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How To End Anxiety

November 18, 2019

By Todd


My mom had this old trick to remember stuff. When she forgot to pick up something at the market or tell someone something, instead of beating herself up like so many of us do, she would tie a string around her finger while she was thinking about it. Having a string on her finger was a new and bit bothersome feeling and served as a regular reminder or trigger when she was queued by being back at the market or seeing that person again.

I’ve continued to use a version of this simple method over the years to trigger my memory on various things and issues. There is a great tech solution to replace mom’s ingenuity you are about to learn because the old string on the finger just does help you remember stuff, it can rewire your brain to improve your life and even end anxiety!

How many times have you said to yourself the next day, or even the moment after something came out of your mouth: “Darn, I shouldn’t have said that!” Imagine how your life might be if you were able to talk and even have a heated debate, and never mis-speak? To be that awesome you would need to be paying attention to your thoughts and catching them, evaluating them, and deciding in the moment, whether you wanted to speak or act on that thought. That is stuff that all happens in a millisecond! Yet it is possible to do. It begins with becoming a ‘Master of Noticing your Thoughts.’ This means noticing thoughts as they arise, and how you can learn this skill is based on my mom’s old string trick!

Before I tell you the secret to becoming ‘Master of Noticing Your Thoughts,’ imagine how much better, and free of anxiety your life would be if you were also ‘Master of Changing Your Thoughts?’ We all know what it is like to ruminate on an unhappy or scary thought. I call them ‘thought loops.’ Sometimes it is not so upsetting because the thought loop might just be a song stuck in your head, but if it’s a thought that gives you anxiety – the quicker you can change that one out the better! And mom’s string trick comes in handy here too!

So, what this new tech solution and how does it work?

Virtually anything you do with Intention, Repetition, and Reward will rewire your brain with new learning. If you couple that experience with some sort of queue, maybe a time or place, you can create a habit. Setting up good habits is like programing an autopilot to safely guide a plane to its next destination.

If your destination was to catch your thoughts when they first arose and before acting or speaking on them, ie becoming ‘Master of Noticing Your Thoughts,’ and if you intentionally and repetitively asked yourself, “What Am I Thinking?” and had a queue to trigger the thought, you would build a habit, a subconscious program, that would consistently run in the background and keep you alert to new thoughts. If you notice them, you have the opportunity to act on them or discard them.

Grab your phone (or perhaps work computer) right now, turn off the biometrics security (fingerprint or facial recognition) and program in a short word password “WAIT,” an acronym for What Am I Thinking.

Most of us access these devices multiple times per day, setting up your queue and lots of repetition. In short order, your brain is going to take the easy route and prevent you from having to stop and think what you re-programmed your password to be, and in doing so, it will lay down the habit of asking yourself, ‘What Am I Thinking?” This habit over time will become so engrained, that your brain will pretty consistently ensure you notice your thoughts in most times and places! If you come to memorize WAIT, quickly, change it. Keep your brain working so it will continue to build this new habit. Perhaps try MONMT – Master Of Noticing My Thoughts.’

The brain consumes more energy than any other organ in your body and is constantly looking for the most energy-efficient way to achieve anything. If you keep the queue coming and the brain is working hard to intentionally repeat a behaviour, it will quickly build an energy-efficient route to repeat the process. In this example, it will lay down the new habit of noticing your thoughts and automatically run this program via your subconscious, saving the brain a bunch of work!

Go ahead, grab your phone now and get started. You can use this powerful brain hack to achieve so many goals! This is one of many solution-focused tools we teach in our psychotherapeutic counselling to help people end anxiety and create the type of life experience they desire. Book an appointment with us now by clicking REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT on our website, www.TheAnxiety.Clinc We know how to help you to make change.

Getting Meditation Right

I’ve been meditating for years and have found meditation incredibly helpful on many fronts. In short, it has taught me how to become better at managing my thoughts. This means I ruminate less, worry less, and have come to truly understand that “just because I have a thought, I don’t have to keep it.”

How to Cure Anxiety…Surprise!

One of the things I learned many years ago, and deeply embrace as a psychotherapist, is the power of continually learning. There are so many wins in being a “learn it all” as opposed to a “know it all!”

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