The holidays are just around the corner. For some, this means heightened anxiety. Anxiety seems to exist on a spectrum and is self perpetuating. The fear of feeling fear causes more of it, which only makes it worse and sometimes unbearable.
Negative thoughts fuel these feelings and breaking the cycle can be very hard. The good news is, since this is self perpetuating then we hold the power to free ourselves from its intense grip by changing the habit. It might be hard, but not impossible.
Telling yourself that you feel good and happy when you don’t won’t work but changing your focus, one thought at a time, is incredibly helpful. Thinking negatively is a cycle that you have likely been in for many years. A traumatic and/or period of heightened stress can turn up the intensity on “normal” levels of anxiety.
Try this exercise the next time you feel anxious or overwhelmed. When you have a fearful thought, your job is to intervene by redirecting your focus immediately so that it doesn’t lead to subsequent catastrophic thoughts. For instance, when thinking a thought, such as, “I’m never going to look good and be happy”, redirect your attention. Focus instead on a fun project you would like to start instead of letting the first negative thought lead to other, damaging thoughts.
Our ego believes that it needs to continuously run the worry script in our minds but doing this all day is counterproductive and detrimental to our wellbeing. When we begin to break the negative thought cycle, we make room for more of what we truly want in our lives. Continue to pay attention to what your mind is telling you and direct your thoughts so that you may live your best life.