage of memories. Sometimes, your mind feeds you negative past experiences.

Try to think of the present moment. Be in the moment to avoid premeditating things based on your past. Open yourself to whatever will happen and be proactive rather than reactive.


  1. Label Things


Label the type of thought your mind is having. Do not go into its content. While your eyes are closed, watch your thought. If you see this thought of judging, you say, “This is judging.” Or, if it is a worry, label it as worrying. This exercise allows you to shift your attention from the literal content. It helps you see how you think about things.


  1. Stay in the Present


Do not dwell on your past experiences. You can now make the right decisions and do not be hard on yourself for failing in the past. Your present is where you are right now; learn to think about those things. Think of the things surrounding you now. Appreciate what you see and be grateful for what you have. While in your thoughts, think about those things.


  1. Broaden Your View


When your mind is stuck with a threatening aspect of the situation, breathe and think about the broader part of the situation. Think of the anxiety would be as relevant 5 years from now. If not, then it is time to let go of the thought. Ease up, and do not worry.


  1. Get Up and Get Going


Once you start getting lost in thoughts and focus only on your anxiety, stop and choose to do something else. Worrying will not help you solve your worries. Doing something else will help recalibrate your mind. Afterward, get back on your seat and see that you have already gained a different perspective.


  1. Decide Whether a Thought Is Helpful


Once you have labeled your thoughts, try to decide if that thought is worth holding on to. If not, then let it go. Even for thoughts that are considered true, try not to dwell on them. Let go of negative thoughts that will stop you from doing what you know you’re good at. Stop anticipating and predicting things.

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