Want a SOUND Mind?

Framework for anxiety

If we don’t control our mind our mind will control us.

In an effort to become a healthier human that has more joy and peace I’ve done a lot of work to have a sound mind.

As I’ve discussed before… I’ve struggled a lot in the past with anxiety. And as far as I can tell so do the majority of people out there (especially entrepreneurs).

Note: I survey my clients and 100% state they have anxiety.

Peace trumps everything!

Below are some steps to consider in releasing anxiety.

Anxiety comes from the internal stories that are going on inside (mostly subconscious)… a thought that we don’t have clarity around.

Anxiety is an indicator something needs to be addressed.

The problem comes when we don’t get to the root of our anxious thoughts (cause it’s scary), suppress the feelings it produces and stay anxious.

“Anxiety is when fear takes over your mind. Anxiety is when fear moves from the tangible to the hypothetical. Anxiety is when the what-ifs of life suffocate your brain. Anxiety is when you can’t fall asleep at night. Anxiety is when you can’t relax and take a nap. Anxiety is when your mind won’t turn off. Anxiety is when your imagination runs haywire, with no boundaries or limits. Anxiety is when your chest is tight, your breathing shallow, and your head dizzy.”

John Comer

Before I dive in I want you to know I have a lot of empathy for this topic. I don’t take it lightly. If it’s something you deal with I hope this can help you. Also, I’m not a doctor. ;)

Quick framework for getting through anxiety.

Trigger: Feel Anxiety

  1. Acknowledge That Anxiety is There

Acknowledging the anxiety is important in the process of addressing the anxiety.

Here’s what it looks like to acknowledge anxiety:

“oh hey anxiety I feel you… okay what’s going on?” or “Chris, you’re feeling anxiety lets take a minute and check in.”

The FACT IS we’re ALWAYS talking to ourselves, that’s where the anxiety is coming from.

Suppressing the feelings won’t help us. It only prolongs the suffering.

Once we acknowledge it…

  1. Acknowledge the Story Being Told (source the anxiety)

There is continually a story being told. Our job is to acknowledge that it’s happening and figure out what the story is.

Pausing (in silence taking some deep breaths), ask yourself what’s going on? If this isn’t a common practice it might take a little bit of time to source.

It’s important to practice silence (no music, conversations, tv, business, etc) to dial in and figure out what’s happening. I know silence can be scary. Noise doesn’t help even through we think it does. Noise just numbs.

So what’s the internal story?

-Feel behind in business?
-Team member is leaving?
-Client tell you they’re leaving?
-Being sued and don’t know how it’s going to turn out?
-Getting surgery?
-Not enough leads for the business?

For example, “I just got served papers for a lawsuit….”

The anxiety (I’ve found) comes from ruminating (subconsciously) on a lot of negative potentials — the meaning behind the anxiety.

Once we identify the story we need to…

  1. Acknowledge the Meaning Behind the Story

What does this mean for me or about me?

What am I translating or ruminating about?

Example:

“If I’m sued that means I could lose a lot”
“People will think less of me”
“I won’t be able to defend myself”
“This will take up the next 5 years of my life”
“I’m done in business”

These are the meanings that are being attached to my root story of anxiety.

If i’ve subconsciously telling myself those stories, yea I’m gonna feel bad.

But what PROOF that ANY of those stories are true?

Anxiety often comes from an unbridled mind. This is why “renewing our minds daily” is necessity (especially in the world we live in today).

Stories > Meaning > Ekk feeling

The meaning is usually the biggest scariest monster in the closet that is going to eat us. 😅 

  1. Acknowledge the Actual Truth Behind the Story and Meaning

“Yes, I’m getting sued.” That’s truth.

“Can I control the lawsuit? No.” That’s the truth.

“Can I control what people think about me? No.” That’s the truth.

“Can I control what my response is? Yes!” That’s the truth!!

“Will it work out? Yes”

Acknowledging the truth is separating our truth from our fiction (like the list above).

As the brain goes so go the emotions.

It’s wild how we make up the craziest things.

So…

  1. DECIDE

What you’ll think and believe about your future.

Anxiety starts in the brain. You can work consciously through the process of changing the story or the meaning behind the story.

EVEN if the story and the meaning IS true. YOU still can choose what that means for you.

Like, “people will think less of me”…

“Omg, that will be awful and the worst ever” to “those people aren’t my family and true friends and their opinion doesn’t actually matter.”

See? We get to DECIDE what our conscious brain does and let that impact our subconscious!

We can make the decision and choose how we handle it.

Again, not taking your situation lightly but when I’ve decided to take control of my mind and say “no I’m not going to swim in that cesspool of bad, ineffective thought” it’s helped.

Anxiety lets me know something is going on that I need to check in on.

However, prolonged anxiety is unnecessary suffering.

In the words of Jesus, don’t worry about tomorrow, it has enough worries of it’s own. Profound.

To your peace,

Chris

How Would Rate This Email?

Click which applies to you...

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Join the conversation

or to participate.