If you feel that anxiety issues are holding you back and putting your life on hold, it helps to understand what anxiety actually means:
Anxiety is always about your relationship with yourself
All emotions, wether they feel good or not, are giving you feedback about your relationship with yourself. The better you feel, the more you are allowing yourself to be your "true self". Your true self is who you really are when you let go of all the stories, labels and judgements that you have placed upon yourself. Your true self is who you naturally are without the masks and pretentiousness.
Anxiety is resistance against your true self
The worse you feel, the more you are disallowing your true self to be present. If you feel anxiety, it means that in that moment of anxiety, you are thinking a thought that is not matching who you really are. By doing this, you are not allowing yourself to live your true nature. Anxiety is the emotional consequence of the resistance that you are practicing against your true self.
How to overcome anxiety
Anxiety can be overcome by practicing less resistant thoughts. The easiest way to do that is to start paying more attention to your emotions. For example, in the morning, when you have not been practicing so many negative thoughts yet and the momentum of negative thinking is not that strong, you can observe your emotions. If you feel a negative thought or a negative emotion coming up, it will be easier to change this thought or this emotion at this early stage, because it has not yet gained momentum. You can change a negative thought or a negative emotion by simply focussing on something positive. If you catch negativity fast (and this works especially well in the morning), you can change negative thoughts rather easily. It also helps to not put words to it and to not talk about it, as this would make it stronger.
"How can I focus on something positive?"
Focussing on something positive is a powerful way to overcome anxiety, but you will need to learn to catch negative emotions at an early stage before they turn into feelings of anxiety. To focus on something positive, you can imagine something that makes you feel good. This could be for example the memory of your last holiday or thinking about your pet or a loved one. It also helps to care about how you feel about certain things or in certain situations. If you don't feel good then ask yourself: What can I do to make myself feel better? It's only when people ignore their emotions during a longer period of time that subtle negative emotions can finally turn into anxiety.
More ways of focusing on something positive:
Other ways of focusing on something positive are positive affirmations, positive self-talk, humour, gratitude, turning failures into lessons, focusing on the present moment and spending time around positive people. Positive thinking needs practice, it's easier to think negative, because most people have simply developed a habit of negative thinking.
I'm Natalie Marby, an English speaking therapist in Hamburg, Germany. I am half German and half British and I offer psychotherapy in English, especially for expats living in Hamburg. To contact me, you can send me an email or call me: +49040 46090233. (Please don't forget to send me your phone number and the times I can reach you). I look forward to hearing from you!