02 Mar How to deal with the hungry beast
Recap: The Hungry Beast (the anxious mind) craves comfort and control. When you try to control everything, you feed the Beast. But, when you switch to controlling your thoughts and responses, instead of the situation (which is often impossible) you start to control the Beast!
For the purposes of explaining anxiety, you have met the “Hungry Beast.” Now it is your turn to name the anxiety that you experience in your own mind. Even if you hardly ever feel anxious, just play along.
First, give that fearful, anxious, worry mind a name. Call it something. Obviously, we call it the Hungry Beast. What do you choose to call it? ____
Second, ok, now, place that thing on the table in front of you. Yeah, take the Hungry Beast (aka: _______) and literally imagine placing it on the table in front of you. If it helps, go draw it, cut it out and tape it to a glass in front of you. Or, if you have a suitable toy animal/monster/thing-a-ma-jig, place that on the table. Got it?
Awesome. You’re dealing with imaginary world really well. The point is that the Hungry Beast (aka: ______) is not who you are. You can give it a name and take it out of you and confront it. You can imagine it sitting right there in front of you like a rude party crasher you’ve just caught.
Third, now tell it to piss off. (You will likely come up with a phrase a little more colorful than that, but it’s all we can print.) So, literally tell it right out loud that you no longer need it in your life and POOF! Kick it off the table and out of your life. Kill it. Annihilate it. It’s no longer serving you! You can tell it all sorts of things. Go ahead, get your feelings out, don’t be shy;-).
Good job. But wait. What now? What will you do the next time the Hungry Beast (aka: ________) tries to make you think and feel a certain way?
Well, you need to replace the Hungry Beast (aka: ________) with something else! You need to build your sense of self, which is what you are about to do next. But for here, be aware that the Hungry Beast is going to try to return again and again. You’ve been feeding it and it’s a pretty resilient little sucker. It found a home inside your lovely head and it doesn’t want to leave (it’s quite nice in there). Therefore, you will need to keep taking it out, putting it on the table, and telling it to get lost (in that creative way you dreamed up earlier). And every time you get rid of it, you need to replace the empty space with supportive thoughts and feelings about who you are.
How? Keep reading!
What did you name your Hungry Beast? If it’s not suitable for print, maybe just describe what it looks like.