In the face of anxiety, it is not as good as blocking.

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Editor’s note: I am afraid that many people are suffering from long-term anxiety, but they do not know how to get rid of it. Many people actually tend to succumb to anxiety when they are faced with anxiety, or they tend to actively fight anxiety and directly eliminate anxiety (the latter should be more common), but in fact, we should take a third approach, that is Accepting anxiety, treating yourself with a sympathetic attitude, delineating a reasonable and appropriate range of anxiety, and not doing unnecessary worry. This article is translated from medium, article author Nick Wignall, original title 3 Way to Free Yourself from Chronic Anxiety.

Change mindset: 3 ways to get rid of long-term anxiety

Image source: Franciele Cunha on Unsplash

If you are struggling with chronic anxiety, then developing a healthier mindset to look at anxiety itself is the key to getting rid of anxiety.

In this article, based on my experience as a psychologist, I will introduce you to my own daily approach to helping patients overcome chronic anxiety – transforming their mindset.

With a change in mindset and patience, you may be able to free yourself from long-term anxiety.

1. Treat your anxiety with compassion rather than provocation.

The basic fact that everyone should know in a field of psychology is that you can’t directly control your emotions.

You can’t lower your anxiety value. You can’t press the “one button happiness” button, you can’t raise the threshold of sadness. Since you can’t completely control certain things, including your emotions, then you can’t force yourself to take full responsibility for it.

Ask any lawyer or judge you know, and they will tell you that no one has been convicted of being too angry. Of course, people are always jailed for what they do when they are angry – we don’t just judge people based on their emotions, but on their behavior.

If you have been fighting anxiety for a long time, but you have been slow to make a difference, a large part of the reason is that you have not established anxiety with you for a long time.Correct “relationship”.

In other words, it doesn’t make sense to judge yourself or criticize your emotional feelings. If you make an inappropriate judgment about yourself because you feel anxious, then you will even blame yourself for the bad weather today.

When we always feel anxious, we tend to interpret anxiety as a bad thing – something we have to eliminate or solve. When we habitually treat anxiety as a problem, our brains respond to it as a problem like licking the throat. The result is a vicious circle that leads to more anxiety.

How are you finding out where the problem lies?

When you and your anxiety are a relationship that is not “you are dead or I am alive,” you will certainly feel anxious.

When you habitually think that your anxiety is bad and blame yourself, you are only strengthening its strength and extending its duration, and the best way to get rid of this vicious circle is Self sympathy.

Agreeing with your anxiety means acknowledging that your anxiety is a normal situation. You don’t deny its rationality, even if it brings you painful, terrible or irritating Annoyed experience. It also means sympathizing with yourself, not letting you take unrealistic responsibilities for things that you can’t control, thus increasing your own ideological pressure. It also means that you have to treat yourself as an anxious friend—listening, agreeing, restraining your own criticism and giving yourself strong support.

If you want to eliminate chronic anxiety, don’t treat anxiety as an enemy.

Be aware of your self-talk about anxiety. Pay attention to your habitual interpretation of anxiety. Ask yourself, what would it be like to adopt a more compassionate attitude towards your anxiety?

This is a painful moment, and suffering is part of life. May I be kind to myself at this moment, may I give myself the sympathy I need.

——Kristin Neff

2. Are you willing to endure your anxiety?

In her creative memoir, Big Magic, Liz Gilbert used a beautiful and educational metaphor to describe her relationship with fear.

She said that life is like driving a car. You know where your destination is, and then do your best to achieve it – maybe a new job interview, maybe a new article, maybe It is to complain to your spouse about your unsatisfactory life.

In any case, when we drive on the road of life, a monster called Anxiety often appears and wants to take control of the car from our hands. Most of us instinctively use the following two ways to deal with this monster.:

  1. The first reaction is that we obey the steering wheel, bow to the anxious monster, and then sink into worry and anxiety.

  2. The second and more common reaction is to try to throw the monster out of the window and get rid of it once and for all. We take oxazolone, break the irrational belief in anxiety, use loud music or talk to friends to distract yourself, and so on.

The problem with the first reaction is obvious: unless you are being plagued by what really matters, you will never want anxiety to control the steering wheel.

