Friday, November 25, 2011

Improve Your Inner Dialogue and Decrease Anxiety

GUEST BLOGGER Ryan Rivera used to suffer from anxiety. When he turned to natural and alternative methods of treatment, he got the help he needed. To know more about how he survived anxiety, go to

Internal dialogue, or self-talk, powerfully shapes and programs your self-concept. Usually normal and non-threatening, when the content consists of unfailingly negative and unhealthy deliberations or beliefs about your self-worth, self-talk can lead to anxiety. To be set free from this negative internal dialogue, work must be done.

1. Become More Mindful of Your Thinking Pattern
The first step to changing your negative internal dialogue is to gain awareness of your thinking pattern, particularly the instances when negative thoughts persist. Scrutinize and analyze your mental ideas and sentences. Identify them as positive or negative. Keep the positive ones and throw the negative thoughts away.

2. Keep Your Thoughts in a Journal
Sometimes, you can’t keep track of all the thoughts you have. To track thoughts and allow for further examination, keep a journal or diary. When a troubling thought comes or a strong feeling is evoked write it down like you are telling a story--your story. It will shed light on the real root of your difficulties.

3. STOP the Negative Thoughts
When a negative thought pops up, take active action and stop it. You can do this by stating out loud the very simple, four-letter word “STOP!” Saying this with conviction and power makes you the master of your mind. Taking control makes you the master of your thinking.

4. Relax
For counterattacks against negative thoughts to be effective, you must be calm. With your back on a chair or on a firm mattress, close your eyes and block all surrounding noises, except your breathing. Press your palms on your chest and abdomen. Inhale deeply and feel the rise of your abdomen. Hold your breath. Then, slowly release this air and feel your abdomen fall. Repeat until you’re more relaxed.

5. Challenge Negative Thoughts
Extreme negativity feeds anxiety. Thinking of worst case scenarios and assuming you will fail contributes directly to failure. To stop this vicious cycle, question your negative thoughts. Ask yourself if these thoughts are reasonable and logical. If not, think instead: “things will be better this time” or “everything will turn out well."

6. Positive Affirmations
“I am at peace today” or “I am good” are examples of positive affirmations, a great tool to help reprogram your unconscious mind from negative thinking to positive. Make a positive statement that you would like reality to reflect, and repeat it until it is part of your way of thinking.

Improving your internal dialogue is a great anxiety reduction technique that you must practice to master.  Recognize that negative thoughts are mere thoughts, nothing more and nothing less, and achieve peace of mind.

No comments: