It’s happened to all of us; when we get anxious or stressed, our brain becomes more and more unreasonable. When we sit down to work our brain starts making up stories about people and circumstances around us; activating and accelerating the anxiety spiral. Just as there is no reasoning with an over-tired child, trying to reason our way out of an anxiety spiral or a stressed-out state, is simply not going to work.
We have lost our ability to reason.
The following are some thoughts from experts on the subject of mindfully interrupting the anxiety spiral.
4 ways to stop an anxiety spiral:
- Realise that we are more than our thoughts. What to do when toxic thoughts trigger the anxiety spiral. “Write yourself (your brain) a restraining order.” Realise there is an ‘I’ who’s observing the thoughts. Allow the thoughts to self-liberate. Jon Kabat-Zinn
- Notice, acknowledge and get curious. What to do when spiking anxiety drives us to make up stories, far from the truth. Notice, acknowledge and get curious instead of going to our “crazy story”. Brene Brown
- Relax and lean away from mind-chatter. What to do when a trigger hits a ‘soft spot’. Notice that we’re getting caught up in our reactivity. Identify if something needs our attention to be solved or whether we can let go and lean away from it. Michael Singer
- Accept the moment, as if you had chosen it. What to do if our thoughts distress us about our current circumstance. Radical acceptance of the noise our mind is making. Eckhart Tolle