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Mar
10
The #1 Thing which helped me with Anxiety
By Kevin

I first discovered anxiety in 4th grade.

My school's track coach walked up to me and said, "I'm thinking of putting you in the 1600m race." I told him, "uhhh, ok." Then the time came for me to line up with the other 7 kids in the race...I felt this deep nervousness. I began thinking of all the things that will go wrong. I had no real idea what was taking place at the moment and I locked up in fear. I began with the certainty that I am going to look bad and fail. After the gun sounded, I allowed anxiety to win.

That race in 4th grade was something I began to understand the power of fear within the brain. I fell behind in the race very quickly and I couldn't compete. I feared the worst, that I would fail, and I did. In years that followed, I became so riddled with fear what would keep me from doing things I really wanted to do.

Over time, I've learned that I have that anxiety is about fear or dread of something that is about to happen. Anxiety is the brain's way of assuming that whatever you're about to do is very dangerous, if not life-threatening.

Then I learned the one thing that helped me face anxiety head on...

Change the channel.

Whenever I fixate on something that scares the stuffing out of me, I've learned to focus on something different than what I am afraid of. The brain, which focused on something fearful, doesn't know the difference between something real and something that's an illusion. (I would argue that much of what we are fearful of is an actual illusion and fake.) For me, I focus on ways that I can still achieve what I am afraid of.

Next time anxiety become so overwhelming, I encourage you to focus on something completely different...change the channel. It matters not what you focus on instead of the fear. It matters that you get to tell the brain to focus on something that's far more beneficial to help you overcome what the brain believes is dangerous.

The worst thing you can do is freeze and do nothing.


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