From the rise of COVID to unrest in the world, there’s a lot to worry about right now. However, the truth is that worrying doesn’t change the outcome. It just keeps you stuck in a feeling of helplessness and stress. But negative thoughts are part of our biology, and while you can’t prevent them from happening, you can tailor solutions to help you deal with them, says Matthew Ferry, author. Quiet Mind, Epic Life.
“People often think you need to change your mindset to deal with anxiety and nervousness,” he says. “What you need is to change the context to deal with fear in a different way. It is text reproduction, the skill of describing a condition and situation in a way that gives you a strong reality. “
Ferry shares these two three-minute exercises that you can apply the next time you feel nervous.
Determine the worst case scenario
Anxiety can happen when you’re trying something new, and the stakes are huge. In this case, Ferry says fear is running the show. But the way to regain positivity is through negativity.
“Most of us have been taught the modern activism,” says Ferry. “But positivity is unreliable. What to do instead is take an aspect of realism and deal with things logically. It’s more empowering and very simple. “
Ferry calls the negative voice in your head the “drunk monkey” mind. “It’s supposed to be psychic and predict the future,” he explains. “As it turns out, the drunken monkey only predicts the negative future.”
Beat the drunken monkey by writing down the negative future you fear. Then, make a plan of what to do if the worst happens. “Most people write down [the scenario] and then make a plan to avoid it,” says Ferry. “But this keeps the bear cycle in place. Instead, go completely negative and plan for the worst. You will create a new-found neutrality and a sense of peace, and if the worst happens, you will know what to do. This leaves the drunken monkey without consideration and opens up your mental real estate.”
Identify and publish your attachments
The second exercise is dealing with your attachments, which Ferry describes as an exaggerated fear of losing imaginary gains.
“We’re addicted to things that aren’t real in the future,” says Ferry. “It’s the opposite of the worst case scenario. When we feel attached, we are envisioning a positive future gain and we fear that we will lose it. Attachment causes you to modify your behavior.”
For example, you may feel frozen and unable to act, or you may become annoyed with yourself or others. The method to deal with this fear is quick enlightenment.
“Identify what you fear losing in the future,” says Ferry. “Clarifying how this fear of losing rights is an exaggeration. Then ask yourself how the loss of benefits would really affect you, this time without exaggeration. Then make peace with that loss.”
Practice accepting a situation or yourself. Speaking out loud will change your mental framework. If you lose that benefit, use the opportunity to prepare for the next one. Ask yourself what you can learn from this experience. What questions will you ask next time to prepare? What new information do you need to start over with more intelligence.
“This exercise is very powerful and can be done on the fly,” says Ferry. “It is a fundamental practice in rapid enlightenment….
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