Two Easy Ways to Break a Cycle of Anxiety

by | Apr 11, 2020 | Mindful Shifts, The Gathering Share

Submitted by our Everyday Being Circle Partner, Erika Davey. Erika is a Health Coach at Levity-Health.

Hello beautiful soul!

These are strange and challenging times.

We are living in a world of uncertainty. And if you are anything like me, uncertainty can spin you right into a vicious cycle of worry and anxiety.

Over the past few years, I have been working hard to tame these vicious cycles of anxiety and worry and am pleased that so much of what I have learned and practiced is helping me right now.

Below are two of the most powerful tools I have found to help me feel a sense of control so I can stay on a path of positivity and hope.

MANTRAS

TELL YOURSELF WHAT YOU NEED TO HEAR

Telling yourself what you need to hear works. Repeating a simple mantra will help you build a positive mindset from which you can self-soothe and self-validate. This allows you a break from cycles of anxiety and worry, increasing calm and resilience in daily life.

The thing about mantras that took me a bit to understand – you are saying something to yourself that you may not necessarily (yet) believe to be true.

When I say to myself, “Everything will be ok” – believe me, I am not necessarily feeling that way! But the act of saying that statement to myself with intention and belief makes it a possibility. And, if I stick to the practice, this will become my new reality.

Mantras work in reverse too. If you are full of self-criticism and negative self- talk, your reality will be filled with negativity.

It is not anyone else’s responsibility to tell you what you need to hear.

Your brain does not know the difference between:

  • Hearing what you need from someone else
  • Telling yourself what you need to hear.

This is basically why mantras work.

Using mantras and affirmations is a well known practice.

  • Louise Hay has a fantastic video about how to practice mantras from the 70’s.
  • Al Franken’s SNL character, Stuart Smalley, tells himself into the mirror, ” I am good enough, I am smart enough and gosh darn it, people like me!”
  • There are countless self-help books, articles and studies that point to the power of positive self-talk in getting what you want out of life.

Reciting a mantra will build a bubble of protection around you, which acts as a boundary to keep unwanted stressors from affecting you.

Mantra Examples:

  • “Everything is going to be ok.”
  • “I am safe and protected.”
  • “I am worthy.”
  • “I am enough exactly as I am.”
  • “I have everything I need.”
  • “Good things are happening.”

CUSTOMIZE YOUR MANTRA

I developed a Customize Your Mantra Worksheet to help you easily determine what you are wanting and needing to hear right now. Telling yourself what you need to hear works. Download the Worksheet here.

BOUNDARIES

LEARN TO SET AND HOLD BOUNDARIES

Boundaries are guidelines, rules and limits you create to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards you.

Boundaries are based on your personal thoughts, values, desires and beliefs, and therefore, you are the only one who can set boundaries for yourself.

The more you know about yourself, the easier it is to set and hold boundaries because you are naturally able to stand up for your truth and what is important to you.

You will know you are ready to set a boundary when you feel like you’ve “had enough” or “are not going to accept this anymore”.

In reality, you are no longer willing to accept the way a situation is making you feel, and you need a boundary.

You can set a boundary against anyone or anything:

  • Watching the news or social media
  • A challenging family member or co-worker
  • The other drivers on the road
  • The moods and opinions of other people, known to you or strangers

Setting and holding a boundary has everything to do with you, and not much to do with who you are setting the boundary against.

Someone on the other side of a new boundary will likely push back because the dynamics of the relationship have changed and you are no longer supporting their version of reality.

When you don’t have personal boundaries, other people can take advantage of you and your time without even meaning to.

Without boundaries, you give off the signal that you don’t know how to take care of yourself, which attracts people who want to control you.

Managing your energy is a way to successfully set and hold boundaries in real life, leading to an improved sense of inner peace and clarity.

There is energy all around, all the time.

The key is to differentiate the energy into YOUR energy and NOT YOUR energy.

  • YOUR energy is positive for you and is made from your thoughts, beliefs and desires. It is your soul voice. Surrounding yourself with YOUR energy will help you set and hold boundaries.
  • NOT YOUR energy is negative for you and is made from outside energy including the criticism and opinions of others, trauma and negative experiences. This energy can mix with your thoughts and disguise itself as YOUR energy in the form of self-criticism, negativity, self-doubt and self-harm.

Managing your energy is a way to release all of the NOT YOUR energy that doesn’t help you and causes you harm in the form of self-criticism, worry, catastrophizing, anxiety and panic.

The ability to protect yourself from NOT YOUR energy and the resultant inner peace and calm you will feel are direct benefits of learning how to manage your energy.

I created an energy management visualization exercise, called Bubble & Flow, to help you set and hold boundaries in real life, leading to a calmer and more positive existence.

Bubble & Flow is designed to help you release NOT YOUR energy and accept YOUR energy while imaging a protective bubble all around you.

  • Bubble & Flow is a 3 minute audio mp3
  • You can download both the mp3 and written instructions below
  • Try listening once a day – I am sure you will see a difference in the way you feel and interact with others in your life.

Download the Bubble & Flow mp3 audio here

Download the Manage Your Energy Instructions here

Please join Erika in her Facebook group, Mind Body Balance, where the focus is on finding natural balance in life and in your body. You will find information on gut and hormone health, mindset and stress management as well as positivity, accountability and community.

For more information about Erika Davey and group coaching, please visit her on the resources page Erika Davey.

Filed under: Mindful Shifts, The Gathering Share

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