Picture this. You sit down to relax after a long day at work. Suddenly when the activity of the day has slowed it seems as if your mind has received a signal to start the race. Racing thoughts of a fearful nature plague many people. Our current society moves at a fast pace. Multi-tasking is the default setting for most adults. Work, family, and personal obligations combined with a constant connectedness as a result of our technological conveniences.
Fearful thoughts can be distracting and decrease productivity, peace of mind, and increase anxiety. Fear can be paralyzing and can stop you from achieving all that you want to and should in life. Many people who are not diagnosed with an anxiety disorder suffer from fearful thoughts. It’s a common experience. There are many techniques to quiet these thoughts and get your peace back.
Any time a person is dealing with fearful thoughts a great first step is to name the fear. Ask yourself if what you are afraid of is real. Be honest with yourself. Consider why you might have this particular fear and what it may mean in your life.
Being able to determine if you are coming from a place of emotion vs. a place of logic in your thought process can take you far in the journey to quiet troubling fearful thoughts. Learning to identify, and silence irrational thoughts is a large part of this process. As you practice you will become more effective at being able to detect if you are coming from a place of logic or a place of emotion.
A common phrase in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is to use your “wise mind” when processing emotions. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy was originally created to treat patients with Borderline Personality Disorder and was later used to treat other mental health conditions.
According to a study on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy: “Distress tolerance focuses on teaching crisis survival skills. It fosters acceptance in situations that cannot be otherwise changed or avoided without making things worse.
There is an emphasis on self-soothing, improving the moment, and adaptive distraction.” (Emotion Regulation in Schema Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Eva Fassbinder, et al., 2016). Using “Wise Wind” is a concept from this style of therapy essentially using a calm, centered place to process emotion in a crisis or fearful situation.
Your Support Team
Remember to utilize supportive friends, family members, and even professionals if fearful thoughts plague you. Never feel ashamed or embarrassed by what you experience. Emotions are a normal part of the human experience. Sharing with others can bring you new insight, friendship, support, and a sense that you are not alone. Gaining objectivity from outside of yourself is often a great source of clarity and comfort.
Meditation is a great tool to help you calm down and get back to thinking clearly when you’re feeling particularly anxious. It can instantly calm down the overexcited nervous system and have you feeling more centered and ready to face whatever life throws at you. As helpful as it is in reducing anxiety on demand, it’s even more powerful when it comes to prevention.
There are many different ways to start meditating. The easiest one to get started with is a short guided meditation.
Sit or lay comfortably, listen to the recording, and follow the instructions. Don’t worry if your thoughts start to drift. Gently bring yourself back to the meditation. It’s surprisingly hard to focus on nothing but the meditation. Start with short sessions of 10 minutes or less. Once you get comfortable, you can extend your meditations as needed. The key to getting better at meditating and reaping the benefits of calming down those random thoughts and worries, as well as rewiring your brain to be less anxious in general, is daily practice. Get started, and then make it part of your daily routine.
Calm Cool & Collected
Learning to identify and fact check your fears is the beginning of the process of learning to quiet fearful thoughts. The more you use these practices the easier the whole process gets. It won’t be long before sitting down to relax at night is actually relaxing. You too can be calm, cool & collected when it comes to quieting fears and anxieties. Working through fears with objectivity and rational thinking is a skill that takes practice.
By learning about your fears you are beginning the process of making positive change. Put your plan into action today. Don’t shy away from this challenge. You have the chance to increase your mental strength, toughness, and self-reliance by facing your fears head-on. Gain peace, self-understanding, and a sense of empowerment by quieting fearful thoughts.
If you want more help to face your fears, check out my program Face Your Fears, to help you understand fear, how it controls you, and learn to fight back! You will learn how to use grit, resilience, and perseverance to transform failure to your advantage.
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