Breaking the cycle of anxiety: what we notice when we’re curious

In the last blog, I looked at the power of curiosity when dealing with the self-judgement, anger and frustration that often arises when we’re anxious.

Curiosity is a great start!

But now we can begin to dig a little deeper into what we notice, as a result of our curiosity.

This is what anxiety stops us from doing – the fear prevents us from looking too closely at what is really going on.

So what is really going on?

No matter what, only one of three things is happening at any one time: we are experiencing a thought, a feeling or a sensation.

It can be difficult to notice this reality when we are swept up by the anxiety. When this reality goes unnoticed, it can appear that all three are happening at once…

…this is why we become overwhelmed and overcome by anxiety.

However, once noticed, this truth changes everything.

It’s the difference between being surrounding from all sides, and seeing them for what they really are – just individual, momentary experiences that don’t necessarily require our attention.

And this difference is massive.

So try this:

When you recognise anxiety arising, deliberately name (either out loud or in your head) which of the three things is happening, without judgement

…”that’s a thought”…“that’s an emotion”… “that’s a sensation”.

The movement from one experience to the next may be very quick – so quick that they appear to occur simultaneously – but trust me, they’re not.

And the more you practice this, the clearer this will become.

Then from this less fearful position, we can decide whether or not we need to act on this information or not – not through fear, anger or frustration, but through clarity and consideration.

I will be updating this blog every week with self-help for anxiety practices, so that you can begin breaking this cycle. Or you can head over here where I talk about some ways that you can continue this journey now.

Also, I’d be very happy to hear of any thoughts or questions you may have, so feel free to leave your comments below!




About the Author:

I am a fully qualified counsellor and psychotherapist in private practice in Dublin, Ireland. From my experience I have seen the transformative effects of an open-minded, non-judgemental therapeutic relationship and how it can help us to make useful and healthy changes to how we behave, think and feel about ourselves and our relationships with others. I hope you find some useful information here and feel free to contact me through my website.

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