Points covered in this podcast episode:
Anxiety is very sneaky in the way it affects our internal dialogue. One of the problems with anxiety is that it's so exhausting that our energy and mental resistance get low and then we feel worn down and we take these lies seriously. When anxiety whispers in our ear we are so tired from trying to cope that we listen to it.
Lie 1: There is something wrong with you
Once anxiety has our attention it quickly tries to show us evidence to support it's lies.
A useful tip Susan Jeffers talks about in her book: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway is to write on a piece of card "I can handle it." She recommends keeping that card within your sight.
Get used to questioning anxiety's lies. Don't just accept them. Look for evidence that you are OK. Think of the last time you felt OK and think about what you can do right now to help yourself feel calm and in control.
Lie 2: You will always feel this way
No-one always feels anything.
This is one of anxiety's favourite tricks. To freeze us in bad feelings and minimise our happier moments.
Negative thoughts often derive their power from being generalisations.
Pay attention to your internal dialogue and look out for statements featuring words like: always and every. For example: it's always like this, or every time...
Getting specific with these generalisations helps contain them and bring them down to scale, once they have lost their drama you can start to look at ways of addressing them.
Practice noticing the times when you feel OK. Sketch those times, or note them in a journal. Practice being present.
Lie 3: Nothing works
Look at the success stories of others with a curious and open mind. Keep trying and find what works for you.
Pick one technique and try it every day for two weeks. Make it a game - draw 14 boxes for the next 14 days and make sure you tick each box. Or get a streaks app and make it your goal to do something every day and don't break the chain.
Recommended techniques for increased resistence to anxiety's lies:
- The long exhale practice for minimum 5 minutes a day
- EFT tapping for anxiety symptoms
- Guided relaxation or breathing practice
Lie 4: You are losing your mind
Your mind may be disturbed but it can be supported
- You are not your body and you are not your mind
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