Excessive worry runs through your mind on a seemingly never-ending loop; in many ways, anxiety begets more anxiety. Needless to say, this destructive cycle can leave you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and worst of all, helpless. But thanks to life coach and wellbeing expert Louise Thompson, you can cut through the fog of an anxiety episode by asking yourself the following four questions:
1. What is real now?
Nine times out of ten, you will find yourself worrying about something that hasn't even happened yet. "There is no need to stress out about [something] before it is actually real," writes Thompson. "Stay in what is real in the now, and your anxiety will reduce tenfold."
2. Is your worry a problem or a fact?
They key difference between the two is that a problem has a solution, whereas a fact does not. "There's no point in worrying and wrestling with a fact, it's not going to change," she writes. "Seeing the difference between [the two] is a crucial stepping stone to reducing worry."
3. Is this my business?
If your answer to this question is "no," it's also worth mentioning that you can't control the thoughts and actions of others. Instead of letting someone else's worries become your own, focus on what you can control: Yourself.
4. How do I want to feel right now?
Always remember that you have the power to choose how you want to feel. In moments of worry, choose to feel powerful and in control. Repeat after Thompson: "Right now, we are fine. We are just in transition. We are very resourceful and I trust in my own abilities to handle whatever comes up. We will be fine because we are resilient and good at handling life's inevitable curveballs. I've got this."
How do you talk yourself down from an anxiety episode? Share your strategies below!