“As soon as you start to feel anxious, locate where it is in your body…. As you notice where in your body that anxiety is, you can ask yourself: “How do I want to feel instead?” Once you have an idea of an emotion you’d rather be feeling, talk yourself into it and notice how that better feeling moves in your body.”
~ Melissa Tiers in her awesome book The Anti-anxiety Toolkit: Rapid Techniques to Rewire the Brain.
A few days ago I was out walking in the hood, being careful to stay six feet away from all humans, and I was feeling quite irritated by the sudden spike in temperature and the accompanying humidity. After nurturing that irritation for a bit, with negative, anxious thoughts like “I hate this weather,” and “I’m dreading another Summer here,” I suddenly remembered the question above, and I thought about how Melissa Tiers explained it:
“By asking yourself, “How do I want to feel instead?” you send the mind on a search for a better feeling state. And once you find that better state, you have to get yourself to feel it.”
Melissa says that you think yourself into a better emotional state… So I tried it out. I asked myself how I wanted to feel instead, and I ‘heard’ this answer: “I want to feel warm and cheerful and positive. I want to feel quiet as a flower, all-seeing as the Sun, and solid as a mountain.” That answer shifted my mind which then transformed my emotional state… A powerful question, indeed.
How are you feeling in this moment? If you are feeling anxiety, how do you want to feel instead?
With compassion for the current state of our world,
Photo by Andrey Grinkevich on Unsplash.