Here are 5 activities that help break the mental anxiety cycle. When one is trying to get through each day, hoping that the fear of a possible anxiety attack doesn’t come flooding over you unexpectedly, it really helps to have “activities” one can do to help break that mental thought pattern.
Because that is what anxiety is, it is a mental loop that goes over and over in your head. These are fearful thoughts of the unknown or possibilities of things (including an episode of an anxiety attack episode) that could happen. Getting stuck in that thought pattern is paralyzing.
It took me quite some time to figure out activities I could do that helps me break this thought pattern. This doesn’t guarantee that a fearful thought or anxiety attack won’t happen. However, it is incredibly powerful because it helps you to start rewiring the brain!!!
Music – I can play piano (ok very small amount) but I can read basic notes and tickle little tunes on the piano. Training the brain to learn something that requires sight, sound and action is amazing for not only removing your thoughts away from fear, but creating new powerful neurological pathways in the brain. I find playing an instrument much more powerful than just listening to music. Words of songs can easily trigger memories so playing an instrument where only the instruments sound is involved can help subside the old thought patterns and shift the mind to creating new thought patterns and wiring.
Languages – The same can be said for learning a new language. It has been stated (I can’t remember by who) that if you immerse yourself completely in learning a new language, you can rewire your brain including behaviors! Incredible! This is a great opportunity to become fluent in a language you might never have dreamed of speaking!
Yoga & hiking – For me it’s yoga and hiking, for others it can be the gyming or dancing. Physical activity not only has amazing physical benefits but psychological benefits as well. Like with music and language, it forces your focus AWAY from your habitual fearful thinking and become more present in the body. It helps release stress and tension AND it releases endorphin’s which help with mood enhancement. When you learn a new form of physical activity, this will help rewire your brain as well. If you are too fearful or nervous to go out and do an activity, start by trying my BODY-BASE routines at home. Slowly you will gain strength and confidence. Here are links to 2 of my body base videos
Meditation & breathing – this can be a little tricky if your anxious thoughts are very strong and your mind seems to be jumping all over the place. Here is the thing, meditation IS NOT about how long you do it, but rather how committed you can become in the present moment. Meditation is as simple as JUST FOCUSING on breathing in…….and then breathing out……thinking of nothing else except that. Now whether you can focus for 1 breath or 100 breaths it doesn’t matter. EACH ONE IS POWERFUL. If even for that brief moment, your mind will be shifted away from your negative thought pattern and onto an activity which is calming for your mind, it is beneficial. Breathing gives life and oxygen to your body. Start off with 1 breath, then 2 and slowly you will train your brain to focus on the inhalation and exhalation for longer periods. If you don’t like the concept of meditation, think of it as a prayer. Becoming quiet and present into your powerful existence in this moment.
Giving back – My favorite is “clean-ups” whether it is the beach or forest. It has forced me to look at a problem that is bigger than my own. And by making my own contribution to help overcome this problem, it gives me a sense of purpose and power. Both purpose and power are key characteristics to have when you have anxiety! Find something that is meaningful to you that you can give back to and in return. You will gain amazing courage from it! You don’t have to change the world, just the moment you are in!
I would like to hear from you, what has helped you break your anxiety thought pattern. Please share your support in the comments below this blog xx
HAVE COURAGE my friend, STAY STRONG….you are more powerful than you know!