Thoughts are difficult to change just by making it happen. You can’t think new thoughts. I know I’ve tried personally. I’ve worked with countless women too who are exactly the same.
Saying ‘I am calm’ when you feel anxious DOES NOT work.
Rather than calming you down – it often does the very polar opposite.
And I can understand that. Imagine you’re having an argument with your partner or your mum and they tell you to calm down – what happens? Me personally – the red mist descends and you don’t want to be anywhere near me.
There’s various tools and ways you can support yourself with thoughts.
Here’s something that REALLY works for me personally (who has a tendency for the anxious 24/7 thought cycle too).
Here’s what *can* work.
Getting clear on the RESULT you want, who you would be and what actions you would be doing rather than focussing in on your thoughts.
Here’s some examples to really illustrate it:
Scenario 1 – social anxiety – night out in the pub
Might present like:
Anxious thinking: “I don’t want to go”, “what about if no one talks to me”, “what about if people think I’m fat, stupid, boring”
Anxious emotions: Fear, panic
Anxious behaviour: Obsessively checking who is going/what you’re wearing, rehearsing conversations, making potential excuses, not going, drinking way too much, hiding in a corner
Anxious feelings: nerves in the pit of the stomach
- What do I want to get from the event? Fun, meeting new friends, connection, headspace
- What would you feel? Excited, fun, interested, laid back, rational, mature
- What would you be doing? Taking time to get organised, texting your friends with funny memes, smiling, dancing with loud music, putting boundaries in place, making really clear arrangements in an appropriate time frame
Scenario 2 – belief that you can’t cope
Might present like:
Anxious thinking: “I can’t cope”, “this is awful”, “it’s not fair”
Anxious emotions: Fear, panic, numbing out, anger
Anxious behaviour: obsessive thinking, stuck in a rut, self absorbed, crying, helplessness, phone use, rage
Anxious feelings: nerves in stomach, feeling like a weight on your chest
- What is it you want right now? Ease, control, assured, help, time, space
- What would you feel? Rational, wise, mature, resilient, calm
- What would you be doing? Putting in place boundaries, asking for help, journaling, EFT, yoga, breath work, sleep hygiene, seeing the big picture, phone free for big blocks of time, walking
In these two scenarios – can you see by focussing on the end point can change your thinking now? It’s a model called Be, Do and Have.
Be, Do and Have is something I use regularly with my clients and personally. Most days in fact personally. Because like everyone else – I don’t have my shit together all the time. I have to work at it. It’s a muscle I need to use all the time. The ‘keeping my shit together’ muscle.
You can’t magically change your thoughts, but you can change your behaviour which CHANGES YOUR THOUGHTS.
If you’d like help to cut through the 24/7 thoughts and be able to really learn how to keep your shit together, get in touch below.
Much love, Tricia xxx