When someone says something to you or an event happens and you immediately start to take offense and feel anxious or upset, do you know how to get rid of anxiety quickly? Below are 7 natural remedies for anxiety.
You just need to pause. Do not let your lizard brain take over.
Most of our thinking is habitual. As we go through life, we form habitual thought patterns. If you are not awake to them, they will rule us. It’s like you have an ipod in your brain streaming negative interpretations of yourself, your life, and the world.
2. Notice that you are feeling anxious, upset, angry, scared, __________
Just notice. Notice what you are feeling. Is it anxious, upset, angry, sad, depressed, scared, worried?
Reframe your emotion from “I am upset.” to “I am feeling upset.” Whatever the emotion may be. This puts some distance between who you are (innate well being and peace) and emotions that pass like clouds through the sky if you let them.
3. Discover that your feelings come from your interpretations.
The upset you are feeling is not coming from the outside world – a person or an event – it is coming from your interpretation of the event.
No, way, Caprice, you think. My boss yelled at me. A woman cut me off in traffic. My friend didn’t invite me to her party. You would be upset too.
If you believe that the woman cut you off because she is a total jerk and in a hurry for no reason, you might get upset. If you notice she is very pregnant and might be rushing to the hospital to give birth, you might feel compassion.
Can you see how your feelings are tied to your thinking about a situation? They are not tied to the situation. The situation is really neutral until we use our mental filters to make meaning of it.
Society conditions us to take things personally. And nothing is ever personal. It is never about you.
4. Learn How Your System Works
We are not our thoughts. We are the space within which thoughts arise.
It’s how the system works, whether your understand it or not. So, if someone says something to you that seems offensive, they are speaking from their negative thoughts – it has nothing to do with you. Their insecure thinking is creating their behavior.
This seems a bit strange and it is quite different from how you’ve been trained to relate to your personal thinking. Years in school honing your intellect, competing for grades, and proving how smart you are has led you to believe that you are your brain.
You are not your brain. Your brain is like a computer – it can compute – but it can only work with what you put into it. Crap in. Crap out. If you have a sad thought, you will feel sad. An angry thought, you feel angry. An insecure thought, you feel insecure. An anxious thought, you feel anxious.
We are all living in the experience our thoughts, and they aren’t personal.
5. Own Your Own Thoughts
The key is to create a different relationship with your thinking than society has trained you to have.
Own your thoughts. And understand that you are not your thoughts.
Your thoughts are the only problems in your life. Something is a problem in your life if you think it is. You could also look at it as a growth opportunity.
Don’t look outside of yourself for an explanation for how you are feeling. Your interpretation of events is creating your feeling.
Download a free cheatsheet on this now.
6. Don’t analyze your thinking.
If you do get hooked, just notice it. If you feel a physical reaction to something, like you got punched in the gut, or a feeling of panic, or a weight falling on your shoulders, you’ve gotten hooked. Hooked by your own faulty interpretation of an event.
You get stuck in the feeling when you analyze your thinking or try to figure out you we feel a certain way. Notice that you feel anxious, worried, scared, angry, sad, hopeless, ____________. And just let it be. It will pass.
And when you think “I should feel differently.” you then have two layers of negative thinking weighing you down.
A coaching client of mine said, “Oh, it’s like giving credit to thoughts that don’t deserve it.” Exactly!
7. Wait for a fresh thought to come along.
You don’t need anything to change. We mistakenly believe that something in the outside world needs to change for us to feel better. A situation needs to change. A person needs to apologize. I need a different job/boss/house/partner.
Nothing needs to change in the outside world for you to feel better.
Just pause. A fresh, more positive thought will occur to you. It will. You are not your thoughts. You are the space within which thoughts arise. You don’t need to control, analyze, replace, or take seriously your thoughts.
Appreciate the Magic!
Your feelings are not real, they are just your inner guidance system telling you that you started taking negative thinking seriously.
This is your best natural remedy for anxiety.
This approach may take some practice, or it might not. Either way, don’t judge yourself.
Natural Remedies for Anxiety: Just Pause
My Personal Hooks
I have particular hooks that tend to get me stuck in a negative thought loop.
When I hook myself on the words and moods of my two teenage daughters, I get anxious. Yes, I tend to take what they say and do personally. Even though I understand that I cannot control my thinking, much less my daughters’ thinking, I get hooked.
Here is a raw example. The other day, my 13-year old daughter was telling me about one of her friends whose parents are still married and quite wealthy. (I got divorced 4 years ago when I found out my ex was seeing other women. We’re doing fine financially, but I am the sole earner and got divorced in a state where there is no alimony.) My daughter was telling me about her friend’s HUGE house and gated neighborhood where they drive around in golf carts. She said to me, “Why did she hit the family jackpot and I didn’t?”
Ouch! Right? My immediate reaction was Wow! She’s complaining about me. She wishes she had a different family. And I got anxious and fearful.
If I had taken it personally, I would have gotten stuck.
And then I stopped. And told myself, “I’m not going to go there.” And I just let it pass.
Because it really wasn’t about me at all. My daughter was comparing herself to her friend and having insecure thinking. I know that she loves me and thinks I’m an awesome Mom (most of the time). So, I decided not to make her insecure thinking about me. That’s how to get rid of anxiety quickly.
My older daughter does high school online. She called me in to help her with a chemistry problem. After my explanation, she answered the question correctly, but the system gliched and put her in recovery mode and forced her to watch a help video. She got super frustrated because she started thinking, “I don’t have time for this. I won’t get my other school work done. This is so unfair.” Her frustration turned to anger and she thought and said, “How can I homeschool if you don’t know what you’re doing? You’re supposed to know everything. Just go away.”
And I got hooked. I wanted to say, “You can’t talk to me that way! How dare you!” and I wanted to defend myself, “You got the right answer. I do know what I’m doing.”
But it wasn’t about me. It wasn’t personal. My daughter was having frustrated and angry thoughts and started feeling frustrated and angry.
When those thoughts passed, she had fresh, more positive thoughts. And she came downstairs, thinking more positive thoughts and feeling better and gave me a hug.
Play with this yourself.
Get your free cheatsheet now.
Give yourself permission to stop taking your thoughts so seriously. Discover the power in the pause. And when you get hooked, that’s okay too. You’re just one thought away from feeling better.
If this sparked something in you and you want to start a conversation, send me an email.