7 Practices To Break The Cycle of Anxious Thinking: It is challenging to distinguish useful and functional ways of thinking about the issues that trigger anxiety, those that harm. Your mind will try to convince you that worrying and ruminating about anxious thoughts is going to help you and relieve you from anxiety. Actually, it’s probably going to make things worse. Repetitive negative thinking can make you more passive in solving problems, lessening your mood and increasing your distress. But reducing concern is easier said than done.
Naturally, we have an impulse to be vigilant about any dangers or threats present or imagined. That is, by default we have an impulse to ruminate in everything that is perceived as a threat. So it matters that you learn conscious ways and depend on your deliberate decision to effectively deal with anxious thoughts.
Seven Practices To Break The Cycle of Anxious Thinking
Without further delay, I present 7 practices that can help you to free yourself from the rumination of anxious thoughts.
Ask yourself if the concern is really helping
When you are concerned about something and realize that you have entered in a cycle of rumination, ask if the concern is being helpful. Are you really finding new solutions and making concrete plans to implement them? Are you seeing the situation in a new light or in a more positive way? Do you feel better after thinking about the problem that way or feeling worse? If you are not finding solutions, and this is contributing to increasing your anxiety and discomfort, the concern is useless, and you need to concentrate on something else. One Easy Question Can Help Break the Anxiety Cycle.
Focus your attention on something else
After realizing that you have entered in a cycle of rumination, apply the stop on your thoughts. Speak to yourself (maybe be silent): “To!” Visualize a large red signal. Or visualize a detour signal, directing it to a new mental track. You might even want to imagine a TV control that allows you to change channels, putting a more positive or humorous spiritual program to go through your head.
You’re not what you think. You’re the one who can think about his own thoughts.
Set a specific time for “concern.”
Schedule an hour and place for your concern. Allow yourself to be concerned about something recurring only when you are in the previously defined location and time. Allow yourself to deal with the content of your concern. If concerns arise at other times, note the matter and deal with it in the next period of concern.
Thus you gain the habit of postponing your concern for a specific period, associating all your other activities with the absence of concern. In this way, you can satisfy your need to address a particularly annoying subject in a controlled and time-limited manner.
Externalize your concerns
Imagine your worries as something separate from you, like bubbles popping up in the air or like leaves floating in a stream. This is a mindfulness technique that can allow you to differentiate yourself from your concerns. That is, to look at them as something that happens inside you, but that is not you.
Use full attention (mindfulness)
Here you can make use of point 2. Once you have interrupted the cycle of concern by using the word “stop”, carefully check what is happening in your body or around you. If you notice a tension area, send some breaths to that area and try to relax. Subsequently, try to find stimuli around you in which you can focus and keep your attention. For example, smelling the scent of a plant, noticing the colour of a picture on the wall, a ray of sun entering through the window.
Even when a worry that seems impossible to abandon is triggered in your mind at this very moment, you should not lose the ability to focus on other things. However, for you to be able to get the focus out of your concern, two steps have to be taken.
First, you need to realize that you have entered in the cycle of rumination and stop it. Secondly, you have to be aware that you can focus on something else, inside or outside of you, then focus on it.
Manage your anxious triggers
For a week, watch and record the triggers that trigger your concern or rumination (for example, chatting with another anxious person, think that if it comes to talking, it will go wrong, in front of your boss, you will never find a person who likes you).
Now, think of some alternatives, positive things to do or ways to avoid these triggers: for example, don’t talk about your problems with a person who tends to react negatively or make you more anxious. If words cost to leave, you should breathe and focus on the previously refined conversation. So that before your boss responds according to your knowledge you will express yourself and be what you are so that someone will find it interesting.
Take care of yourself and create supportive habits
The anxious cycle of rumination may arise when we question our self-esteem. Praise your successes and forgive yourself for your mistakes. Work continuously on building your self-esteem, taking care of yourself and doing things you enjoy and that make you feel good.
Create a support system. Have some friends and family, and even a therapist, to whom you can ask for help when something exceeds your ability to feel good again, is essential. These special people can help you to deal with your ruminant thoughts and also boost your self-esteem.