The hack to stop anxiety in it's tracks.
Today I learned that there are 5 types of anxiety and that about 40 million Americans are affected by it. To be honest, I truly believe the number is way higher considering we might have portions of anxiety that is not clinically reported.
The most common type (which I’ve experienced several times) is GAD:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, according to NIMH, is an anxiety disorder characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it. Ah, does that sound familiar to you?
Sometimes our thoughts demand more than what we can offer in the moment and rob us from the joy of living with a peaceful mind. No matter how peaceful your present moment might be, it is inevitable that you’ll run into one or more “angry customers” eventually. (read this to get the reference)
These anxious thoughts are yelling things into our ears things like — “Hey you need to clear that debt you have looming RIGHT NOW or else you aren’t successful.”
“Hey you need to finish that task you’ve been procrastinating RIGHT NOW or else you’ll be doomed.”
In reality, there is not one conclusive world-ending fire that needs to be feared as much as the fear itself. Anytime these thoughts overwhelm you, anxiety is taking charge of your inner peace and usually slows your pace instead of helping you achieve your goals.
No one has ever crushed all their goals while having anxiety by their side. Anxiety is the brakes to your free riding adventure through the day. It doesn’t accelerate, it only decelerates.
If you pull the rug under anxiety, what really the message behind anxiety is that “Hey, give me some actual evidence that we’re doing fine about that goal and I’ll shut up.” All it needs is some evidence that you are following through with your promises/plans you set out to achieve.
According to growth mindset, each hurdle or obstacle is NOT to be feared but instead examined deeply on what it is teaching us. When you switch from “fear” to “curiosity” your entire perspective changes. Instead of running from anxiety, you openly embrace those thoughts and start figuring out what the mysterious message behind them is.
One way to stop anxiety in its tracks is: “Stay in your time zone”
Anxiety is a future-oriented state of mind. So instead of worrying about what’s going to happen, “reel yourself back to the present,” says Tamar Chansky, Ph.D., a psychologist and author of Freeing Yourself from Anxiety. Ask yourself: What’s happening right now? Am I safe? Is there something I need to do right now? If not, make an “appointment” to check in with yourself later in the day to revisit your worries so those distant scenarios don’t throw you off track, she says.
What else? What are your hacks on how to catch and stop anxiety before it becomes overwhelming?