By understanding our own Looping Thought patterns, we can break the negative cycle of fear, stress and anxiety.
When we pause to examine our thoughts, feelings and actions, we can re-wire our own ingrained responses to stressful situations and choose better, more positive thoughts and feelings which lead to healthier actions. This results in a positive feedback loop, as calmer actions then calm the body’s stress response leading to calmer thoughts and feelings. Instantly, this creates greater resilience and stronger coping mechanisms.
If you are struggling to stay calm in times of panic, uncertainty and stress, try this simple exercise.
A Calmer Response Exercise
1. Trigger: Take a piece of paper and write down what has happened – the event/person/situation – to cause you to feel stressed or anxious.
eg: reading an alarming headline about the spread of coronavirus.
2. Thought: Then write down the thought this trigger had created.
eg: What if we all have to self-isolate. What if the shops run out of supplies? What if my business suffers?
3. Feeling: Write down the feeling that follows this thought.
eg: fear, anxiety – include the physical symptoms that accompany these feelings.
4. Action: Then make a list of what you usually do next after you’ve had this thought and feeling.
eg: Start to panic, google Coronavirus symptoms, and read more news articles looking for reassurance but which only makes me feel worse.
5. How can I respond differently? Now think of a more positive action you can take following the thought and feeling.
eg: Informing yourself (getting the right information from official sources so you are prepared instead of feeling panic); distracting yourself (reading, listening to music, doing some exercise); comforting yourself (making a cup of herbal tea, chatting with a friend); or being proactive (thinking of positive ways to respond to the situation).
Once you have thought about more positive actions you can choose to take in response to events or situations that usually cause anxiety or stress, visualise yourself taking these actions. Close your eyes and rehearse how you will act differently, what you will say that’s different to what you usually say, and what steps you will take to stop the negative thoughts and feelings in their tracks.
This takes practise. Changing old habits of behaviour is just like changing or stopping any habit. Practise, be patient and be kind to yourself.
If anxiety or panic is becoming an issue for you and interfering with your daily life, please get in touch to discuss how Rapid Transformational Therapy can help.
Try the Inner Calm Meditation
Banish the stresses of the day and unlock inner calm and balance. This 15-minute guided meditation is designed to calm frayed nerves and soothe the body’s stress response, allowing you to slip into your own personal inner oasis of peace and calm.