02 Mar Replace the beast – step 1
By now you understand the following so well that you could explain it to your family at dinner tonight:
Anxiety, whether a disorder or not, can be extremely painful and can keep you from fully enjoying many aspects of your life.
Anxiety stems from the thoughts you have.
The anxious mind craves comfort and control. It does not like things to be unpredictable, unknown, unfamiliar, unusual, different, strange or out of control.
The anxious mind is the Hungry Beast (aka: _______) and you can remove it from your mind and replace it with positive thoughts.
You can imagine putting it on a table, or the floor, or floating in front of you, and beating it up (verbally or physically, though you may want to do so in private) so it learns not to crash your happy party anymore – so it doesn’t invade your fabulous mind. But you also need to know how to then feel better overall.
First up, name it to tame it.
As you have read countless times, in order to control something, anything, you need to be aware of it. You need to be able to name it and the feelings you have toward it.
For instance, JoJo’s teacher called upon her to answer a question in class. Suddenly JoJo’s heart started to race, her armpits were sweating and she felt slightly ill. Oh no! I hate speaking in public! I bet I look stupid! This is awful!! I’m going to throw up! JoJo’s Hungry Beast had shown up, so she named it and what it was doing to her. Oh FrogFace has shown up again. He hates talking in public. It makes him uncomfortable and insecure and causes me to sweat.
By naming the feeling that FrogFace causes, It makes him uncomfortable and insecure, JoJo has begun the process of taming her anxious mind. By being aware of her thoughts and the corresponding feelings, JoJo is starting to gain the upper hand. She can now look at what is happening and make some choices on how to to deal with the unwelcome and unhelpful party crasher. The important part is to realize that the thought is a party crasher – not something that needs to be there. It’s not part of who she is. Just what choices JoJo makes are in the next post….
Name an uncomfortable emotion your Hungry Beast made you feel the last time he showed up at your party.