The second reaction – trying to eliminate anxiety or divert your attention – is that when you try to throw the monster out of the window, you usually get a car accident. In other words, the negative consequences of resisting anxiety will ultimately cost you more than the initial anxiety.

So, this means that if you want to get rid of anxiety, you must first accept it.

Gilbert continues to describe how she eventually learned to use a new method to deal with the anxious monster. She realized that in addition to surrendering control or trying to throw the monster out of the window, there was a third option: she could readily accept her anxiety, but insisted on leaving it in the back seat.

In other words, rather than passively surrendering to her anxiety, letting it dominate her life, or actively trying to fight or resolve anxiety, she realizes that if she acknowledges and accepts the fact that anxiety exists, and They set reasonable and appropriate boundaries, and she can continue to live and work in anxiety.

When we tell ourselves the existence of anxiety with self-sympathy, and then allow it to go along with us (preferably sitting in the back seat), we can train our brains to no longer fear anxiety.

When we stop resisting the pain and discomfort of temporary anxiety, we free ourselves from long-term anxiety.

The next time your anxiety reappears, admit it and welcome it with sincerity. In the long run, this is the only way to reduce its impact.

Pain is inevitable. Pain is optional.

——Haruki Murakami

3. Change the bad habit of worrying about it

The first two mentalities—self-sympathy and willingness to endure one’s own anxiety—are used to solve situations about inappropriately criticizing yourself and trying to control things that you can’t actually control directly—anxiety— .

But there is another equally dangerous situation, that is, there is no real control for you.Things are responsible, whether it is difficult or not.

Worry is a psychological habit that allows anxiety to continue and strengthen. It usually takes the form of a future-centered self-talk, imagining potential threats and negative outcomes that may arise in the future:

  • My God, why is my heart jumping so hard? Is it a heart attack? If I faint on the road, no one will find me, I will die before I go to the hospital!

  • Should I mention his mother at dinner? He may think that I am not polite. Why can’t I close my mouth? I may destroy our relationship.

We are easily “addicted” about worry because it looks a lot like solving problems – it’s a beneficial spiritual habit, and we use it day after day for most of our lives. “This method.

But the only difference between solving problems and worrying is that the latter won’t achieve any substantial results, and usually only makes things worse.

What we worry about is either not a problem at all or it is impossible to solve the problem at all.

Regardless of the initial cause, most of our chronic anxiety will continue and strengthen because of our anxiety habits.

Because anxiety makes people feel bad, once we find ourselves in anxiety, we mistakenly want to make things clear and try our best to let anxiety disappear. In the process, worry not only gives people a sense of initiative, but also gives people the illusion of control and power.

When you fool yourself into thinking that you can control things, you may feel relaxed for a while, but the increased anxiety caused by worry will only make our anxiety worse in the long run.

So, how do we stop worrying, or how does not worry about it anymore?

A simple and extremely difficult answer is to exercise your attention. When your brain wants to worry and think about all the terrible things that can happen in the future, the only way out is to refocus your attention on other things and stick to it – it’s easier said than done.

Most of us tend to be attracted to any shiny, seemingly important stimuli. As a result, our ability to adjust our attention—controlling what we choose to focus on or not to care about—is greatly reduced.

As far as I know, performing mindfulness exercises every day is the best way to exercise your attention and improve your ability to escape from unhelpful patterns of worry.

Although you may not be able to control an idea that suddenly appears in your mind and the emotions it produces, you can always control your attention – you can choose to take youFocus on other places.

Responsible for your attention, slowly change the bad habits of worry.

Lord, give me peace to accept things that I can’t change, give me the courage to change what I can change, and give me wisdom to tell the difference between the two.

——Reinhold Niebuhr

Write at the end

No matter what the cause of your anxiety, your mentality about it is a key reason for its existence, and it is likely to enhance its negative impact. If you want to reduce this anxiety, you must first develop a healthier attitude:

  • Treat your anxiety with compassion rather than provocation.

  • Be willing to endure your anxiety in your life.

  • Remove the bad habits you worry about.


If you are willing to change your relationship with anxiety, you may be able to get rid of long-term anxiety.

Translator: Xitang