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London Stress Relief Walks and Socials Message Board › Fears, Stress and Anxiety: From Being a Victim of Your Thoughts to Finding I

Fears, Stress and Anxiety: From Being a Victim of Your Thoughts to Finding Inner Peace

Beatrice
user 193807832
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 2
Over a year ago, I started the workshop ‘Overcoming Fear: Get Rid of Limiting Beliefs.’ It had an impact even on myself. Like many of us, I never sat down before to wonder where my thoughts came from and why I was stressed. Most of the time, our thoughts clutter our minds and use energy which could be directed to a more helpful purpose.
For some of us, there is a relentless chatter going on in the form of thoughts about thoughts. These thoughts carry fear about what might happen (worry) or about the consequences of what has happened (regret, resentment…).

Unhelpful and often harming thoughts derive from beliefs or opinions about life, not facts. This is important, they are NOT FACTS and you can question them. Thoughts/beliefs are the product of personal experience and social conditioning.
The basic purpose of beliefs is to keep you safe. This concern for safety brings fear and anxiety. The main fear is to be rejected, banned from the group. ‘They are watching me! What do they think of me? Or something like: ‘What people will think of me if I do…/behave this way?’ In truth, other people are themselves too busy with their own thoughts to even notice you.

At the time of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, being cast away meant nearly certain death. Not anymore, you can be perfectly safe on your own in our modern society. Yet our brains are still wired to face life-threatening situations. But in fact, the ego feels threatens. The ego-ruled mind is dissociated from the body and spirit. The result is anything that threatens your public image is perceived as a real danger. But it is just an illusion!

Like many people, I suffered from some kind of anxiety which I eventually brought under control through the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the act of observing your thoughts without judging them, recognizing, accepting them and letting them go. The more we recognize and become aware, the less chattering happens in our minds.

We may still feel anxious, but the reduction of chatter in our minds brings anxiety under control. Earlier, I was obsessed with what people might think of me. I feared I would say silly things and people would laugh at me. I would behave clumsily and people would despise me. And guess what, the more I feared clumsiness, the more it happened. You become what you think!

Anyway, now I help others deal with their fears and I have a keen interest in psychology and personal experiences. I recently stumbled upon this book: Victim of Thought by Jill Whalen. For years, Jill suffered from anxiety until the day she realised that the more she paid attention to what was going on in her head, the less chatter occurred. In some ways, I associate my previous anxious thinking with Jill’s. I too lived unconsciously with unnoticed thoughts which created anxiety, and I also coped with anxiety through drinking, snacking needy relationships and shopping.



I like the title because we are indeed victims of our thoughts. The key facts I get from this book are:

- Moving out of your comfort zone triggers anxiety.

- Each person interprets differently the same event. Therefore, thoughts and not circumstances create feelings.

- Most thoughts are unconscious or unnoticed. This leads the person to react to events. Being unprepared may result in panic.

- Observe your thoughts to become aware of them, and move on. Jill found that ‘it is the MEANING we attach to our thoughts that causes them to stick around’. In other words, give meaning and you get thoughts about thoughts, an anxious chatter in your mind. Remove the meaning, and the thoughts fade away.

Of course, you may interpret the book differently, finding new insights according to your own needs. The book is available from Amazon.co.uk

Jill Whalen – Victim of Thought: Seeing Through the Illusion of Anxiety (2017 – Amazon)

I hope this helps and you are welcome to join us at the next workshop for further support. Please feel free to comment on this post, your experience is highly valuable to others.

Beatrice
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