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The Simplest Way to Overcome Anxiety

In this video, we'll talk about the simplest way to overcome anxiety.

Video Transcription:

First of all, if you ever feel some fears or anxiety, the very first thing I want you to think about is that it's absolutely normal. We all feel it to some extent, and moreover it's important to feel it. Reckless people, unfortunately, oftentimes end up damaging themselves and people around them. Therefore, definitely, you don't want to join this group of people.

So, the main thing is just to be able to take control of our emotions and to be on top of that; so that you can control them and they don't control you, and they don't make you do what you don't want to do, or prevent you from doing what you wanted to do.

Now, how can you do that? There are, of course, lots of ways to do that, and one of the most straightforward ways which I particularly find very practical is the NLP stuff. Now you've probably heard about NLP, and it may sound like some very complex science, where you need to pass some long training and get certificates and, only then, you're able to do something.

But in reality it's very simple, it's just about noticing the patterns of your behavior and then using this knowledge to your advantage. For example, if you think about the things that make you excited, that make you uplifted, you can just write down the list of all these things. Then, you will clearly notice them better.

Of course, intuitively, we all know what kind of things make us feel good about ourselves. But the NLP stuff just goes in a more scientific way: they say, no! Let's just really make a step-by-step process of the kind of things that make you feel uplifted and, then, let's utilize it in the exact same way, so that you get this predictable result.

And they focus on two things primarily, which are your body and also your emotions, your thoughts; and, if you can take control over them, then you, ultimately, take control of your emotional state.

The very good news here is that you absolutely control your body and you absolutely control your thoughts and, therefore, you can program yourself in any way that you want.

Controlling your Body:

So, let's first start with the body because it's the simplest part. Notice those patterns in your body. What kind of postures do you have when you feel good? These are usually relaxed postures and also those where you occupy greater space; those are the ones where you feel confident.

It is different for people, as I normally make a kind of movements with my hands while speaking; you may be doing some other things. So, notice, what kind of body positions do you take when you feel good? Therefore, when you need to take control of your emotions, you can artificially put yourself into that body position.

For example, there were researches that prove that, even if you smile artificially, for 5 to 15 minutes, your emotions start going up, you start feeling good and your mood is changing for the better. And, even you feel that different hormones start to be producing that inside of your body: that's how it works.

Controlling your Thoughts:

All right, now let's go to the second thing, which is our thoughts. How to take control over them? Just yesterday, I've been watching a documentary about Freddie Mercury, one of the most famous rock band singers of the past century. Probably, you know him from the Queen group.

There was an interesting moment when he was just at the very beginning of his career, and he wanted to step into the role of the leading man into their group. He came to the guys and offered himself as the lead singer and they looked at him and immediately said: "Not with your teeth".

Because it turns out that he had 4 additional incisors, so his mouth looked a bit weird. How come that he ended up becoming such a public figure, performing in front of the massive crowds of people?

He really collected the greatest stadiums of people that you can only imagine. And, actually, his friends also said later on that he was actually embarrassed about his teeth. Publicly, he tried to somehow cover them, cover his mouth with his hand, which he would never do at home where he'd feel relaxed. So, he was actually embarrassed then.

How could he overcome this anxiety? There is a great idea about that. That idea states that there is, in fact, no way to overcome negative thought. You cannot think about this negative thought and just somehow stop thinking about it. The only thing that you can really do is shift your attention to something else.

Because the great thing about us, human beings, is that we consciously can think about only one thing at a time. And we can, of course, shift our attention very quickly from one thing to another. But, anyway, deliberately, at one moment of time, you can only think about one thought.

The process of taking control of your thoughts is just to shift your attention to the things that you want to think about, which automatically makes you stop thinking about everything else. And this is exactly what Freddie Mercury did. He was focusing on the idea that he was following his dream, his passion.

He thought that he could deliver these great feelings to the audience, to massive audiences, to the entire planet. So, he was occupied with those thoughts and that made him automatically stop caring about his weird teeth.

There's another similar example from the famous marketer, Gary V. Once, I saw an interview with him and he was asked like, what makes him really fired up. He said it is when I'm on stage. I'm really in my zone, I feel that great.

I thought how come, it's actually the biggest fear of most people, the public speaking, because you're judged by this crowd of people. So, how can some people actually enjoy that?

The thing is when you think about the things that make you excited and the things where you start feeling that you're anxious. Then, actually, those emotions of excitement and anxiety are quite similar if you think about that for a moment. It's just that you're not in that calm state of mind, but no, you're emotional. But just when you're positively emotional, then it makes you even better.

You're performing better, than when you feel just super calm, like with this poker face as if you're almost dead, you don't have any emotions at all. That would be bad.

So, how do those people like Gary V and Freddie Mercury, feel actually energized from public? Once again, they shift their attention to what they want to think about. And for Gary V, he said: "I consider this to be my legacy".

So, he thinks that this will live even after he passes away, so people will be able to watch and re-watch his performances on stage and learn something and, hopefully, change for the better.

This is exactly what you can do. Before you're going to go to a certain situation where you know you can feel those stressful emotions, think in advance about the good things that you expect.

There is a great quote that I've liked about this, which says:

"Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being excited about what can go right".

So, before you go to that job where you feel stressed out, or to any social situation where you feel that social anxiety, think about the good things that you can anticipate from the situation.

Think about what you dream of what can go right. And, really, formulate that for yourself. So, while you're in the situation, you can just recollect yourself this stuff very quickly.

And so, to summarize this theme, to take control of your emotions you need to program your body, to take that position of confidence, the position that you usually take when you are feeling good.

The second thing is to keep control over your thoughts, so to make yourself thinking about things that make you excited, which you can think about in advance. Think about a few ideas that make you feel good about certain situations. And just remind yourself very quickly when you're in the situation.

By doing so, taking control of your body and your thoughts, you program yourself to be confident. And you can do that really quickly, within just 30 seconds, you can take the position, say to yourself those few ideas that make you excited and you're done! Well, that's the simplest way to feel confident.

Good luck!

Igor Smirnov

Igor Smirnov

Psychologist, blogger, chess Grandmaster, Internet entrepreneur. Follow Igor on Facebook

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