Anxiety is common. Everyone experiences it.

Some of us are paralyzed by it.

While I’ve seldom experienced anxiety to the extend that it was debilitating, I can appreciate that it happens to a lot of people. Quite often, I see Define My Day users that mention it.

They use words like “overwhelm” or “stuck” also.

How do we defeat that feeling?

First, we need to understand why we feel this way.

Anxiety frequently occurs when we project ourselves into the future. We see a mountain of things to do or upcoming situations.

We “pre-live” those experiences.

We play out all of the potential choices and outcomes.

We fret about the consequences.

And it doesn’t happen once. It replays over and over.

It’s overwhelming, exhausting, and steals our attention from the present moment.

In fact, do it too much and you’ll be less likely to take real action in the present moment. Your brain has already lived the moment in many ways. Maybe ugly ones that aren’t even probable.

Now, the brain is tired and wants to move on to more pleasant experiences.

And, guess what… nothing got done… so the situation may be worse now.

What do we do to stop this?

  1. Learn to notice that it’s happening.
  2. Gently bring the mind back to the present moment.
  3. Take a positive action based on your priorities for the day.

Why does this work?

It teaches us see that we’re headed down an unhealthy thought pattern, pop our mind into neutral, and re-focus our energy on our priorities that we laid out in our planners.

This little 3-step process may not seem like much but over time you can retrain your mind to more quickly identify when thoughts are going off the rails and set them aside.

The result will be more concrete action with real positive results.

That also means fewer undone tasks piling up and less to worry about.

Less to worry about, less anxiety, calmer mind… that’s a positive life change.