A: Admit. Admit that anxiety is your problem, and no one else’s.
B: Believe. Believe that you can change.
C: Change. Change the beliefs that cause the anxiety and you change your life.
Do you blame your anxiety on your mother in law, your kids, or your spouse? Do you credit heredity for making you anxious? Is it your situation or your surroundings? Your boss, perhaps? Or maybe you have no idea what is might be, it’s just always there.
What do all those things have in common? At first glance, nothing. If you look again, you will see that all these apparent reasons are outside of your control. If something is outside of your control, then it is up to someone else to change it, and we all know that if you are going to wait for your mother-in-law to change, it could take a very long time! You know as well as I do that you can’t change her, your spouse, or your lineage! Sometimes you can temporarily change your situation by getting a new job, new house, new neighborhood, but the anxiety will almost always come back.
Why? Because anxiety is inside of you and totally in your control. The outside influences may be just that, influences; but you can choose what influences will have an impact on you and which ones won’t. Certain people and situations have the ability to trigger the anxiety that is already inside of you, but they don’t cause it. You can be at peace in the presence of anyone and anything. You just have to first recognize that this is your problem, not someone else’s. And if it is your problem, then you have the power and the resources to change it.
It’s a matter of finding out what the source and origin of the anxiety really is and what the triggers are that set it off. Armed with this information, you can begin to explore the beliefs that cause the anxiety in the first place and rid yourself of those faulty beliefs that keep you stuck and uneasy, replacing them with shiny new healthy beliefs. You will find that with the old beliefs gone and replaced with new ones, you no longer have the need for the anxiety and whatever role it played in your life, and it effortlessly disappears.
Working with a therapist that can help you explore those debilitating beliefs can be very helpful. In the mean time, here are a couple of tools for you to use.
- Take a long slow deep breath…or two…or three.
- Realize it’s your body’s way of telling you, it thinks you might be in danger. Thank your body for alerting you , then remind it that you’re fine.
- You learned this reaction in childhood. You have better coping skills now and are not subject to the childlike fears.
- When the thoughts starts spinning in your brain, consciously stop them and start them spinning in a new direction with a powerful affirmation like: “I’ve got this.”
- Remember that what you resist persists. So if you treat the anxiety like an enemy and keep fighting against it, it will fight back. If you acknowledge it, and let it pass, it will.
For more practical helps, check out my book, Un-Leashed: Practical Steps to Get Your Life Unstuck.