The hamster wheel of the mind.
You’re likely familiar with it.
It’s a circular train of thought that brings us back to the same place over and over, yielding the same result:
That is anxiety.
The Overwhelm of Anxiety
Ruminating thoughts can consume us.
When we’re caught up in a thought that won’t soften easily, we struggle to see things for what they actually are.
We become entrapped within a single plotline, unable to see the bigger picture.
My Experience with Anxiety
I, like the rest of us, have had to navigate my own share of ruminating thoughts.
But, over the years I’ve become better at recognizing this pattern when it occurs.
Then practicing simple techniques to regain control of the mind.
3 Keys to Regain control
I invite you to explore the following 3 keys when your mind gets caught up in its own perpetual thought loops.
1. Notice what’s happening.
It seems like common sense, but we don’t often take this step back to acknowledge what is going on.
As soon as you become aware of the thought loop, take note as you remove your sense of self from it.
Watch the wheel from outside.
2. Breathe through your belly.
On a physiological level, belly breathing initiates the body’s relaxation response.
This eases the ruminating mind.
It also provides a new focus for our attention.
Belly breathe for at least 5 minutes when anxious thoughts arise.
3. Repeat “I am not my mind.”
Spend some time with the breath.
Then invite new thoughts into your consciousness as affirmations.
Consider “I am not my mind,” “I am at peace,” or “I am present; I am right here.”
I know that all this can feel easier said than done.
But when we make a concerted effort to practice these simple steps –
We often end up with surprising (and pleasing) results.
Be patient and compassionate with yourself.
And rediscover that peaceful space within you.
P.S. When needed, you might also listen to one of my guided meditations on anxiety for extra support.