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538: How to support an anxious mind that always thinks the worst

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This week on the Anxiety Slayer podcast, we are discussing how you can support your anxious mind when it always brings up the worst case scenarios.

 

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Show notes from this week’s episode:

  • How thinking the worst can become our default setting.

  • How it’s a kind of hyper-vigilance, often responding to stress and trauma in our past.

  • How thinking the worst feeds back into our anxiety.

In a recent podcast, we spoke about the practice of redirection for working with unwanted thoughts. This also works when we find ourselves thinking the worst. When we notice that tendency in our mind to look at a situation or concern and think of all that could go wrong with it, we can pause and change how we react.


Catching and changing worst-case-scenrio thoughts

The first step is to notice, to catch ourselves running with a thought to an anxious or unwanted possibility. When we do that we are projecting, it’s usually not something happening now, it’s something we are worried about happening in the future. Even if that future is as close as next week, it’s not happening now.

When we put our anxious attention in the future, we lose this moment and this moment is our opportunity for change, this moment is the chance we have to make the future better.

For example, when we catch ourselves projecting fear around any given situation we can support our mind now to release that fear. We can take action to help the mind feel more resilient steady.

When we conjure up our worst-case scenarios, our body gets stressed. The body doesn’t know we are imagining the worst, it thinks it’s happening. It doesn’t know the difference between the facts and the fear fiction in our minds, it responds to whatever we are thinking instantly. That’s why anxious thoughts cause such a reaction in our bodies.

A balanced mind feels able to meet whatever comes. That’s a grounded and peaceful place to be, and we can work towards that.

You can learn more about Ayurveda’s teachings on working with unwanted thoughts in
our How to Calm Your Fragile Mind Course in the Anxiety Slayer Academy.

Steps for working with the anxious tendency to think the worst:

Watch out for the thoughts.

Ask questions — can you find where these thoughts came from?

Respond with self-kindness.

Do something that helps, journal, take a walk, do some Tapping.

Actively note things that you have to be grateful for today.

 

New on our Patreon

For deeper support with the anxious tendency to think the worst we’ve recorded a Guided EFT Tapping Session for our Patrons, you can download the session here

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We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who’s supported the podcast on Patreon this month.

If you found this episode supportive, we hope you’ll consider becoming a patron! We have over 80 Anxiety Slayer downloads available on Patreon including our guided relaxations, Tapping Sessions and extra resources for calming your anxiety. Learn more at patreon.com/anxietyslayer

  

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