Anxious Thoughts: Release With Gratitude

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Man experiencing gratitude to remove anxious thoughts

A common feeling among those who deal with anxious thoughts is the feeling of isolation or a disconnection with the world. Its a fear that they will never be able to feel normal again. It was a very scary realization for myself when I was fighting this disorder.

This feeling of disconnection is fueled by a cycle of anxious thinking.

A large part of your day is spent mentally “checking in” to thoughts and feelings.

“Checking In” is a term used by Barry Joe McDonagh at Panic Away used by a person who experiences panic attacks who constantly monitor their mind and body.

“Am I feeling ok?” “How are my thoughts?”

“Am I safe right now or on edge?”

Because anxiety has such a hold over the mind and body, regular “checking in” becomes habit.

For those who are concerned about anxious thoughts more than the body sensations of anxiety, this is what we want to address today.

Anxiety seems to be a the root of every thought throughout your day as if you’re stumbling through a thick fog unable to see clearly. Any positive situation in your life is robbed of enjoyment by the anxiety. You no longer feel normal and can’t understand why everyone around you seem to make it look so easy.

Anxiety acts as a barrier between experiencing the world and having the feeling of separation from it. This leads to even more upsetting feelings and fear of losing touch with yourself.

How To Lift The Fog of Anxious Thoughts

This constant mental activity is exhausting when you focus all your attention on these anxious thoughts throughout your day.

A powerful way to escape the mental fog is to move your focus from your head to your heart.

This simple technique of switching your focus will make anxious thoughts dissipate more easily and the fog will begin to clear.

Practicing The Art of Gratitude

You have probably read and heard people talk about the art of gratitude and the benefits it can bring you.

Now, science is able to back this up. Regular practice of gratitude can dramatically change your bodies chemistry and bring peace to your body and mind.

The Heart Math Institute has 15 years of scientific research showing that a simple tool like gratitude can dramatically lessen stress for individuals.

Here is a simple but powerful exercise you can try:

  • Begin by closing your eyes and moving your attention to your heart area
  • Imagine the feeling of warmth emanating from the center of your chest
  • Now imagine the warmth glowing for 2 minutes
  • Now, begin to focus on something in your life you have a real genuine sense of appreciation for.

It doesn’t have to be one thing. You can focus your attention on many things such as friends, family, your dog, a trip somewhere, etc.

It is important to focus on things that spark a real sense of gratitude and appreciation. If that thought is genuine, your body will respond with warmth in that center of your chest or even a slight smile (that is something to remember).

It doesn’t matter what the subject is of your focus, as long as it brings feelings of warm appreciation to your heart area.

Do not struggle with this exercise. Everyone has something they are grateful for.

Remember, some days your focus of gratitude may be different than other days. Something as simple as picturing a hike though the forest may bring up those feelings, especially if you just had an argument with a loved one and don’t feel all warm and fuzzy about them at the moment.

The goal is to stay with this feeling of gratitude as long as possible.

When you have gone as far as you can with this, open your eyes.

There is no particular time frame for this. It could be a couple minutes or a half an hour. The idea is to put your mind into this state and stay there.

Like Anything, Gratitude Takes Practice

You want to make this a part of your daily routine.

This exercise can be done anywhere you are able to close your eyes, sitting at home, at your desk, in your car (not driving of course).

Practice frequently. Practice makes switching focus much easier. Especially try this exercise in the middle of any stressful situation.

A positive side effect of this practice is it will begin to affect your relationship with others. You begin to feel more appreciation for those around you.

Just remember, this technique used over time can make a dramatic improvement in your overall life.

To read about how I was able to beat panic disorder go here.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are experiencing severe or persistent anxiety, please consult a qualified healthcare professional for personalized guidance and support.

Henry Flury

Henry Flury, the guitarist from Butcher Babies, shares his journey of overcoming panic attacks to help others facing the same issue. He started writing to fill the gap in panic attack education online. His blog focuses on understanding anxious thoughts and offers guidance on managing panic attacks for anyone dealing with panic disorder.

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