How to Gain Control Over Anxious Thoughts
Anxiety is not your friend, but it finds a way to appear in all areas of life nonetheless. Not only that, it acts like the bad penny you wish would go away.
As annoying and discouraging as it can be, there are ways to overcome your anxiety and feel more in control.
Fact Check Yourself
When you have a lot on your plate and anxiety starts to creep in, those voices in your head may start to kick it into gear. Challenge those thoughts.
What ground do your inner voices have to stand on? Fact check that anxiety and see if it truly is warranted in whatever instance you are in. Most likely, you’re the bigger boss here. Own that, as hard as it may seem. You are bigger than your anxiety.
There is something really healing in writing or journaling. If you feel like your brain is running sprints in your head, maybe you need to unload some of it onto paper. You’ve probably seen someone who has done a social media photo dump. Think of it like that, only for your brain.
Keep a pen and paper close by. You never know when anxiety is going to rush in and you’ll need them. It’s a way of telling your anxiety you are handling it.
There is also that moment when you lay your head down expecting to sleep and boom, you’re running through a whole to do list instantly. Try taking a moment before you plan to lie down and journal some things out as a preventative measure.
Tap Into Your Senses
The key to overcoming anxious thoughts is to slow your brain down. One technique is to take a moment and notice what your senses are witnessing.
You want to start with five things you can see around you. Then find four things you can touch. Name three things you can hear. Take an inhale and find two things you can smell. Finally, focus on one thing you can taste.
By the time you get through this grounding exercise, your brain should hopefully be less anxious and more focused. When anxious, people often take for granted all the things around them. Giving yourself a minute to enjoy the little things and distract from whatever is making you anxious can set you up for much success.
Move Your Body
Anxious thoughts sometimes need an outlet to get out of your system. One fun way to alleviate them is to throw on a good bop and dance it out. If that isn’t your thing, any movement will have the same effect. Physical activity is scientifically proven to have a positive impact on mood.
Anything on social media these days can be overstimulating. The constant exposure to anything and everything can be too much for people who struggle with anxiety. If you notice it creeping in, give yourself a social media time out.
Even better, put your phone or device in a different room entirely. This way you don’t feel the urge to quick check it. Get that movement in, go outside, journal… do anything to ease your mind that doesn’t involve a device.
When All Else Fails…Breathe
This may seem common sense, but often times when having anxious thoughts, breathing becomes more shallow. Practice deep, diaphragmatic breathing to help soothe your mind. Think of belly breathing here, nice and slow. A little deep breathing can go a long way in alleviating stress and anxiety.
If you are having a difficult time getting a grasp on your racing mind, reach out for a consult. We’re always here to help you with anxiety therapy.