Sometimes, we are trying so hard to avoid anxious thoughts that we end up playing some kind of mental tennis with them. We keep trying to push unwanted thoughts away and they keep bouncing back at us. We often do this completely subconsciously, we are so caught up in the horrible thoughts and feelings of anxiety that we don't realise what's happening.
Acknowledge and Accept
One helpful tactic for stopping anxious thoughts from bouncing back at us and catching us off guard, is to acknowledge that they are there. Anxiety is great tricking us into believing that our unwanted thoughts are real, and our minds are horribly efficient at running movies in our heads of our deepest fears. We will do anything to get away from that, but running is not the answer. Instead, we need to pause, take a deep breath, and acknowledge that anxiety is at it again. The anxiety based thoughts you're having are simply thoughts. They're not predictions. They're not real - they are just thoughts. Once you acknowledge that reality, anxious thoughts loose some of their power.
Grounding techniques are a very effective way to use awareness of your body to stop your head spinning out in anxious thinking.
Get back in your body
When we are suffering from anxiety we tend to move into our heads. We try and solve the problem of unwanted thoughts with more thoughts. And so we get caught up in an exhausting cycle of thinking. Fearful thoughts feed in to "what if" thoughts - which we then try to counter with rational thoughts - which then get swamped by more anxious thoughts. And so you get caught in anxiety's trap. While your mind is busy getting more and more entangled in anxious thinking, your body becomes tense, and your breathing becomes shallow and sometimes a little faster. At this stage you begin experiencing full on anxiety. So how can you stop it?
Grounding Techniques Offer a Healthy Escape from Anxiety
Grounding techniques are one very effective way to use awareness of your body to stop your head spinning out in anxious thinking. You can try yoga, mindful walking, Taichi, or swimming as ways of grounding yourself and diverting your anxious mind into awareness of your breath and movements. These are all known to be very effective, especially if you practice them regularly.
By moving mindfully you bring your mind back into reality with full present moment awareness. This simple act of becoming aware of your movements relieves you of fears from the past and anxiety about the future by helping you relax in the here and now.
A Guided Experience in Grounding Techniques to Help You Calm Your Anxiety
We have mentioned the effectiveness of grounding techniques in controlling anxiety several times in our podcasts. From personal experience, we know that a sense of ungroundedness and disconnection can really increase feelings of anxiety, so we decided to release a collection of guided grounding exercises that we know and love.
Our new album Resonance: Grounding Techniques for Anxiety Relief has been carefully created to guide you through a set of experiences that you can use anywhere and any time you choose to help you reconnect with your body. These grounding technqiues will help you draw your mind away from anxious thinking into a state of feeling more calm and in control. The instruments used in the music for this collection have been carefully selected to enhance the sense of reconnection and feeling grounded.
Resonance is available in the iTunes music store now, we would love it if you listened to the previews and left us a review and we hope you find it supportive in helping you calm your anxiety.