There is one root cause to our anxiety and you can develop the power to switch it off. It takes some training, but it’s something real you can work on. You can learn to switch off anxiety.
All our anxiety is born out of the habit our mind has to slip into future. We become anxious about what might happen and then dread the consequences of that, in a cascade of worry. Worry born out of nothing concrete yet. It’s just our mind playing tricks with us. Right now, nothing’s happened.
Look back, search your memory, and see how many hundreds and hundreds of times your heart rate went up, your stomach tightened and fear surged through your mind, making you miserable, for things that never happened. Search your memory further and notice that even when something unwanted happened, most of the time it wasn’t such a big deal. The anticipation of a problem is worse than the problem itself, most of the time.
The trick, then, is to train your mind to quit this horrific, useless, habit of living out disaster scenarios in the future. Does this mean we go through life like fools, with no planning, not a care in the world? Not quite. We can not only reduce useless anxiety, we can make ourselves more efficient at making our lives better with the same mental adjustment.
As soon as you feel you’re getting anxious, take a couple of deep breaths, and bring your focus to the here and now, more specifically, to the job at hand. Don’t put mental energy into fear, into foreseeing disaster. Perceive the best action now, and put your attention in that, as much as you can. Ideally, all your attention. Mindfulness – your full mind focused on the subject at hand. Even in life or death, or especially in life or death situations, being able to focus your mind entirely on the action, on the job at hand, is crucial to success.
Studies show that adventure athletes – those courageous types who kayak down waterfalls, sky jump, rush down uncharted trails on perilous slopes, etc. – have the greatest ability to enter the state of flow, sometimes called “the zone”, that golden state of maximum ability and concentration, precisely because they are dealing with life and death moment-by-moment decisions. If these athletes let their mind drift to anxiety, to the future, they die. So, they don’t and experience awesome states of wellbeing because of their high-level mindfulness.
You can bring this reality to your day-to-day life. Bring your mind to the here and now. Train your brain to live the moment and concentrate on the task at hand. No matter how much you have to do, you can only do one main thing at a time. Don’t be doing one thing, worrying about the other thing you should be doing AND anxious about the many unwanted future scenarios you’ll face if you fail. Shut those other programs down and fix your mind on what you’re doing right now. That way, you’ll switch off anxiety.
Learn more techniques, and many other important tools for a better life, by reading my book, “The 3T Path”, out now, by clicking here.
You can see my video on this topic here.
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