Imagine if you were learning to surf in the ocean water. All kinds of fears and anxieties could creep up in the back of your mind.
If fears are on your mind’s forefront, you’d probably not surf unless you’re young or a sports extremist type.
The fear of drowning, getting bit by a shark (like Bethany Hamilton), being caught up in a strong riptide or swept away by a powerful tsunami or wave, could become reality.
If these dangerous situations were to occur, you would develop anxiety in your veins, that activate worry in your mind as seconds go by, and that can turn to paralyzing panic fast when a big wave comes by where you’re out of control.
Years ago, I experienced my own hairy situation in a body of water.
My Danger In Life Childhood Story
When I was about 9 years old I fell off a rubber raft in the calm but deep water lake. I didn’t know how to swim yet. And I didn’t have on a life jacket. I just ended up at the bottom of the lake consciously panicking in my little body, blowing bubbles. Had my sister on the raft not pulled me out, I would be a fatal statistic today. Because if you don’t know how to save your own life and you panic, you’re doomed.
If that happened to me now decades later as an adult and in the ocean, I would have taken that as a sign that I needed to change something drastic in my life. That I was headed in the wrong direction in life.
But, after my real-life accident, I had a new outlook on life. I was given a second chance. For a kid, you feel lucky, but you don’t know how much you are, as you haven’t experienced many trials. You don’t fully realize the impact of your childhood trauma.
I could’ve prevented that accident by not getting in the deep waters, wearing a life jacket, or learning how to swim. The most reliable way is learning to swim because if you’re caught in the powerful ocean, you have your best fighting chance. You won’t panic because you have confidence in your above water ability.
When you’re a child you get roped into doing all kinds of dare-devilish activities that you can’t say no to, or else, risk losing friends or being called a sissy where you’ll be teased for days on end. Kids can be so cruel and have relentless memories. That can create post-traumatic mental anxiety.
You could learn to swim and master every skill known to man to calm all your anxieties, but that would take longer than any lifetime to learn.
And with life’s unexpected anxieties caused by pandemics, new relationship challenges, and life accidents like falling to the bottom of the lake, you couldn’t refer to experiences to fully guide you in each and every situation.
So – whatever the anxiety cause, the best and most efficient way to handle, is if you find a treatment that works in any and all your anxiety-producing situations. That’s a 100% treatment.
But first, you have to know when you’re facing anxiety and not some other health issue. Your body signs will be in a state of distress from a stressful trigger, commonly with these symptoms or behaviors:
Fast heartbeats or palpitations, stomach pains, headaches, other pains in the body, desire to overeat bad foods, or reach for addiction.
You want to prevent these symptoms on the onset, because like disease, if they get bigger, they become a larger problem (stress, heart attack, obesity, etc.).
Anxiety can save or drown you. It’s a warning mechanism to help protect you in real-life danger. In most modern-day situations, feelings of anxiety are exaggerated and far worse than if you were facing a real physical harm danger situation.
Your body interprets feelings and anxious threat signals from the brain the same, as your body doesn’t understand interpreted meaning and how to classify words.
Step-by-Step Anxiety Solution Treatment
If anxiety symptoms occur that aren’t really present or potential danger (like news violence), stop your worry at the gate of your problem trigger.
The trigger could be something you witness, a threatening communication you receive, or a gut feeling about danger.
Our own mind and bodies connect, and also have a connection to the rest of the world. That’s why people can sense when something is wrong with a loved one. And when they’re halfway around the world.
Your worry can unleash more anxiety in your mind. Worry is the main problem, and can be a regular challenge for many people.
If that’s you, transform how you see worry. Believe worry won’t save you. Solutions will.
People who can’t learn how to swim have a worrying fear of the water. In their flailing arms anxiety, they sink. But when they’re calm or in controlled, shallow water, they can float. Floating is all you need to stay alive.
But you can’t think of solutions in a muddled emotional state that worry creates. It impedes productivity.
To end your worry, refocus your mind away from the worry thoughts.
Control your thoughts. You have the ability built-in you (maybe that’s a calming thought in itself).
Move your worry thoughts to the back of your mind, refocusing on happy, joyful thoughts in the foreground. Think of your forehead as the foreground or front of your mind (as that’s close to proximity where you do most of your clear-headed thinking on a good day).
Think of positive thoughts either with images or deeper meaning thoughts: people you love, all that you can be grateful for, what you’re accomplishing, why the world is better for having you…
Everyone has more efficient methods to recall strong thoughts. Use the way that is most effective for you to make dominant thoughts come to your foreground and last, where you don’t lose those positive, loving thoughts even if you’re distracted for a moment.
A couple of positive thought generation ideas:
Listen or watch/listen to positive delivered messages in audio podcasts and videos. You still remember some words, images, or written words that flashed across your screen. Hold onto the strong ones that uplift you.
Watch comfort videos such as nature and animals in action, food creation, and children playing. These can calm, comfort, or stir up creativity.
With positive thoughts, you’re exchanging alarming thoughts for settling ones, and calming your mind.
You can speed up calming your mind with your powerful senses. Vivid imagery, pleasing sounds and favorable smells can effectively push worry to the backdrop of your mind as they positively trigger happy and peace evoking emotions.
When you’re calm, then you can erase worry thoughts about anxiety for good.
Erase Worry With These Thought Techniques
Believe the best is around the corner. Even if you don’t know what that is, or means.
Your optimistic feeling or belief can mysteriously bring about positive situations (because you’ve seen this before in your past).
You didn’t do anything, you just believed.
If you think the best outcome in your situation could occur, like reaching your destiny, this allows you to productively work.
Think: if the worst outcome you can think of in your situation, happened, you’d be okay.
Keep reminding yourself of what that could look like, but don’t believe it will. That calms your worry now for the future.
As that’s not so bad. It could be worse. There’s always worse and you won’t actually experience that when you get to the bottom of noodling out the hypothetical details.
Because in the many outcomes that could actually happen, the one you concoct or rationalize rarely happens the way you think. The rare outcome from a deeper source like a vision, could.
Think: there are worse other situations than the one you’re in.
If you were stuck at sea without a boat, you could either sink or swim. One of the worst outcomes could be death from drowning.
But now, you’re actually in a safe environment outside or in your home. So that can calm you, when you think of the contrast of an unreal danger situation and the safe one you’re actually in.
Your worry situation is not that bad or worth worrying about, anymore
You’re lucky and a survivor of this moment. You were never guaranteed tomorrow. So now you’re lucky to have lived today.
These made-up thoughts produce gratitude and hopeful feelings that crowd out worry. If you were to think there’s a possibility for a good after life beyond, that additional hope helps free the mind from worry in this life.
Change Your Outlook For Permanent Worry Loss
If you have time to worry, you have time to daydream.
Find and think of a positive outlook or dream for this life. Breathe intention and hold onto this future desire.
Find happy thoughts to flashback to and magnify the things in your life worth celebrating.
Lower the bar and eliminate a list of wants, replacing with simple joys, that can come from using your 5 senses to appreciate the familiar world around you.
Remember the last good meal you had, and sing a happy song in your head. Now you’re in momentary contentment, joy, and peace, and your body is calm again. Repeat those thoughts.
And practice the phenomenon again where your self-changed thoughts immediately changed your composure.
In a calm and happy state, your worry could reappear but in a productive way. You can appreciate how far you’ve come from your initial worry, be content with whatever happens, or even victoriously come up with better solutions for your situation.
Learning the skill on how to lose and combat worry will save you all your life.
Previously published on “Change Becomes You”, a Medium publication.
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