Anxiety, fear, worry could all be clumped into unease. We know when we’re feeling it, and it tends to leak out in every area of our life. But without looking closely, it’s hard to identify other than being a big mess of unidentified feelings. But today, we’re ending that, calling anxiety by name and learning how to stop an anxiety spiral.
We’ve been talking a lot about anxiety around here, which I hope isn’t anxiety producing in itself. But I wholeheartedly believe that our mind is directly related to how our body performs. As they say, how you think is how you feel. So to put anxiety to rest, I’ve enlisted a handful of experts to help us do just that.
Today on the podcast I’m interviewing Alli Worthington, who has lived through her own tragedy and arose on the other side. She writes about this in her book, Fierce Faith, but today we’re diving in deeper with anxiety. Check out her full story and her advice to walking through anxiety and much more.
the anxiety spiral
You know the one, where one pain or fear triggers an unidentified unease that radiates throughout your body. You start breathing faster, your heart rate picks up, and your mind races a thousand miles an hour on the path to doom.
One wrong thought leads to another one until eventually, you’ve hit worst-case scenario – or what you’ve made that up to be in your head. Unfortunately, anxiety creates a tunnel vision preventing us from realizing that most of what we’re thinking isn’t actually true. And if it is true, it’s less than likely to occur, and even if it could happen, then you can make a plan to deal with it.
But no, anxiety doesn’t give you a break, it doesn’t let you see the light or hope or healing. It keeps you consumed by the fear, the uneasy feelings, and the dread that comes with it. But today, we’re ending that. As we’ve been working through our Anxiety battle plan, I wanted to give you one more process in beating anxiety.
They’re all similar, but it’s coming up with what works for you. What resonates and seems realistic for you to implement.
how to stop the spiral
Stopping the anxiety spiral has four steps. It may seem daunting at first, but as Alli states in the show, the more you practice it, the quicker and more routine this becomes. Eventually, you should be able to finish this entire process in no less than 15 seconds inside your head. To stop anxiety the second it creeps in and push it out of your life where it belongs.
Step one: Identify the Trigger
Anxiety doesn’t just happen, and it has to be allowed in. There is always some sort of trigger that gives room for anxiety to come. Generally, it’s something substantial, something that has enough meaning to feed it. We all have a trigger to anxiety, for some, it’s financial stress, others its health worries or relationship problems. But knowing your trigger can help you make a plan to combat it.
Step two: Play the “So-What” Game
This is the game where you take your fear or worry and ask yourself questions. You ask yourself questions getting to the worst-case scenario and uncovering would you survive if this happens? Would you be okay? Getting to the bottom and uncovering how bad it could be or not be – makes anxiety lose its power.
Step three: Challenge your anxiety
Similar to the “so-what” game, we need to learn to challenge our anxieties. For most of us, our anxieties are perceived notions, stories we’ve made up to be true, when, in fact, there is nothing truthful about them. Ask yourself, is this anxiety real, or is it perceived? Then ask, is this something likely to happen or unlikely to happen? If it’s unlikely, like getting swallowed into a black hole, then put it in its place and move on. If it is likely, then make a plan to combat it.
Step four: Make a plan
It could be a plan to prevent or a plan to cope, either way having a plan puts anxiety to rest. It doesn’t give it the food it needs to thrive and spiral. Know your triggers, make a plan, and stop giving anxiety so much room to feast. Stop giving anxiety power in your life.
do more of what anxiety hates
Even more effective than waiting for anxiety to strike is doing more of what anxiety hates. Things like gratitude and practicing joy and living with more happiness. Anxiety can’t feast where joy lives. Joy contains hope and promises and excitement – poison for anxiety. Make an effort to live disciplined to practicing gratitude, living with more joy, and uncovering more happiness in your life.
It will make a difference.
Learn more about Alli Worthington and the books she offers using the links below:
- Alli Worthington’s Website
- Breaking Busy
- The Year of Living Happy
- Fierce Faith
- Mindset, by Carol Dweck
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the joy experiment
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