Discover 7 Tactics to Help Overcome Anxiety
If you’re struggling with anxiety, you’re not alone. Our expert personal development team get questions from people all the time on how to deal with anxiety. Mind.org statistics report 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety or depression) in any given week in England.
It can be debilitating, you can feel out of control, fearful, overwhelmed or like you freeze and just can't do anything; these are just some of the experiences people have.
Life Ladder's mind management experts and qualified practitioners have a wealth of experience helping people overcome anxiety. In this article they share some tips and approaches to help you overcome the impact anxiety in your personal and work life.
1. Identity – Diminish Anxiety by Building Inner Security
Anxiety (as most people experience it) is a future-based mental health struggle.
Although there are several labels for mental health problems, no one’s experience is identical to another.
Although we cannot say this applies to everyone, on the whole, anxiety is future-based and comes from uncertainty, unknown factors, what-ifs, playing out the worst case scenario, circling thoughts trying to analyse, figure out, understand and not being able to feel secure in some way.
Your experience may be different and that’s ok.
How do you build inner security with your identity?
First notice if you say anything like this to yourself:
“I am an anxious person”
“I am anxious”
“I suffer from anxiety”
Now these things might be/feel true for you, in fact if you’re saying these things to yourself, it becomes your identity because your subconscious mind listens to you and responds.
The first step to inner security is to start speaking your way out of this identity towards inner security, which you can do with language such as:
The reason we encourage this is because even if you experience anxiety, you are so much more than that. You are not your anxiety; it be a part of your life experience, but it isn’t you. It is a feeling or a behaviour you experience. Make sense?
It is important to start detaching from seeing yourself as a problem. The anxiety isn’t there to harm you, any behaviour your mind or body does is trying to do the right thing for you.
A Life Ladder member we helped last week realised her feeling of anxiety is her reminder she needs to create space for herself to rest a little. We helped her to transform some of her anxiety, however she chose to keep some of it because she realised that it isn’t actually a problem if it is trying to help her, the important part is listening to it and as a result identifying what your mind/body is trying to communicate to you.
Maybe it is:
“Slow down, rest, let go of something that isn’t serving you, plan ahead more.”
Once you accept the anxiety as communication from your mind and body and soften towards yourself a little, your body will start to feel more secure, because it will feel you listening, it will feel your leadership when it knows you are paying attention. That’s how you create inner security, nurture the relationship with yourself.
2. Values – How Avoidance Creates Anxiety
A lot of anxiety gets built up from worrying how things will go because you’re not dealing with them. As a result the worries remain stuck and swirling around in your head with you playing out all possible scenarios and thinking the worst.
The reality is often nowhere near as challenging as it seems when you face it and once you’re through it, you’ll feel enormous relief.
Your mind is probably swirling because it wants to feel safe, secure and give you the best chance of being ok. What if you had a set of questions to help you make sense of things so you can feel more secure in your way forward?
Here are some questions to consider getting you ready to face things that feel difficult:
- What would happen if you did?
- What would happen if you didn’t?
- What wouldn’t happen if you did?
- What wouldn’t happen if you didn’t?
Once you have weighed up these questions, you have seen it from all angles. Go for it, face what’s difficult and you’ll be providing yourself with enormous relief, get support and help if needed, there is always more help available that it seems.
3. Beliefs – Build a New 'Because' to Beat Anxious Thoughts
Your belief system is made up of ‘because.’
Maybe it’s “that will go wrong because” or “I’m anxious because” or “I’ll never be able to because.”
These types of 'because' will add more weight to your feeling of anxiety, it’s like building more bricks onto it.
Therefore, notice how you use the word 'because' and choose to make some new choices.
Choose a ‘because’ that will help you overcome anxiety.
Maybe “because I have got through x, y and z, I know I have immense strength inside of me.”
“Because I have developed loads of knowledge and skills I haven’t always had, it is possible I will learn new ways to feel good.”
Choose a because that feels more like possibility, expansion, and relief. You’ll have plenty if you apply determination to look for them.
