“Anxiety was born at exactly the same moment as humanity, and we can never master it, so we learn to live with it, just as we learned to live with Storm. I need to. “~ Paulo Coelho
“Are you too focused on anxiety?”
This question weighed heavily on my mind as I fell into yet another bout of anxiety. At that time, I was playing professional baseball, but I wasn’t likely to be freed from the constant worries that ran through my head.
Many of these ideas were centered around how I would play the next game. What my teammates were thinking about me, whether or not they regarded me as a valuable part of the team. I wondered why I was playing baseball and wasting my time.
All of these worries led to a terrible cycle, centered around much of the same thing, only leading to further thinking.
This wasn’t the first time I’ve noticed anxiety in my life. It’s something I’ve been dealing with as far as I can remember.
At college, I worked with a sport psychologist who taught me how to relieve the anxiety surrounding baseball.
We worked on my self-talk by creating a routine that he could use the night before the game. He also focused on the goals of the process. Focusing on processes rather than results is the primary way to reduce anxious thoughts.
After earning a master’s degree in psychology and starting to work as a mental performance coach, I felt that I had a solid understanding of how to deal with anxiety. So why did I realize I was grasping myself again?
Well, the truth is, no matter how strong you build your mind and how much work you do, anxiety will still find its way into your life. Someday, those nasty thoughts will come to your mind.
What matters is how long those ideas last. And what’s interesting is that the more you try to get rid of anxiety, the more you invite it to go away.
That’s the mistake I made, and after years of work and learning, I realized I was facing great difficulties.
The flow of energy to which attention is directed
Have you heard this saying?
I’ve heard different interpretations of what that means, but what I really sympathize with is that it’s amplified no matter where you pay attention.
This means that the more you focus on anxiety, the more power you have on it.
So if you don’t want to feel anxious, one of the worst things we can do is no I feel anxious.
When I realized I was too careful about my anxiety, I realized what I needed instead. The decisions I made included the same techniques I’ll show you later in this article.
For the time being, I would like to talk a little about why I concentrate on anxiety in the first place.
Can’t I leave it?
I am the first person to admit that I have fallen into this kind of thinking in the past.
Whenever I became too anxious before the game or felt anxious in my daily life (too often), it was a natural reaction to try to get rid of my anxiety.
But that only exacerbated the problem. I remember feeling that the more I tried to get rid of my anxiety, the more my anxiety actually increased.
So why do we continue to believe that focusing on anxiety can get rid of it?
The main reason is the fact that we are anxious people in the first place. Do you know how difficult it is to stop thinking about something? Especially when what has caught your attention is an emotion as powerful as anxiety.
Therefore, one is the easiest way to get rid of anxiety by focusing on getting rid of it. Second, anxiety is a scary feeling. It’s not fun to have uncontrollable thoughts that lead to dazzling fear.
As a result, we strive to get rid of it as soon as possible. Distracting attention from anxiety and trusting other techniques is not as safe as simply focusing on how bad we feel and hoping that anxiety will go away.
But, as I have already said, paying too much attention to our anxiety only exacerbates it. So what can you do instead? The answer lies in attention, the shift in attention.
The power to shift your attention
We know that the place we pay attention to is where our energy is directed, so changing our focus can dramatically improve our mental state.
When I asked if I was too focused on anxiety, I found that I was worried about why I experienced it, where it came from, and how I could get rid of it.
So I decided to switch, and instead pay attention to how I wanted to feel. This meant focusing on ways to be confident and relaxed.
Do you see the main difference? Understanding that everything is enhanced based on how much attention we pay, you find that it only further hurt you to focus on what you don’t want.
Now that you’ve accepted the anxiety you feel, it’s time for you to turn your attention to how you want to feel instead. Always focus on the positives, not the negatives. Pay attention to the way you want to feel, not the way you don’t want to feel.
To be more relaxed and confident, I adopted the use of meditation and visualization.
Train focus using meditation and visualization
I sit twice a day for mindfulness meditation and enjoy the moment.
I have found a very powerful exercise to train my mind to focus on the current moment. Not only do you pay attention to your feelings of relaxation and calm, but the more you have a presence, the less anxiety you have.
That’s because anxiety, by definition, is the child of the future. Feeling anxious means worrying about what will happen and what will not happen.
To practice mindfulness meditation, follow these steps:
1. Straighten your back for a comfortable posture. I like to sit on my lap, but if it’s more comfortable, sit in a chair.
2. Set the timer. You wouldn’t want to wonder if you meditated long enough. If you are a beginner, it will take 5 to 10 minutes. Choose a calming alarm because you don’t want to be surprised by your careful state.
3. Close your eyes and start breathing deeply and rhythmically. Focus on your breathing and when your mind wanders, simply return your focus without judgment. The idea continues. The goal is not to stop them. It is to allow them, observe them, and then let them pass.
I also use mindfulness during the day. Whenever you feel uneasy, stop and take a short breath to focus on the present.
I usually add some count breaths to this — breath at 5 counts and breath at 10 counts.
Visualization is an equally powerful tool in training my mind to manage anxious thoughts.
After the meditation is complete and relaxed, I visualize that I am confident, calm, and relaxed in a variety of scenarios that I usually feel anxious about.
Again, I myself Do not worryBut rather as the way I want to be.
Usually I decide one situation every day and visualize it in detail. That is, what is happening in my environment, the people around me, what they are doing, and so on. This makes it easy for me to practice mentally in the face of these situations.
Whenever I feel uneasy all day long, I remember to bring this image back to my mind and act on my ideal vision rather than past conditioning.
These techniques have been very helpful in keeping my attention away from anxiety. And the less I pay attention to my anxiety, the less anxiety I have about my life.
If you are suffering from anxiety, we recommend asking the same question, “Isn’t it too focused on anxiety?” If you stop paying too much attention, you may be surprised at how your anxiety is relieved.