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4 Questions to Ask Yourself to Overcome Anxiety


Grab a pen and paper, get curious about what you might discover, and answer these 4 Questions to learn about the way thinking and feeling may be stealing your freedom and independence. 
You can overcome anxiety. 
These four questions are adapted by those published by Kelly McGonigal, PhD in her training for therapists. Since you are the expert on you and you hold the power to change the way you experience the world I have included them here for incorporating into your self-healing journey.
When anxiety claims its grip upon us, it may cause us to avoid those very activities and people we most enjoy or hold most dear.


QUESTION 1. What do you lose when you give in to fear?



Have you missed precious opportunities due to anxiety?

What celebrations have you created excuses to not attend?

When experiencing anxiety have you had to ask for others to do things for you that you really prefer to do yourself?

Have you lost independence?

What relationships have fallen by the way side or been neglected due to fear? 

Take time to identify the meaningful parts of your life that fear has blocked you from experiencing. 

Have you pushed cherished values to the back of your mind in an effort to stay safe? Noticing the effects of  anxiety and fear can be a powerful motivator. Your answers to these questions in the form of a journal entry can be a tool to return to when you seek strength for moving past fears.




Question 2. What do you gain by choosing the anxiety-provoking option?

 Our brains choose the path of least resistance by choosing actions and behaviors for us to take based upon what it thinks a threat is, not based upon what the actual threat is. Choosing the anxiety provoking option may fool us into thinking we have somehow taken control of our lives to minimize all threats, But what have you actually gained when choosing to act in ways that grow your anxiety?

Envision the self-confidence, meaningful relationships, and positive experiences that are often just on the other side of fear. Come back to this visualization whenever you want to take a key step in shifting your response from the anxiety-provoking options.



QUESTION 3. What strategies can help you manage the temporary anxiety?


Keep your mindfulness cues close. Use your grounding tools even when you are not expereincing anxiety. Grounding is a great mental hygiene practice.  Make a ritual of bringing your awareness to the breath at regular intervals, perhaps whenever you are stopped by a red light, or waiting in line, or before you begin a new activity. Practice setting a specific intention regarding overcoming anxiety each day. By integrating these tools into your everyday life you can move from hyper vigilance to fully prepared for living life to the fullest.



Question 4. How can you acknowledge your own courage?


Facing fear takes courage and is a major accomplishment. Celebrate your ability to make time and space for meeting your intentions, for tolerating discomfort in service of your higher goals. If you were not completely successful in meeting your goal, appreciate their willingness to try and your resilience to not let falling short stop you.



Two Step

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