4. Memories – Separate Your Past from Your Future
Sometimes you mind will calculate outcomes for your future based on your past. If you have had challenges in the past, this can cause anxiety.Your mind follows your lead, so if you’d like to move through this, you can instruct your mind to get the learnings from past experiences and let go of the emotions.
This is based on an NLP technique called time-based techniques.
Your memories (stored in your subconscious mind), have stored all past experiences and they form part of how you see life now. When you change how you perceive memories, you change your current life experience, because your memories are shaping how you interpret life.
You’re the leader of your mind, so when you trust that you can give instruction/delegate to your subconscious mind.
Before you go to sleep, you can say:
“In my sleep tonight, my memories will be updated with the wisdom I have today. Please go through and download all the learnings I need from my past and generalise these learnings across my whole timeline from birth until now and complete this process before I wake up in the morning. I will wake up on time, having released all old emotions and I will feel light, clear and my day will work out well for me.”
This may seem like a strange thing to do on your own, normally a practitioner would guide you through this, however you have the resources to do this if you’re willing to have faith in your mind and take control.
If it doesn’t work first time, it is possibly because you lacked the belief or the trust. Say it out-loud and say it like you mean it. The clearer direction and tone of command is in your voice, the more the subconscious will listen to your instruction.
Understanding how to manage the mind is such a blessing, practical and powerful, that’s why we love helping our members get in control of their mind with our seven step approach so they can make a happy, healthy mind, a part of daily life.
5. Decisions – Beat Anxiety by Deciding That You Can Take Control
Your decisions are powerful, they instruct the rest of your mind and determine how you behave.
To overcome anxiety, make a decision that you are going to focus how you do have control.
Do you have control over what you buy at the supermarket? Do you have control of what time you go to sleep? Do you have control of what you watch on TV? Do you have control of who you give your telephone number to?
Fill up your mind with a focus on how you do have control and your mind will accept this as your new reality.
It takes time to build this up. If you imagine scales with anxiety on one side and control on the other, the scales might be tipped heavily in one direction, so you have to keep putting weight on the other end of the scale to tip it in a new direction. Make sense?
If you make this decision, like a sacred contract with yourself, as you would if you sign a document for a new job or property, then spend time every day thinking of how you have control or writing down all the ways you have control. Don’t take anything small for granted, it all counts and tips the scales.
6. Habits – How Pre-planning Boosts Your Resilience
Anxiety is worsened by a lack of clarity, so the more you can prepare and plan, the more relaxed you’ll feel.
If you don’t do this already, get ahead of the curve, always planning ahead.
In the next hour I will or tomorrow I will wear and I will drive this route; write your list for tasks the day before, organise the tasks in terms of what will have the best impact on your overall wellbeing.
You can’t be good to anyone else if you’re not looking after yourself. Sorry for being so direct. I have learnt this lesson firsthand.
Plan ahead, set reminders, get help, implement things ahead of time to set you up for success, it relieves pressure from the mind.
7. Imagination – See Outcomes Going Well to Reduce Anxiety
As anxiety is future-based, you can significantly help anxiety by using your imagination to produces pictures, sounds and feelings for how things would look and feel if they go well.
Focus on how you want your day to go and generate in your imagination what it will look like if it plays out as you want.
What will you see, hear, and feel?
Maybe happy faces around you, big ticks on your to do list, finishing on time and putting your feet up.
Sports professionals map out the competition before they do the run or the swim, whatever it may be, they map out every detail in their mind, because then the mind knows what you want, it is like showing your mind the map.
You can set aside some time every day and choose to look ahead at the next day/next week and create a movie in your mind of things going well. Go out into the future past the event that is worrying you and imagine you can look back on it and see it going well.
Once you take your mind out to the future past the event, there can be some relief at a deeper level, as you have seen what it looks like going well which increases the chance of it going well.
Show your mind what you want to see and then it can help you.
We hope you have found our 7 steps to overcome anxiety useful. If you’d like to get in control and learn self-development tools to have a happy, healthy mind, you find out more about becoming member of Life Ladder and be supported with daily tips and activities and an expert coaching team helping you develop, be happy and achieve more.