We all have freeloaders that we let live in our minds, rent-free. They take up space, sap our resources, and don’t give us anything of value in return. These freeloaders are negative thoughts like doubts, grudges, and fears that can lead to great anxiety.
If the bad news is that we’re all prone to letting these freeloaders take up space in our minds, the good news is that we’re imminently capable of changing our thoughts, diminishing them, and ultimately ridding ourselves of them, reducing the amount of stress we feel.
Here are 5 spiritual tips to help reduce anxious thoughts:
1. Start with the belief that you have the power to rid yourself of anxiety.
Overcoming anxiety starts with the internal belief that we are capable of ridding ourselves of the negative thoughts that plague us. It is nearly impossible to make inroads in removing these thoughts without the belief that it is possible. All of the other tools and tricks for managing stress will only take you so far.
Have certainty that it is possible to overcome anxiety, and trust that you have the ability within you to do so. No matter how strong your negative thoughts may be, they are nothing compared to the power you have to choose your mindset. You can reframe, reset, and decide to make your day what you want it to be, free from freeloaders.
2. Determine what is worth taking seriously.
Our egos want us to believe that everything that happens to us is so important – the hurtful comment someone made about us, the fact someone cut us off in traffic, or that we’re running late for a meeting. But when we really break it down, how many of the things that upset us throughout the day are serious enough to severely impact the quality of our lives?
So often, we lose sight of what is really important and focus too much on small bumps in the road. This causes us to be disappointed, upset, or sad very often about trivial things. Anxieties are often an accumulation of these negative thoughts over time.
Take your life’s work seriously but practice living more lightly, focusing on what is most important. Ask yourself: Where do I react? How quickly do I react to things? Are the things I react to real or illusionary? Look at something that upset you this week. Was it something really worth getting upset over? Start to change the lens from which you view your experience of life, and then your experience will actually change.
3. View anxiety as a call to change something in your life.
Any negative emotion we experience is meant to be a wake-up call, showing us where we need to make an adjustment in our lives. Our souls, the truest part of ourselves, want us to spend our time and effort bringing forth Light and goodness in the world. When we lose sight of this, the soul becomes anxious, like a person who wakes up and doesn’t know where they are. Anxious thoughts are the soul telling us we’re not in the right place or doing what needs to be done.
Every emotion is there to guide us. When we feel sad or anxious, it’s natural that we want to just get through it and move on. But more importantly, we should strive to change from it, so we don’t have to experience it at the same intensity again. Sometimes the lessons are easier than others. But whether we can see the lesson or not, the message is the same: there needs to be change.
4. Understand that your emotions influence those around you and vice versa.
Have you ever noticed when someone is in a bad mood that their emotions start to rub off on you? We are influenced by everything around us, including the thoughts and feelings of other people. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of whose company we keep, but also to be aware of the effect we have on those around us.
We have a responsibility to manage our intense emotions because they radiate from us, and the people around us sense them. Even if you don’t show it or say a word about it, who you are is given over to your friends, family, and children.
5. Trust yourself and the Creator. Doubt stops the natural flow of blessings.
The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches that we are all meant to experience goodness and blessings. But when we allow doubt to creep in, we are really saying, “Maybe I am completely disconnected from the Creator. Maybe blessings aren’t coming my way.” Those thoughts become a self-fulling prophecy that cut off the flow of goodness coming our way.
Appreciate the power of doubt and how important it is to fight against that natural inclination. Everything your soul needs is waiting to come into your life. All of the wisdom, answers, and guidance are available to you. The only thing standing in the way is doubt.
We all experience anxiety at times. But we have the power within us to change our mindsets at any time. We can refocus on what’s really important, find the areas that require change in our lives, and build certainty that the blessings we need are just around the corner. We are powerful beings that can kick out those negative freeloaders from our heads and create a happier, healthier existence for ourselves.