How to Stop Anxious Thoughts and Overcome Anxiety
People say ‘I get so anxious and I just don’t know ‘what to do with it, ‘the more I think about it the more anxious I am, when I ‘focus on the anxiety, the more its there. ‘I feel like I’ve got it all the time.’
‘I’m waiting for it, I wake up with it, ‘I go to bed with it. ‘My mind is racing, I can’t sleep. ‘I get indigestion. ‘I have like a racing heartbeat.
‘I have sweaty palms. ‘When I go for an interview ‘I’m so nervous sweat’s dripping onto my upper lip. ‘My mind empties, I open my mouth and I just go ‘uh uh’, ‘I stutter.
‘I go into an exam and the minute I go in, ‘all the work I’ve done just disappears, my mind empties ‘and I sit there in a panic and the more I think about it, ”oh god, I can’t remember, I’ve forgotten’, ‘the worse it gets.’
So there are many, many symptoms of anxiety, I’ve mentioned some, palpitations, racing heartbeat, sweaty palms, sometimes sweating everywhere, having sweat drip onto your upper lip, on the back of your neck, having a dry mouth, having a mind that empties, feeling that you’re shaking, trembling, trembling palms.
So many things happen when we’re anxious that we feel we can’t control. But really the way you feel about everything is down to two things, the pictures you make in your head and the words you say to yourself. And it is not events that make you anxious, it’s how you feel about them.
After all, some will walk into an exam room and are super-chilled and go, ‘oh no, I’m going to ace this exam.’
Some people have 10 driving lessons and pass their test, because they don’t feel anxious. Other people because they’ve had a hundred lessons and have had five tests, they keep failing before the test, ‘I’m so nervous, I’m so hyper, ‘I’m so anxious, I’m so agitated.’
It’s a bit like speaking on stage, standing up to speak, that can make you really nervous, or not at all. I’ve had so many people say, ‘I’m being the best man at my friends’ wedding and I don’t want to do it, the thought of making a speech is killing me.’
And other people say, ‘Oh my, I really love speaking, I love standing up, ‘I volunteer at my church, or I go to my kids’ school, ‘because I like speaking.’ And that tells you something, that it is not events that make you anxious, it’s how you feel about the events.
After all, if you took a nap on a Sunday at one o’clock, went to bed and someone knocked on your door, you’d go, ‘Oh, who’s that?’ But if it was one o’clock in the morning, you’d think, ‘this is something bad’ because it’s the event.
Somebody walking behind you isn’t scary on a sunny day, but late at night in the dark it can become very scary. Because it is your mind that links anxiety to situations, ‘I’m going to mess this up, I’m going to flunk this, ‘I’m going to fail this, I won’t know what to say, ‘I won’t know what to do, I’ll go bright red, ‘my anxiety’s going to come back and spoil it all.’
You know I’ve spoken on many stages, I’ve sat in many back-stage arenas where someone comes along and puts on your makeup, and then some people get so nervous they have to have more and more makeup on because it keeps sliding off, because they sweat, and they keep saying, ‘I’m so nervous, I’m so nervous.’
Other people just go out there, ‘Oh that’s my signature, that’s my music,’ and they run out on stage and they feel great, because they love the audience.
They don’t think, ‘What if I get it wrong? ‘What if they see these sweat patches under my arms? ‘What if they, I hold the mic and it’s all sweaty?’ It’s your thoughts that cause anxiety, babies don’t get anxious on an airplane.
Babies don’t get anxious in a car, they don’t worry that the dark is scary. They don’t really know anxiety. They don’t like loud noises, that’s true.
Anxiety is acquired. And just as you acquire it, you can be free of it forever, the same mind that makes you anxious, ‘I can’t talk to people, I can’t do confrontation, ‘I don’t know how to ask for what I want, ‘I can’t send stuff back, I don’t like people looking at me, ‘I can’t be the center of attention, ‘I can’t express myself, I’m no good at this or that.’
You tell yourself that, often without even knowing that you are doing it and the same you that tells you that, can stop. There are many ways you can stop being anxious, like that.
You can ace your exams, speak to people, really easily, effortlessly. You can remember everything you need to remember.
You can pass your driving test, get on a plane, get on a train, go underwater, be on a beach, without worrying what you’ll look like, what people think of you. And most of all what you think of you.
You don’t have to feel anxious, you can be calm. You know we have an ancestral mind, that if you’re stuck with something, if you’ve got a whole email this long, it says ‘well if you can’t fight and you can’t flee, ‘you have to freeze.’ That’s ancestral, fight, flee, freeze.
So your mind believes there’s a big lion on the horizon, you can’t fight it, if you run, it will run after you so you freeze, stand still, empty your mind, do nothing. But you see that doesn’t work now, the thing you want to run away from is your email, you can’t fight it, you’re not going to run away from it, because you’ve got to come back to it.
You have to learn how to flow through anxiety, you can’t fight and you can’t flee, but you can flow. You can do certain physical things, emotional things, change the pictures in your head, change the words you use, change everything, so that you go from anxious to calm.
Anxious to chill, anxious to feeling great. Not sometimes, all the time. Instead of being rushed and panicky, ‘I’m going to be late, I’m going to mess this up, ‘I’m going to get it wrong, ‘you are super-chilled, ‘everything’s going to be just great, ‘I’ve got all the time I need, I know what to do.
‘My brilliant brain can handle this, I remember what to say, ‘I instinctively know what to do. ‘People like me, I like them. ‘I’m good at communication, I’m good at confrontation.