Your Frantic, Anxious Mind Will Fix Itself (If You Let It)

Your Frantic, Anxious Mind Will Fix Itself (If You Let It)

That frenzied, harried, urgent, swirling, itchy, dark feeling of an anxious thought-storm or oncoming panic attack is no joke. 

If someone were to tell you that your mind will settle on it’s own, you’d probably want to throw a corkscrew at their face (if you have one – so many screw-tops these days).

When we are caught up in rushing, spiky, tumbling thoughts it feels like it will last forever, even though we kinda know it won’t. But it feels SO BAD NOW that a future where you’re feeling calm and cool feels impossibly far away. 

That terrible feeling is coming from a ton of thought (and nothing else)

If we are consumed by panic, anxiety, overwhelm, fear….any of them….we are experiencing a ridiculously high volume of thought. 

It’s the amount of thought causing the horrid feelings. Nothing else. Not what’s happening in the outside world. Not that email from your boss, not what the school said about your kid, not that you’re driving on a highway, not that you haven’t finished that project yet, not that your girlfriend seems distant. 

When we are caught up in a complete hurricane of bad thoughts, it feels very compelling and frightening. But the content of the thoughts doesn’t matter. What you are thinking about is not the thing that is ‘wrong’, or the thing causing the bad feeling

An anxious, overwhelmed, stressed-out mind is like a shaken-up bottle of a fizzy drink (soda to my pals in North America). The bubbles are fizzing and growing and multiplying and taking up all the room in the bottle and it seems like it might explode. 

You are feeling so darn awful because of the amount of thought. I put that in bold again because it’s that important. And it’s important because when it is just the amount of thought, then I have great news for you…

Our minds are designed to settle on their own

When you cut your finger, your body goes to work healing it without you having to do anything. 

The same is true for your mind. Your mind will fix itself, it will ‘heal’ and peace, calm and clarity will return.  The amount of thought will settle down. 

Like the soda bottle again. Leave it alone, and the bubbles will settle. You don’t need to do anything. Infact, the less you do, the less you ‘shake it’, the quicker it will settle. 

Why it seems YOUR mind NEVER settles 

We don’t often experience this mind-settling awesomeness because we innocently keep ourselves in a fizzed-up state…by trying to fix it. Oh, the hilarious irony. 

(Hilarious = not hilarious at all) 

If our feelings look like they are caused by the outside world…

“I can’t do this”

“I’m going to get fired” 

“She’s going to leave me”

“I’m a failure”

“What’s wrong with me?”

“Why can’t I just do this project?”

“I have no money”

“No one likes me”

…then it LOOKS like we need to solve that thing to feel better. 

So we go to work trying to the ‘fix the problem’, however that looks to us.

But this creates more thought in an already full mind. 

Like the soda bottle again. We innocently keep shaking the bottle in a misguided attempt to get the fizzing to stop. 

And back to the cut finger-that-heals-itself thing I mentioned (we do like our metaphors around here!). That cut finger heals a lot quicker when it’s left alone. When we are trying to ‘solve’ our bad feelings, we are adding more thought, and it’s like picking and scratching at the cut finger. 

If the ‘problem’ is a lot of thought, then trying to fix it with more thought is not the answer. 

Your mind will quieten when you leave it alone. 

Ok, how does this help you?

Knowing that thoughts and feelings work this way does not stop us from feeling bad. Yeah. Sorry. 

However when we come to really see that all that’s happening when we feel LIKE ASS is the amount of thought in our mind AND NOTHING ELSE, then it brings incredible relief and liberation. 

We come to see that when we feel shit, there’s nothing to fix or solve or do. It’s just a ton of thought. 

When we see that, without our innocent intervention, this volume of thought dissipates on it’s own and we feel like the cool, calm kitties that we are by nature, it’s fucking magical. 

It takes a load off your plate. You aren’t causing this. You don’t need to fix it. You experience a ton of thought and then it settles. 

What to do now then?

Here’s the thing – there’s nothing to DO, just something to see. Sound confusing and unhelpful? Yeah, I know. Been there. 

Prescribing things to do is MORE THOUGHT. In the moment, we don’t want you trying to remember what you ‘had to do’. 

“SHIT! I need to let my mind settle! How do I do that? Am I doing it yet? How will I know?”

What I really want to say is just carry on with your life. No need to make ‘sense’ of what you read, try and ‘apply’ it or anything. But us humans hate that. 

So, if you insist on putting some action points around it (like I did, meh) try some ‘noticing’. 

Noticing, without trying to fix anything, is pretty cool because it illuminates what’s going on when we haven’t  – erm – noticed before.

  • Consider that this is actually how it works: Temporarily suspend any beliefs around anxiety/overwhelm/worry/stress being caused by work/family/money/your failings as a human
  • Notice when you are caught up in thought. Notice how you try to solve it, fix it, get rid of the feeling. Just notice that 
  • Perhaps ‘try’ and ‘leave it’. Hard to put into words but see how it goes for you. Remember – or not! –  what you’ve read here and just hang out. No need to  ‘do’ anything in particular, see what occurs to you naturally (which might be nothing) without ‘forcing’ it
  • Notice that you feel even 0.5% better at some point. When? Who knows? But isn’t it funny how your feelings did change? Notice that. 

Is something landing for you? Or are you more confused than ever? Question? Thought? Contact me here and let’s chat.