How to Reduce Unavoidable Anxiety

Some anxiety is unavoidable since there are always going to be mismatches between your basic beliefs and your experiences, past and present.

You know how to prevent unnecessary anxiety by taking the time and making the effort to change a basic belief. What we’re looking for now is a way to reduce unavoidable anxiety quickly, efficiently and safely, even though the results may be temporary. We need to find an effective, efficient and cost free way to relax, one that has no negative side effects.

The secret of relaxation

There are as many ways to relax as there are books in the Library of Congress. They may provide short- or long-term relief, they range from cost-free to extremely expensive and they may be beneficial or detrimental to one’s health and well-being. Nevertheless, they all have one thing in common: they divert problematic thoughts into neutral or pleasant channels.

How anxiety is triggered

Basic beliefs filter every new sensation. A stimulus may be perceived directly from a sight, sound, taste, odor or touch or indirectly from a conscious thought or subconscious stimulus. Either way, when the resulting sensation is contrary to a basic belief, anxiety is triggered.

No triggering sensation, no anxiety.

Adrenaline, the engine that powers anxiety

As just mentioned, anxiety comes about when you perceive something, consciously or subconsciously, that is contrary to one of your basic beliefs. When this happens, adrenaline is released into the bloodstream where it travels swiftly to every nook and cranny of the body, causing awareness of the threat just perceived. The essential fact to remember is that as long as adrenaline is in the bloodstream, you will continue to experience anxiety.

No adrenaline, no anxiety.

To reduce unavoidable anxiety, compose a threatless thought

By combining the two dynamics just described, triggering sensations and circulating adrenaline, we have a neat way to reduce anxiety (when appropriate): change the adrenaline producing thought associated with the sensation by replacing it with a neutral thought, one that does not result in adrenaline being released. A physical sensation triggering anxiety will be what it is, but the thoughts relating to that sensation may be diverted, thus reducing anxiety.

The way to do this is to use your thinking brain to focus on a threatless thought. For example, while anxious, think about the temperature of the air as it goes in and out of your nose. When you inhale, is it warmer or cooler than when you exhale? Keep your mind on this thought because every instant you do so you are not pumping adrenaline and the adrenaline that is already in the bloodstream is being broken down and made ineffective, or metabolized.

Problematic thoughts may continue to impose themselves where they are not wanted. After all, the feeling brain is doing its job by alerting you to perceived danger even though the thinking brain knows that no danger exists or that it is not time to address the issue. Accept that this is going to happen and, when it does, simply return to focusing on the threatless thought.

When you have ceased adding new adrenaline to the bloodstream and removed a sufficient amount, your anxious feelings will pass like the last rays of sunlight at the end of a summer day.

Anxiety and mental health

Anxiety, like many other aspects in life, can be both positive and negative. It is decidedly beneficial, our friend, when it warns us of real danger, but it works against us when it interferes with our thinking and reasoning, to say nothing of the negative feelings it generates and its long-term hazard to physical health.

Preventing unnecessary anxiety by changing a basic belief and reducing it by focusing on a threatless thought will prove beneficial since both strategies help you move along the pathways towards optimum mental health.

Here’s where we have been: where are you going?

You now have a good concept of what mental health is: a set of basic beliefs that are consistent with inbornintentions, all functioning with manageable anxiety. I wish you well on implementing the ideas presented, all designed to help you move towards optimum mental health.

Future posts on this blog will elaborate on some of the topics already discussed and will respond to your comments, questions and concerns.

Thank you for the time and interest you have invested in reading these posts. Be well until we meet again…

A question for your consideration and comment

You have just completed a journey through inbornintentions, basic beliefs and anxiety. What do you think of this process as a guide to helping achieve optimum mental health?