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Mind Power to Overcome Anxiety And Be Stress Free

Category: De-stress & Relax

Mind Power to Deal with Anxiety and be Stress Free
Photo Courtesy of laurenatclemson

I am putting together different ways in which we can deal with anxiety and be stress free. This is Part II of the series : Break Free of Anxiety Habits – Creative Ways to Deal with Stress and Overcome Anxiety.

[For Part I of the series, click here]

5 Ways to Use Mind Power to Overcome Anxiety and Be Stress Free

1. Break the Loop, Gain Clarity
Have you ever heard an anxious mind? It doesn’t speak … it rambles. And repeats. The thoughts take circular patterns. It’s as if there is a tape being played in our mind which has a replay button on by default. No matter which part we skip or solve, we always come back to it again because that part is not resolved in the tape. Same problems, same thoughts, same worries keep repeating in one form or another. Often making problems appear larger than they are. And increased problems means increased anxiety. The only solution to this is to break the loop to gain clarity.

I have written earlier about How To Get Clarity In Thoughts. It focusses on following techniques:

  • Write in points. No stories, just points.
  • Create a table to compare details of all options
  • Draw a diagram to chart out your thought flows
  • Focus on one thing at a time
  • Bounce your ideas/thoughts at someone
  • Are you really confused?

2. Get hold of your thoughts, Channel them in the right direction
Since anxiety and stress often is a result of thoughts, controlling thoughts or rather purposefully channelling thoughts in the right direction is one of the most sensible solution available. Often people think that thoughts cannot be controlled, mind cannot be controlled. Nothing is farther from truth. We do possess the ability to control our thoughts and decide which thoughts to pursue and which to reject. By focussing more on constructive thinking, and empowering thoughts we can belittle the power negative thoughts have on us and in turn, reduce anxiety and stress.

3. Lesser The Thoughts, Lesser The Anxiety
I had read somewhere “All negative thoughts occur because we lose focus. They are a form of distraction“. So true it seems. We lose focus from doing our work and thoughts, worries, fears and judgement creeps in. These later on, lead to worry, stress and anxiety.

Imagine a time when you have no thoughts about past or future. No worries, no regrets, no fear. You are in the present, your mind deeply focussed and lost in whatever you are doing. Such a focussed mind reduces chances of anxiety creeping in.

[You can read about Focussed Meditation here]

Stress often increases our pace of thoughts in the wrong direction. So slow down. Breathe slowly. And focus on your breathing for a while. Forget about everything else, just focus on breathing slowly and deeply. Make your mind to think slowly as well. As thoughts come in slowly, you will have time to proactively weed out the negative ones rather than react to them.

Varied forms of meditation increase focus and help mind to be thought free. Try out a few types of meditation. And find out a form that you would love to do. I mix-matched a lot of meditation styles to come up with something that I enjoy doing. You might want to try it out.

[You can read about my customized meditation technique here]

4. Give Yourself A Doze Of Positive Self Talk
Talk to yourself. Talk as if you are talking to a friend or a child who needs your support in times of anxiety. You already know why you are anxious. Talk to yourself to alleviate those fears. Love yourself, accept yourself the way you are. Forgive, encourage, give hope and a vote of confidence.

You can sit in a crossed leg position somewhere in silence. And close your eyes and talk to yourself. You can do so in front of the mirror. It might feel strange in the beginning. But do so anyways. Positive self talk can do wonders for the soul; it’s heals you from within.

5. Apply these techniques, Reduce Stress, Worry and Anxiety
These are very simple but effective strategies to stop worrying. They all are quite similar to each other in approach. Hence, I have grouped them together.

