How do we prevent anxiety from controlling our lives?

Posted on October 21, 2012
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Anxiety is often a symptom of a deeper-seated problem. Similar to physical pain, which alerts us that a wound or an infection needs to be treated, anxiety can point towards a root cause that requires our attention. One of the major root causes of anxiety are limiting core beliefs, such as “I am not good enough” or “I am not safe” that are programmed into our subconscious mind during our childhood. Limiting beliefs filter and distort our perception about ourselves and the world, which explains why some people, no matter how much success and approval they have gained, still feel unworthy or like frauds – anxious to be exposed and found out. And others are unable to relax and enjoy life, because they constantly expect that ‘the other shoe will drop.’

The best way to identify anxiety-triggering limiting beliefs is to listen to your inner self-talk. After all, usually anxiety isn’t triggered by real outside threats, but much more by what we are telling ourselves. For one week observe your internal dialogue and write down the negative thoughts, which may cause you to feel anxious or insecure. Then notice the themes these thoughts have in common and what limiting beliefs may be causing them. Most limiting beliefs are based on experiences of the past and don’t reflect the present. Therefore, collect evidence that shows you that these limiting beliefs are no longer true and valid. For example, make a list of your accomplishments and capabilities or write down all the reasons why you know that you and your loved ones are safe.

This way you shift the focus of your mind away from anxiety and limitations and towards focusing on greater peace and appreciation.