Overcome Anxiety: Strategies to Take Control and Live Positively

Overcome Anxiety: Strategies to Take Control and Live Positively

I woke up at about 2 AM with a heavy feeling on my chest, like I couldn't breathe. It was odd because I'm not typically anxious or a worrier. It struck me as unusual, but it was my reality this morning. I want to discuss this because I know many people experience similar feelings. Whether you call it anxiety or worry, I'm sure you can relate. Let's workshop how I dealt with it in hopes that it can help you.

Attack the Negative Emotion

The first thing we must do when feeling anxious is to attack it. We cannot sit in negative emotions and wallow because they will consume us. Rather than lying in bed trying to figure it out, I decided to get up and move. The best way to attack a negative emotion is with physical motion. I chose to go for a drive. Movement distracts your body and mind from negative emotions, making it harder for those emotions to swamp you.

Remind Yourself of the Truth

The next step is to consciously remind yourself that what you're facing is a subconscious lie. Anxiety fills your mind with negative thoughts, making you feel like everything is wrong. But you have to remind yourself that it's not true. You have a good life, and maybe you have stressors, but they are stressors you've earned. Combat the lies your mind tells you by affirming the positives in your life.

Regain Control of Your Mind

You need to regain control of your mind. Just like driving on ice, where you turn the steering wheel in the direction you're drifting to regain traction, you must steer your mind back on track. Don't let your mind do what it wants; train it, control it, and turn it back around.

Appreciate Your Breaths

I'll never forget when my best friend Andre Emmett was murdered. I was scheduled to speak three days after his death for a lung cancer beneficiary. I don't cancel speaking engagements. During that speech, I said, "If you have breath in your lungs, you are blessed. You have an opportunity and another chance." It's crucial to appreciate the breaths we have.

I recently listened to a meditation on YouTube that included a 5-4-3-2-1 exercise: Look at five things, listen for four different sounds, feel three different textures, smell two different scents, and taste one thing. If you can't taste, think about the absence of taste. This exercise reminds us that even in voids, there's something to appreciate.

Fill Your Mind with Positives

Remember how good you have it. If you're reading this, you have an electronic device, meaning you're not in a third-world country starving. If you have work stress, you have a job. If you're fighting with your partner, at least you have a partner. You get to choose to see the positive.

The more good you see in your life, the more you fill your mind with positives. Your brain has limited capacity for thought, so the more you fill it with good things, the less space there is for negative thoughts. By systematically learning to control these thoughts, replacing anxiety with positives, you can change your day, outlook, and life.


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