Recently I’ve been thinking about how great anxiety is at ruining a potentially peaceful state of mind and making you feel like shit, and why that is.
I think in part, it’s down to anxiety being linked with a ‘fight or flight’ response.
Think about it. If you’re in a fight or flight situation, your brain is dealing in absolutes. It is latching onto anything that might be a threat, that it then has to get away from. It’s ACTIVELY looking for threats… or in daily life, potential negative events.
While that is happening, the other part of your brain …. your true, more logical self … has to deal with all its focus being shoved towards the ‘what ifs’ … the stuff that your fight or flight part of the brain is shouting about.
You need to break the loop.
If you force yourself, even for a few minutes, to step away and realise what your brain is doing, you can stop the fight or flight automatic response in its tracks.
The way I do it is to think about something nice that I can reward myself with later on in the day. Like a Netflix special, or maybe a super indulgent snack.
Suddenly it’s like my brain says “oh yeah, that stuff I was worrying about is silly” because I’ve ignored it.
Meditation is also good. Visualise a stream with all those worries and problems floating down it. Then just let them go.
However you do it, you need to zig when your anxiety is telling you to zag.