Let me tell you why the art of gratitude is such a great tool for ending anxious thoughts.
A lot of people write telling me how their anxiety makes them feel very cut off or removed from the world around them. This sensation can be distressing as people fear that they will never be able to feel normal again.
This feeling is common and in my experience is mainly fueled by a cycle of anxious thinking.
A person with a panic disorder or a generalized anxiety disorder will spend much of their day mentally “checking in”.
Checking in is a term I use to refer to how people with anxiety constantly monitor their mind and body.
The reason regular checking in happens is because anxiety has such a powerful effect on the mind and body.
People tell me that they can deal with the anxious bodily sensations but it is the anxious mind that causes them most distress. That is what I want to address today.
Anxiety can often feel like a thick fog has surrounded your mind. Nothing really seems enjoyable as you are always looking out at the world through this haze of anxious thoughts and feelings. This fog steals the joy out of life and can make you feel removed or cut off from the world.
The anxious thoughts act as a barrier to experiencing the world and this sensation of separation then leads to feeling even more upset as you fear losing touch with yourself.
So how do you get this anxious fog to lift from your mind?
When someone is very caught up in anxious thoughts they are top heavy so to speak. The constant mental activity they are engaged in has caused an imbalance where all of their focus is on their mental anxieties.
A powerful way to move out of this anxious mental fog is to switch your focus from your head to your heart. By simply making a deliberate shift of attention to your heart you will find the anxious thoughts dissipate more easily and the mental fog starts to gradually clear.
You can make this switch by practicing the art of gratitude.
I am sure you have heard of people speaking about the art of gratitude and the benefits it can bring to you.
Did you know that it has now been scientifically proven that regular practice of gratitude can dramatically change your bodies chemistry giving way to a more peaceful body and mind.
The Heart Math Institute has 15 years of scientific research proving that a simple tool like the art of gratitude can dramatically reduce stress and improve performance for individuals and organizations.
Many Fortune 500 companies are now starting to use this technique to reduce work related stress.
I am going to outline the technique briefly in a very straight forward exercise so you can start practicing right now.
When you practice this exercise you will feel a lightness and greater sense of perspective on any matter that has been troubling you. This activation of your heart emotion will lift the sensation that anxious thoughts create.
This is a very simple exercise but it is really powerful. Print it off and try it someplace where you can be alone.
Are you ready?
There is no time frame on this exercise, it can be a few minutes to half
an hour. Again it is about establishing a heart/mind connection and getting
your awareness out of the anxious thoughts and more into your body.
After a few attempts you can incorporate this into your daily routine.
This simple exercise can completely transform the outcome of interacting with other people, be it work or personal relationships. This is especially true where there is conflict or misunderstanding between you and other people. Try it out, see what happens!
Be creative with it and make it your own daily ritual for yourself. I am sure you agree that it is a worthwhile exercise to incorporate into your daily life. It is my experience that most people do not have the patience or time to make major lifestyle changes. By using this one simple exercise you can make a dramatic improvement to the quality of your life. The simplest things in life are free and this is one of those gems.
Don’t pass it up! If you enjoyed this exercise click here to find out how you can get access to more such exercises to ease panic and anxiety.
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This article is copywritten material by Barry McDonagh, an
international panic disorder coach.
His informative site on all issues related to panic and anxiety attacks can be found here