  • Shift worrying to tomorrow every day.
    If you find yourself stressed about a situation in the future, tell yourself, “I will worry about this tomorrow. Since it is not going to happen for now, let me enjoy life today or let me finish this task today or let me …“. Try to delay worrying one day at a time. And do notice that as you postpone worrying by a day at a time, you soon become master in using thoughts to stop worrying for now. This freedom from worry and stress is sometimes all you need to come up with creative solutions to problems that are bothering you.
  • Bargain with Worries.
    This is quite similar to Bargain with Pain approach. Simply put, given a problem you are worried about, ask yourself for how long are you going to worry about it. And then start the bargaining process to reduce the worrying time. You can reduce by 30 mins, 1 hour, half the time … anything you are comfortable with. But, do remember to not to get very comfortable with the worrying time. The idea is to give practice to mind to stop worrying or worry for only allotted time period.
    [You can read about Bargain with Pain here]
  • Make an Appointment with Worry.
    Ofcourse there will be somethings in life you are worried or stressed about. And you would like to mull over and ponder over those. Make an appointment with worries for them. Everyday set a time period which is specifically for worrying. You can worry as much as you like in this time zone. But the catch is, you cannot worry for the rest of day. As you master this, reduce amount of appointments with worry you have. From daily to alternate days to weekly to fortnightly .. I guess you are getting the picture. The idea behind this is that it is nearly impossible to move from worry-full to worry-free immediately. These techniques will allow you to set your pace and not get overwhelmed. And slowly but surely you will overcome anxiety and become stress free.

Tune in Next Monday for more ways to deal with anxiety.
To ensure that you do not miss any part of this series, consider subscribing to RSS Feed or Email Updates for free.

Update : Part III of the series : Ask Right Questions To Deal With Anxiety And A Zen Koan

Books On Dealing With Anxiety

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Reader's Comments

  1. Mental Perception | July 14th, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Hi just dropping as usual to read what you have here on your blog! As usual, I’m always satisfied reading your articles.

    If you get a chance, I would like for you to visit a blog site that I author. I think you will like it. You can visit at: http://sublminalmentalperception.com/

    Thanks
    Mental Perception

    Mental Perceptions last blog post..Improving Low Self Esteem – Focus on Improving Low Self Esteem

    Reply to this comment
  2. Amanda Linehan | July 14th, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    I find that just being silent and still, even if it’s not formal meditation works really well to calm anxiety. I think it’s because our bodies and minds move rapidly during our daily routines.

    You said it perfectly, our minds ramble and then repeat. :)

    Amanda Linehans last blog post..2 Reasons Why Giving Money Away Benefits You

    Reply to this comment
  3. Avani-Mehta | July 14th, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    Hi Mental Perception,
    Happy to know you are satisfied with my readings.

    Hi Amanda,
    I agree, Being silent and still does help to calm anxiety.

    Avani-Mehtas last blog post..Mind Power to Overcome Anxiety And Be Stress Free

    Reply to this comment
  4. Shamelle @ TheEnhanceLife.com | July 14th, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Hi,
    Very comprehensive post.I generally focus on #4. Give Yourself A Doze Of Positive Self Talk. Most of the time its not easy! There are so many “What ifs” that kind of suppresses the positive self talk ;-0)

    btw, Thank you for stopping by and commenting on The Enhance Life.

    Regards
    Shamelle

    Shamelle @ TheEnhanceLife.coms last blog post..31 Ideas To Escape The Monotonous Daily Routine

    Reply to this comment
  5. Avani-Mehta | July 14th, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Hi Shamelle,
    So true. Positive self talk is difficult if we have not filtered through our thoughts.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Evelyn Lim | July 14th, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Hey Avani, this is a great article! I like point #2 very much. Unfortunately many of us allow our thoughts to get hold of us. We are not in control. We are also not aware of how to channel them in constructive ways. I am in need of this reminder this very morning!

    Thanks,
    Evelyn

    Evelyn Lims last blog post..Think Simple Now and Grow Rich

    Reply to this comment
  7. Shilpan | successsoul.com | July 14th, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Avani –

    Most of worries are for the things that we can’t control. Economy, world events etc. cause lots of worries. You’ve articulated well as to how we can view the circumstances with more of a rational view point.

    Shilpan

    Shilpan | successsoul.coms last blog post..7 Habits to Master the Art of Winning against the Odds

    Reply to this comment
  8. Avani-Mehta | July 15th, 2008 at 12:40 am

    Hi Evelyn,
    Everyone needs these reminders from time to time. It is very easy to allow thoughts to control us. With time and practice I believe we can become master of our thoughts.

