How to deal with negative thoughts and anxiety?
After much deliberation, I decided to talk about anxiety, malaise, negative thoughts that haunt us, and how we can influence all this ourselves.
A lot of my clients face similar challenges and maybe now it’s really the right time to talk about it as much as possible and help as many people as possible. It is very important that in such situations one is aware that they are not alone and that this is just the current situation.
We all carry emotional scars from our youth due to traumatic or merely difficult experiences. Early in our life, we experienced events that shaped us. The emotions associated with them helped layer by layer to create our personality.
Let’s face it, we’ve all been marked by events imbued with extremely strong emotions.
And whenever we think about these experiences, the body always relives them, even if only with thoughts. But every thought is also associated with a feeling.
When we are young, we always have our hands full, which allows us to temporarily avoid old, strong emotions. We literally sweep them under the rug. We are inspired by new friends, trips to unknown places, hard work and effort to progress, acquiring new skills or engaging in new sports. We rarely suspect that many of these actions are driven by feelings associated with certain events in our past.
By the mid-thirties or forties, when the personality is fully formed, we already experience most of what life has to offer.
Therefore, we can largely expect the outcome of most events or experiences that surround us.
Even before we face most things, we already know how we will feel about it.
We well know the nuances of bad and good relationships. Because we can predict probable emotions before the actual experience happens, we decide whether we want to experience a particular “known” event before it actually happens.
Of course, all this is happening in our subconscious.
Why and when do things get complicated?
Because we can predict the feelings that will accompany most events, we already know if we want to experience an already known situation before it happens.
When we reach middle age, however, nothing can banish the feeling of emptiness.
You wake up every morning and feel like the same person.
The environment that has filled most of our time so far no longer does its job.
And how could it, as the influence of emotions that has been caused in us by the external environment is fading within us, because we already know that we are the exactly same person who went to bed last night and woke up to a new day today.
This is known by most people as a midlife crisis.
Most people try really hard to hide these feelings and therefore delve into material things, buy a new sports car, some rent a sailboat, go on a long trip, others make new friends, shop, renovate their home, join a new club or even undergo plastic surgery.
All of the above are futile attempts at feeling better or at least feeling differently. The point is that when enthusiasm for new things, places, or relationships subsides, we find ourselves on the same level of emotional identity again.
When we try to escape this emptiness, we run away from emotions because dealing with them is too uncomfortable or even painful.
When we start to lose control, we simply turn on the television, browse the web, call someone or send them a message, start talking, and instantly change our emotions.
What was outside of us put us in a better mood, so we start relying on that and always come back to it when we feel emptiness within us.
But basically what happens with persisting in these disorders is that we become more and more dependent on something outside of us that is changing our inside.
We need increasingly stronger stimuli to achieve the same feeling in order to feel different or better, and doing so can turn into a constant search for pleasure and ways to avoid pain at all costs.
We crave a life of enjoyment, and this desire is driven by a feeling that we can never get rid of, but is always present in our subconscious.
Some people, however, don’t try to hide these feelings and lie to themselves, but begin to wonder who they are, what their mission in life is, for whom they do all this, what happiness is, whether there is anything more in life, what is important at all, what is love, where do I find it… and the soul begins to awaken.
We realise that external stimuli are not important and that nothing in the environment will improve our well-being and that maintaining the ideal for the sake of others is in fact a strategy by which we run away from feelings that never catch up with us.
No more compulsive shopping, no more surfing the web, no more endless searching for company and attention.
Suddenly we feel restless, our breathing becomes shallower and shallower, we have a million negative thoughts that create chaos in our mind.
Our heart starts to beat unevenly, maybe our blood pressure is rising, we feel like we are going to explode, we can barely breathe and we have a feeling that we are going to suffocate, there is no air in the room, we are getting hot and we are more and more restless and helpless.
Yeah, that’s it, that’s the feeling I’ve experienced countless times myself.
Countless times I thought I was going to die, that I was going to suffocate, that I was gasping for air.
I thought maybe my heart was failing or that I was losing my mind
I often remember these feelings, especially when people ask me how can you always smile, be so positive and in high spirits… you look so strong and determined, nothing ever rattles you.
When I hear this, I just smile and say to myself this is me, the real me without a mask. If you take it off, you will look the same.
But it’s not that simple. We can’t just remove the mask and show our true face. It takes work, a lot of energy, willpower, focus and of course practice, practice, practice.
The first thing I advise you to do is to learn to breathe. Open a browser and Google a little, and you will find countless breathing exercises, ways and techniques that will help you to overcome a crisis or to calm down easily and start thinking rationally.
Millions of people worldwide have problems like yours, and everyone deals with them in their own unique way. What is important is that you start working on yourself and that you start dealing with emotions and situations. Day after day, you persevere and do not go to the established patterns of seeking attention and comfort in the external environment.
One of the simple exercises that has helped me a lot in difficult times and still helps me is the box breathing technique.
We inhale slowly and count to six, then hold the air and count to six, then exhale with all our strength, completely emptying our lungs, visualising how all the emotions we no longer need are leaving our body and how our thoughts and body are cleansed.
Repeat the exercise at least six times and you will feel your breathing is calming down and deepening, your thoughts are becoming clearer, chaos in your mind is disappearing, and your heartbeat and blood pressure are becoming more even.
This is also one of the basic energy exercises I use in energy coaching. The feedback I get is mostly extremely positive. The improvements that clients experience are greater than expected.
By repeating the exercise several times, they feel immediate relief in the body, the muscles slowly relax, which leads to general well-being.
After performing the exercise, you are calm and can slowly think of solutions and let your body find its rhythm.
Our body is created to fight or flee.
The fact is there is no point in tilting at windmills. Even stronger is the realisation that we don’t have to run away from ourselves, no matter how much outside influence we give in to. Each of us sooner or later faces their shadow self.