How To Overcome Anxiety In 4 Easy Steps

How To Overcome Anxiety

Whatever your particular fear may be, I want to share some tips and techniques with you here that will not only show you how to overcome anxiety but will also help you end those fears, for good.

After working with clients to help them become anxiety free, I have noticed that those who experience panic attacks or general anxiety almost always struggle with the frequent reoccurrence of what I like to call anxious thoughts.

Anxious Thoughts: The Typical Cycle

Anxiety has a sneaky way of feeding your doubts

...regardless of whether the fear you are feeling is rational or irrational.

So, what can you do if you suffer from repetitive anxious thoughts?

To begin, let´s look at how an anxious thought is powered and then I will share just how you can quickly eliminate the intensity of that thought.

Say, for example, you are going about your daily business when an anxious thought enters your mind.

Whatever that thought may be, the pattern that follows is generally pretty predictable.

The anxious thought flashes briefly into your awareness and, as it does, your first reaction is one of fear. That fearful reaction then causes a shock-wave to roll through your entire nervous system - and you feel the result of that fear most intensely in your stomach, due to the large number of nerve-endings to be found there.

Because of this intense bodily reaction you find yourself sucked into examining the anxious thought over and over again.

The continual fearful reaction you have to the thought increases the intensity of the experience. The more you react, the stronger that thought anchors itself in your awareness, sending more anxious shock-waves careening through your body.

This is the typical cycle of anxious thoughts.

Some of my clients have told me it´s like their anxious thoughts are literally hijacking their peace of mind!

Because of the fearful reaction you have when this happens, chances are you spend the rest of your day thinking about the anxious thoughts you experienced.

Ignore The PINK Elephant!

You may ask yourself:

  • Why am I thinking these thoughts?
  • Why can’t I shake this fearful feeling?

The harder you try not to think about it, the more upset you become.

It is like me telling you: Whatever happens DO NOT think of a pink elephant.

Naturally enough, that´s exactly what you will find yourself thinking about. That´s just the way our brains are wired!

So, how can you eliminate these unwanted anxious thoughts?

What To Do First

When you start to experience anxious thoughts, it is very important not to try to force the thoughts away.

Let the thoughts in.

The more comfortable you can become with them, the better. These thoughts will never go away fully but what you can learn is to change your reaction to them.

By changing the way you react to anxious thoughts, you can break the chains that bind them to you.

Once you establish a new way of reacting to the thoughts it does not matter if you have them or not. Your reaction is what defines the whole experience - a truth that applies to most everything going on in and around us.

We all experience fleeting thoughts that someone else might consider scary or crazy. The difference between most people and somebody who gets caught up in them, is that the average person sees them for exactly what they are: fleeting anxious thoughts - and casually ignores them.

An overly-anxious person is at a distinct disadvantage becaues they already have a certain level of anxiety in their system. When anxious thoughts strike, they easily spark feelings of further anxiety which builds into a cycle of fear.

You break the cycle by changing how you react to anxious and fearful thoughts.

Imagine This

You´re having a pretty okay day

...when, all of a sudden, a fearful thought comes to mind.

In the past, you would have reacted with anxiety to the idea and then tried to force that thought out of your mind.

This time, however, you say to yourself:

That’s a fear of X. I could worry and even obsess over it but THIS TIME, I’m going to things differently. I’m not going to react to it at all. I’m not going to try and stop it. I’m just going to label the thought and not react.

At this point, the thought comes again - but with greater intensity; possibly even with new ‘scarier’ angles you never thought about before.

When this happens you do, tell yourself exactly what you told yourself before. Simply observe the thoughts and sensations - like watching a cloud passing overhead, you want to:

  • OBSERVE it,
  • LABEL it (fear of whatever), and then
  • WATCH it as it passes by with no judgment.

And finally,

  • MOVE your attention on to what you were doing.

Observe, Label, Watch, Move on

See the anxious thought for what it really is: one of the thousands of fleeting sane and insane thoughts every one of us experiences on a day-to-day basis.

These are the keys to how you can overcome your anxiety:

Observe, Label, Watch, Move on

Practicing this approach will help you gradually stop reacting with fear to those anxious thoughts, so that you learn to treat them as nothing more than odd peculiarities.

Once you reach the stage where you are comfortable doing the exercise above, and you feel you are making good progress, then try this next step...

Actually invite one of your more regular fearful thoughts in.

Call the fear to you. Say you just want it to come close so you can observe it.

It may seem like the last thing you would ever wish to bring upon yourself. After all, there are few things you enjoy LESS than dealing with these anxious thoughts. Still, this approach can be very empowering because now you are taking control of the situation.

You are calling the shots. You decide what is what by acutally inviting the issue in.

And, as a result, you are able to defuse the dense vibrations of fear surrounding your anxious thoughts. Know that the fear was sustaining itself on your resistance; on the belief that you could not handle these thoughts.

Fear quickly dissipates when you turn around and say to its face: Yes, I can handle these thoughts. Of course I can!

Fear intensifies when we pull away from it. Anxious thoughts become a mental tug of war if we try to battle them. It is the mental struggle of pulling against the anxious thoughts that creates the inner psychological tension.

That inner tension is fuelled by thoughts like:

  • I can’t handle thinking about this - please go away!
  • I don’t like that thought- I want it to stop!

Do something different. Take a different stance. Invite anxious thoughts in.

Willingly sit with them, label them and do your very best not to react.

Yes, it takes practice. Most things worth doing, DO. Still, you will soon find yourself in a unique position of control. You are no longer a victim of fearful thinking but the decision-maker when it comes to what you will or will not be concerned about.

As with every technique there is always a level of practice involved in the beginning. Initially you start observing but then suddenly get anxious about the fearful thought. That’s very normal in the beginning.

Keep at it. Practice and you will quickly see the impact of those fearful thoughts decreasing.

Do not let your mind trick you into believing that your anxiety is something you will always have to struggle with. That is simply not true.

You can have the life of your dreams. Anxiety does not have the right to steal that hope from you.

Still, it can be hard to do alone...

The information I´ve shared with you here forms a small part of the Panic Away Program, a highly successful system for helping both long- and short-term sufferers of anxiety.

Click HERE, if you´re ready to learn how to overcome anxiety and eliminate panic attacks, once and for all.

About the Author Jan Marie Mueller

Jan Marie Mueller is founder of the inspirational blog ThinkBrilliantly and The Brilliance Community, a free Facebook group dedicated to empowering women to let their inner brilliance shine! Her mission is to help women everywhere shift the way they think about themselves, their world and those around them so they have the confidence to do, be and have what they want most in life!

follow me on: