Updated: Nov 5, 2020
It’s a game of ‘Mind Judo’
I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent a lot my life doing one thing…thinking, overthinking, this can be dangerous for your mental health!
For anyone who has been through a breakdown or suffered with mental illness – or is still going through it, I honour and respect you, my goodness you’re strong!
How do I know? Six years ago, that was me. I cracked and quite literally fell to my knees, the anxiety finally paralysed me. I felt a failure, hopeless and helpless.
How does it happen? Gradually. My son hates this analogy but I describe it as like boiling a frog. If you drop a frog in hot water, it will jump out, but if you put it in a pan of water and slowly bring it to the boil, it won’t (apparently) notice, so will come to a very hot ending! Now I haven’t actually tried this, and I wouldn’t suggest trying it out with a frog or any other live creature, but it does describe how anxiety can creep up on you.
It can start with one negative thought, and before you know it, it can become a ‘run-away train’.
And then what? Perhaps like me you’re faced with choices and It’s moments like that that you find out what you’re made of. You have to find a way of ‘jumping the tracks’, otherwise you’re likely to be completely derailed!
I don’t remember when I actually started worrying about things, but I do know I became more anxious, cautious and hesitant when I had my son, and now he’s nearly 17 those worry thoughts don’t stop coming, but I now know how to deflect them before they take hold.
(most) Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds (yet) called ‘All the things that could go wrong’.
I was constantly finding something to fill my time, my head with worry! Perhaps a maternal thing going on? Perhaps, but all I know is that I had developed a habit of worrying.
As I did, you may be asking yourself that relentless question, ‘What if?’…and before you know it, you’re catastrophising everything, projecting your life forward following that question down every rabbit hole of worry.
Perhaps you are one of those people who can just brush things off, are constantly looking at the positives, maybe you’re naturally, or have learnt to be a ‘yogarish’ type of person, always in a Zen-like state and nothing really phases you? If that’s the case, then I’m sure you wouldn’t be reading this.
Or perhaps you’re not about to tip over the edge but you find yourself deeply concerned about the impact this pandemic has been having on your children, on your finances, the state of the nation, on us all, even more importantly, on what’s to come. Definitely, more anxious and concerned than before 2020.
Not everyone has to get to a tipping point to understand what devastating impact worry or excessive stress can have on our happiness, health, relationships, finances, career. It’s times like this we are likely to yank the handbrake on, pull the draw-bridge up.
However, in times of adversity they say, expand, but one thing is for sure, you will never make good decisions when in a state of panic, fear, anxiety.
So how do you ‘jump the tracks’ before you find yourself on that runaway train? The good news? If becoming a worrier is a habit, it can be broken, and break it you must.
In my Power of You programme we look at Victor Frankl’s model of reducing worry, stress and anxiety at a level of practical relevance to you. He called optimism “The last of human freedoms”.
I have 3 powerful principles for handling and managing excessive stress and worry, to be more in charge, living a more empowered life, which I will be sharing with you in a forthcoming webinar. However, the first thing you need to take charge of is your mind.
I call it ‘Mind Judo’, a technique to literally ‘flip’ a negative thought before it takes hold into a positive one that can be not only liberating, but potentially life-changing.
I call these seismic shift moments, ‘Sliding Doors’ or defining moments. When your view of your life, the world, a situation can change in an instant. How? A 3-step formula I discovered, use daily and now teach others.
The first step of this 3-step formula is to pay attention to your thoughts, catch yourself in the act of thinking.
‘May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears’. Nelson Mandela
CEO, RAWtalks academy
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