More and more of us are looking for ways to quieten anxious thoughts – but the good news is you needn’t find that solution via a prescription. Our 12-step toolkit contains everything you need to naturally feel calm, strong and in control – read the rest in the October issue of Top Santè
Focus on your feet
If anxious thoughts creep in, zone in on how your feet feel in your shoes and on the floor. This technique is called grounding. ‘Anxiety can make you feel detached and unreal at times, but grounding helps bring you back into your body and into the moment,’ says hypnotherapist Chloe Brotheridge (calmer-you.com).
In anxiety lingo, FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. ‘It’s very common in the type of thinking where thoughts drift to “what ifs” and you imagine the worst future for every scenario,’ says David Durand. ‘I tell people to focus instead on FAITH, Fully Accepting In Your Head (or Heart) that everything will work out okay.’
Now, you might be thinking, tell that to the little voice in my head! But now you can. Groundbreaking research from the US found that talking about yourself in the third person reduces anxious feelings. So, instead of sitting worrying whether your boss hates you, frame those thoughts as if you were talking to a friend or family member, using your name. For example, “Come on Julie, think about this – is it really likely your boss hates you when she took you to lunch yesterday?”. If you could see into your brain when you were doing it, as the group of researchers did, you’d find the emotional response to the thoughts is actually less when you speak about yourself in this way. The researchers think the switch in language creates enough distance to help you assess your thoughts more rationally.