Does it feel as though your anxiety is running your mind and you've lost control over your own thoughts and reactions?

In many ways, anxiety is like a river - it will always find somewhere to flow and it will always find something for you to worry about. Whether those anxious thoughts are worst-case scenarios, what-ifs or whys, sometimes it can seem that they are never-ending.

And the more you think all those anxiety-infested thoughts, the more they seem to be there filling your thoughts. So how can you reign them in?

Imposing Limits on Anxiety

Recently I was helping a client who was struggling with her anxious thoughts - to such an extent that thinking about all those scenarios and worries had become almost like an obsession on addiction. And the more she thought about them the more that anxious swell of thoughts seemed to flo - so much so that even when trying not to think about her anxiety thoughts, she could still feel them lurking and waiting to strike.

She would wake up in the morning with her first thoughts full of anxiety, she would try and distract herself yet in every moment, even when doing things she should be enjoying, they were still there. And at some point every day they would break free into her thoughts and run wild.

So how did she take control and put a boundary on her anxious thoughts?

Unhelpful Thoughts Time

Rather than letting her anxiety run wild, she took control and started putting a boundary around her thoughts. Each day she would set a ten minute 'worry time' or 'unwanted thoughts time' and only during that time slot would she allow herself to think about all those things.

So rather than thinking about the same thoughts several times a day, now when they came into her head she simply told herself that she would think about it later in her 'unwanted thoughts' time. She soon found that she had more mental time and energy because she wasn't thinking the same things over and over throughout the day, and she didn't need to just try and ignore the thoughts or distract herself because she took control over her thinking.

And over a few days she soon found that the thoughts (and the emotion attached to them) started to disperse and then evaporate, leaving her calmer and happier.

Take Control Over Anxiety 

So to start taking control over your anxiety, set yourself a time when you will sit down and think about all those worries. Any time one of those unhelpful thoughts pops in your head during the rest of the day, defer thinking about it until that time. 

Start taking control over your thoughts and place a boundary on your anxiety today.

Dan Regan

Anxiety Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket

www.danreganhypnotherapy.co.uk/issues/anxiety