Create a new interpretation for the experiences in your life. There are many reasons for an individual to experience anxiety and there is a variety of treatment options available to address your anxiety. This blog will focus on one avenue to address your anxiety. We can feel anxiety because we have been conditioned to think a certain way when specific experiences occur around us. We often fail to recognize the power within us that allows us to choose how we interpret an experience. If you want to combat anxiety, recognize what you associate with certain experiences, because these associations and preconditioned thoughts often lead to anxiety.
Lets try this For example, if you are financially unstable. Think to yourself what feelings and emotions do I associate with being financially unstable? More specifically, what thoughts have I associated with being financially unstable? Do you associate it with being undeserving, worthless, not happy, maybe even a failure? Then consider this question, do these associated thoughts serve me? Are these associated thoughts negative by nature? Go on, take a few minutes for yourself and think about these questions surrounding something that makes you worry.
Lets break it down The thoughts you associate with being broke will dictate further action. Yes, your thoughts of being financially unstable, being worthless and undeserving will continue to dictate your reality. Bombarding yourself with these negative thoughts may then lead you to behave a certain way that expresses failure and unworthiness. These negative thoughts leads to negative behaviour which then can spiral you down the anxiety highway. Change your thoughts associated with a given experience and you will change the level of anxiety.
Let’s make it happen For example, if you create and redefine the definition of being broke, the experience of being financially unstable will change. Let’s think of financial instability as a new beginning, a gift to learn, an adventure to explore different avenues. It’s not about pretending your not struggling financially. However, financial hardship doesn’t have to mean failure or unhappiness. It’s about accepting your current situation knowing that nothing is stagnant. Associating financial instability with positive thoughts can lead to positive actions. We live in a world that is forever changing. The way things change is truly dependent on us. Stop right now! Change your perception by changing your associations. It’s much easier then you think. Try it! Next time you feel yourself thinking negatively about an experience try to visualize a world where that experience meant something completely different. View the experience as a positive challenge, as an adventure, as simply just another experience you are having. Just let the experience be what it is, just that, an experience. Avoid tagging along any added thoughts, especially negative thoughts. Just let the experience be what it is, separate from society’s interpretations, separate from your family or friends opinions, separate from your old thoughts. Create a fluid visualization that financial instability is an experience that will change. Create new interpretations for the experiences in your life and overcome anxiety. You Got This! Learn more about mindfulness from this research study: “Participants with a higher level of mindfulness awareness experienced a slowing down of the passage of time. In addition, the immediate effect of the mindfulness meditation session was to reduce the variability of temporal judgment in all participants. This improvement was linked, at least for the longest duration (2.0 s), to the decrease in anxiety and arousal levels as a result of the mindfulness session.” Droit-Volet, S., Heros, J. Time Judgments as a Function of Mindfulness Meditation, Anxiety, and Mindfulness Awareness. Mindfulness 8, 266–275 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-016-0597-6
This article was written by: Tyfanny Ross, BSW, MSW