How to stop climbing anxiety mountains

anxiety mountains, anxiety, worry, stop climbing anxiety mountains

How to stop climbing anxiety mountains

Why do our minds insist on building anxiety mountains, creating huge worries out of almost nothing? More importantly, what should you do if you find yourself climbing one? I’ve got some insights to share that’ll help. So that’s what this article’s all about, a sort of anxiety mountain rescue, (or maybe a therapeutic St Bernard, with a metaphorical brandy barrel…).

If you look through the articles on this website you’ll find that anxiety’s a common theme. It’s partly because it’s a key focus for my practice but mostly because it’s often at the root of whatever symptoms my clients come with.

In a way, anxiety’s like an amplified worry, taking a problem that needs solving and projecting everything bad that could happen if it went wrong. And spinning it around and around until the original worry’s grown out of all proportion. It’s the classic mountain out of molehills scenario.

You see, the human brain is a thinking machine. If it’s not occupied with something happening right now, it finds something else to keep it busy. So its goes off on its own just thinking stuff up, mulling over what might happen and what might happen after that. If you’re in a good place, these are what we call daydreams. But if not, the fantasies are darker and we call it worry or anxiety. Before you know it, your mind’s gone off to anxiety base camp ready for an expedition into worry land.

So how do you stop climbing anxiety mountains?

Give your mind something else to do instead.

  • This is why hobbies, pastimes, meaningful work, exercise all get recommended as a way to reduce or control anxiety. Whilst you’re doing them, it’s difficult to focus on something else like worry. For the tech savvy, it’s like using all your RAM on a task. It means you can’t open up the worry app, there’s nothing available to do it with.
  • If you don’t have any of these or you’re not in a place where you could begin, I’d recommend finding a meditation you like. These help in two ways, not only do they occupy your mind, you also learn that you don’t have to get wrapped up in thoughts. So if a worry thought begins, you can simply allow it to do its thing and leave. You don’t have to chase it with another one.

What’s next?

These three articles give you more tools to help you stop climbing anxiety mountains:

4 steps that defuse worry

Life after public speaking anxiety

How to stop catastrophising

If you’d prefer to address your anxiety once and for all, do get in touch. You’ll be surprised how much difference it makes.


Photo by Leio McLaren (@leiomclaren) on Unsplash

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