A simple and powerful anxiety treatment for clients is learning about the power of thought and what’s creating their experience in the moment.
If you struggle with anxiety you’ll resonate with how much thinking you do about anxiety! And the more you think about being anxious the more anxious you become!
Understanding the power of thought and how the mind works has been so liberating for clients as a treatment for anxiety.
This morning I read a beautiful and powerful metaphor from one of my favourite thought leaders, Michael Neill, which I wanted to share.
In this metaphor, Michael describes how we can see fear (and all other ‘negative’ emotions such as anxiety) in a new light. A light which shines a whole new perspective on our thoughts and emotions!
Imagine the mind is like a train station. There are trains leaving all the time to any destination you can think of. Some trains will take you up into the mountains of ecstasy; others will take you down into the depths of despair. Some leave the station quickly but then lose steam and drop you off in the middle of nowhere; others are slow to start but over time take you exactly where you want to go, even if you didn’t know where that was when you first got on board.
At times, when there weren’t many trains leaving the station, it would be relatively easy to hop aboard the trains taking you somewhere interesting and avoid the ones taking you down a rabbit hole. But the busier the train station gets, the harder it is to navigate, and you might even find yourself hopping from train to train, feeling incredibly active and busy but never really getting anywhere in the process.
Now, imagine there was a foolproof way to instantly know whether a particular train of thought was taking you somewhere good. You wouldn’t have to ride the train all the way to its destination to find out where it was headed; you could simply hop off at the next station and wait for another train to come along.
This is the role of fear in the human system:
Whenever you feel fear (or despair, or hopelessness, or righteous anger, or any one of a host of variations on the theme), it’s the design of the system letting you know where that train of thought is heading. It’s telling you to be still – to hop off that train and wait for a new stream of thinking to come along. It’s not telling you anything about the world or even about your capability – it’s simply telling you there’s nothing good waiting for you at the end of this particular train of thought.
You don’t need to try to change the trains in the form of positive thinking. Instead, you’ll find that the more you accept thoughts for what they are – simply thoughts that are not real, the less you find yourself hopping on the old trains of thought that take you to the places you don’t want to go!
Need a helping hand to stop getting on board those trains of thought? Drop me an email to [email protected]