Who’s In Control Here? Two ways to minimise anxiety

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.

Brian Tracy

Are you someone who likes to consider all the possible things that might go wrong in the future so that you can be ready for them?

Perhaps you literally plan for things going wrong so you can’t be caught off-guard.

Often, when we’re good at anxiety, we can spend lots of our precious time on these plans

And this has a knock-on effect on the neural pathways we create in our brains – pretty much a motorway-sized ‘path’ concerned with ‘how can I control the world?’ or ‘how can I keep the world under control?’

(The world is notoriously difficult to control, as you may have noticed)

Tip no. 1

is to encourage new neural pathways by learning how to move from ‘how can I keep the world under control?’ to:

‘How can I learn to trust myself to deal with whatever happens?’

You can help yourself here by finding one or more examples of times where unexpected things happened and you dealt with them well. You’ve done it before, possibly many times, and you will be able to do it again

Tip no. 2

is to check in with the Serenity Prayer whenever something unexpected happens (this is my ‘go to’ several times a day)

and if it’s something you can’t change or control then let it go

For example, yesterday, while making a roast dinner, I reached up to a high cupboard for my favourite second hand, rather beautiful dish which has (had) a rather beautiful lid. The lid fell to the hard slate floor and smashed into a thousand pieces (ok, I’m exaggerating but it was quite dramatic).

So, what do I do? I wail a little and then test it out against the Serenity Prayer.

Guess what? Nothing I can do…so I move on

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