Anxiety is that gut-clenching feeling that makes you want to scream in frustration, because there doesn’t seem to be any escape from the present predicament, be it about money, institutional morass or broken relationships. Remaining anxious leads to a downward spiral of increased anxiety, physical and mental ailments, anger, bad behavior and despair.
Changing the current context is critical to opening up one’s thinking to enable forward movement. Until you get a grip on your anxiety, it’s difficult, maybe impossible, to see opportunity when it comes your way. When you’re anxious, you are the opposite of an opportunity magnet.
For me, what works to break through anxiety is stepping back from the crevasse, breathing deeply, calming myself and taking stock. Practitioners of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) refer to “break state” as the act of changing the current emotional or physical context to enter a neutral state from which possibilities have the spaciousness to be encountered and developed.
Stepping away from your present state and turning in a new direction are essential first steps. That might mean going out for a walk or to a museum, writing haiku or baking bread. Learning something new builds neural connections. Refresh yourself like you refresh your computer screen.
“You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative”
Those words crooned by Bing Crosby capture what’s needed: Count your blessings and focus on possibilities versus enumerating your losses and reliving your disappointments. Look up and out. That’s where life’s possibilities exist.