    Hi Shilpan,
    Each of us has our own circle of concern and circle of influence. If we focus on the area which intersects and forget the rest – which we can’t influence anyway, we might be able to transform ourself and life.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Barbara Swafford | July 15th, 2008 at 4:07 am

    Hi Avani,

    Your self talk point made me laugh. I often mumble to myself. Every once in awhile my husband hears me and will ask, “Are you talking to yourself?”, My reply is, “Yes, I wanted to have an intelligent conversation”. Hehe.

    I also agree with your point about having an appointment with worry. It’s a good way to get it out of your system and move on.

    Great post!

    Barbara Swaffords last blog post..This NBOTW Will Make Your Laugh

    Reply to this comment
  10. Avani-Mehta | July 15th, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Hi Barbara,
    I loved your reply to your hubby dear. Made me chuckle :)

    Avani-Mehtas last blog post..Mind Power to Overcome Anxiety And Be Stress Free

    Reply to this comment
  11. Marelisa | July 15th, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    “All negative thoughts occur because we lose focus. They are a form of distraction“. This is very interesting. I once read that it’s like driving a car: you need to focus and keep to the middle lane. A negative thought is like pulling over into the right or the left lane.

    Marelisas last blog post..Your Anti-Career Guide – A Holistic Approach to Discovering Your Life’s Work

    Reply to this comment
  12. Avani-Mehta | July 15th, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Marelisa,
    That’s an interesting analogy.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Bamboo Forest | July 16th, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Some really great advice here, and well presented.

    Another great technique is if you’re worrying before bedtime – write the worry down and tell yourself you’ll deal with it tomorrow. This allows the mind to let it go. And then, you can get some sleep.

    Great advice. I submitted it to Digg.

    Bamboo Forests last blog post..Flying LlamaFish’s 7 Fun Words

    Reply to this comment
  14. Avani-Mehta | July 16th, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I like your technique Bamboo. This will ensure a good night sleep as well. Thanks for the digg.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Lance | July 16th, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I like your second point as well. I think it’s important to get our arms around our thoughts. Point 4, too, is beneficial for me. If we think about our problem(s) in the grand scheme of things, they really are minor. Concentrate on the positive in your life, and the anxiety will usually lessen, I have found.

    Lances last blog post..The Speed Limit of Your Life

    Reply to this comment
  16. Sunil Pathak | July 17th, 2008 at 4:29 am

    “Imagine a time when you have no thoughts about past or future. No worries, no regrets, no fear.”

    it is not possible in present world when you have so many things in store for you to deal with and one cant ignore all of them at a time some thoughts will surely stuck in your mind.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Avani-Mehta | July 21st, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Hi Lance,
    If we think of significance of our problems some years down the line, they do tend to appear negligible.

    Hi Sunil,
    I agree it is very difficult. But not impossible.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Zoltan - Positive thinker | April 28th, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    I agree that channeling your thoughts into the right direction is important. That’s what you have to do when an unpleasant thought or feeling comes up, change the direction of your thought to a more uplifting, positive one and don’t let the negative emotion sink in to your subconscious mind.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Andrew Nguyen | January 31st, 2010 at 5:00 am

    Great article, thank you. I just signed up to your blog rss feed.

    Reply to this comment
  20. Intuitive reading | January 31st, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    I like Marelisa’s thought that” All negative thoughts occur because we lose focus.”
    It’s so true. Whenever a negative feeling comes up you have to alter your thinking to a positive one otherwise that thought will root into your subconscious and the longer it stays the harder to get rid of it.
    Focus on something else. A pleasant experience, childhood memory, something when you felt happy in the past can help.

    Reply to this comment
  21. Brent French | January 7th, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Helpful post, helped me with my anxiety Thankyou so much.

    Reply to this comment
  22. Dr Senthil Kumar S | January 31st, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Very interesting, useful and informative. Thanks

    Reply to this comment
  23. Jett | April 26th, 2011 at 2:08 am

    To stop having anxiety you need to really stop thinking about it but of course it can be difficult especially if it has become a habit.

    Reply to this comment
  24. bonnie | May 6th, 2011 at 1:38 am

    Yes it is all in the mind. Some say it is psychological.

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms

    Reply to this comment

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