Are you feeling anxious and needing to distract yourself in your thinking? If you are caught up in destructive thinking that is perhaps exacerbating the discomfort you feel, it’s not enough just to be told to think about something else, is it? Of course – yes! That is absolutely what you need to do – but change only happens when you know how.
Overcome Obsessive Anxious Thinking
Firstly, you must know that what you think you create. As I said to a client online today, your thoughts are like the wrapping paper around a present. The thoughts wrap around and hold an image inside of our mind. This image either helps you to feel empowered and relaxed or it helps you to spiral further into the powerlessness and hopelessness that anxiety inevitably creates.
Writing this, I’m thinking of a current client who suffers from an irritating physical condition which is brought on by stress, and which reoccurs and indeed gets worse when she fixates her thoughts on it. Working regularly with me she is enjoying huge relief at times as she retrains her mind using my strategy, which I’d like to share with you. It may well help you to overcome those obsessive anxious thoughts for yourself too.
Substitute a negative thought for a kinder and more empowering one”.
Alter Your Focus
So how can you direct your thoughts away from anxiety in order to help yourself feel better and more in control?
I show my clients how to follow a simple pragmatic strategy which, step by step, focuses away from what they don’t want to manifest and onto what they do want instead.
5 Steps to Break Obsessive Anxious Thinking
1. Be honest with yourself. Aim to get some perspective. Are you over-generalising or catastrophising your situation?
2. Knock the negative thought down to size and dismiss its power over you. What self-talk might you use to be dismissive?
3. Learn to talk to yourself in such a way that you give yourself permission to think and feel in a different way. Think about what you want for yourself as you give yourself permission.
4. Identify ideas of what you could do that would help you to capture and hold onto a better feeling. Make it ok for you to do this in your self-talk. Explore the detail – for example, so if it’s ok for you to relax, explore the idea further with your thinking. What does relaxation mean to you? And what would you do specifically to help yourself to feel more relaxed? Talk yourself through what you could do. Immerse yourself in your thinking.
5. Imagine that specific thing happening right now and what you might say to yourself to appreciate that good feeling. Better still, make the moment real and physically make the moment happen.
One Thing at a Time
Remember the mind can only hold one idea at a time. If you are really in the detail of thinking and feeling relaxed it is impossible to feel anxious or in pain at the same time.
As you substitute a negative thought for a kinder and more empowering one, you will start to feel less ‘down’ about your situation and more uplifted by your ability to take control.
This is a very simple and effective strategy but the written word can only take you so far. Whilst the reality may well be that you will need my help and support with how to put this strategy into practice, I hope this will give you a flavour of what is possible for yourself with the right help.
You too can learn to create for yourself these leaps in your thinking. It gets easier and easier when you know how to follow my simple strategies. If you’d like to add your name to list of my clients who have successfully broken free from anxiety and found their power, just get in touch and we’ll schedule a time to talk things through and get you started. It may well be easier than you might think.
Anxiety Expert – Anxiety Help Bournemouth & Christchurch, UK
Support Nationally and Internationally In-Person and Online