The world can be challenging, and so many events, near and far, can impact someone’s thought patterns daily. Other issues arise that are much closer to home and can also have a bearing, and it’s little wonder that people can suffer from so much anxiety — often without realizing it. What can you do to overcome those anxious thoughts if you find that you are always on edge?
Understand the Challenge
Firstly, it’s important to understand that you’re not alone if you suffer from anxiety. It doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with you, and remember that anxiety can often manifest in physical symptoms. You may find that you are also suffering from an upset stomach, occasional headaches and teeth grinding at night.
When you have anxious thoughts, remind yourself that these may reflect an overactive mind, and those thoughts are not actually real-time events. Some people find it helpful to detach themselves and actively consider that they’re simply watching those thoughts floating by rather than “living” them. The thoughts themselves are not potentially harmful, but anxiety will follow if you believe they are real or may come to pass.
Others find it beneficial to label the thoughts — for example, “there goes another worrying thought,” and let it fly past while you search for a good thought to replace it. In other words, don’t get attached to that thought as if it is something you cannot afford to lose. Simply understand that they will come and go, just like rainclouds will arrive and depart during a typical day.
Stay in the Present Moment
Don’t allow those negative thoughts to purchase real estate in your mind and rob you of the joy of the present moment. Instead, immerse yourself in the here and now without actively thinking about anything. There’s a tendency to believe that you should always be focused on some particular issue, but that is not the case. If you find that those negative thoughts creep up and start to accumulate, ground yourself and focus on realities instead. Outline what you are doing from a physical perspective and what you plan to do in the next moments — for example, “I’m about to unlock the car door, get in and drive away.” This brings everything back to the here and now and to the task at hand.
Remember, you cannot stop the mind from thinking, but you can always practice mindfulness. Perhaps a practice such as active meditation or yoga would help. Just remember that you are in charge of your life, and there is no reason to let those negative thoughts assume control.
By embracing some of these ideas, you can take control of your everyday situation. Pigeon-hole those negative thoughts and look forward to fewer episodes of anxiety.