Taking advice

Often fear, worry or anxiety can feel overwhelming. We can struggle to know how to cope with the feelings in our bodies and the thoughts in our minds.

It can be powerful to take the energy out of these thoughts by questioning them, looking at them differently or restricting when you allow yourself to follow that line of thinking.


Tip 1

Anxiety often brings up a stream of “What if?” thoughts. It can be helpful when you notice these to visualise your anxiety as a cartoon and give it a name. Giving it a name helps to separate you from your “What if?” thoughts. You can then call your anxiety out of the shadows of your mind.

For example, I have called mine Uggy, and he is bright blue and hairy. Whenever I feel anxious and notice my mind worrying about the future, I picture him and say out loud, “Come on Uggy, show yourself” or “Bring it on Uggy, I am ready!”

He never does, so I tell him to “Get lost!” “Right, then go away and leave me in peace!”

Tip 2

If you find yourself caught in a cycle of worrying, or worrying about lots of different things, then setting aside 10 minutes every day for “worry time” is a good habit to form. When you notice yourself worrying, acknowledge it and tell yourself that you will worry about it during “worry time.” Set a reminder so you don’t forget, and use a timer so don’t do more than your allotted 10 minutes.

Tip 3

A lot of our anxiety is surrounding a particular belief we have about something or someone. For example, I don’t want to go to school because I believe everyone will laugh at me. What would happen if you took away that belief? Just imagine how you would feel if you didn’t believe that? How would you act? What would you say? What would that look like? Really imagine what it would be like not to believe that. Our thoughts are not facts. Try dropping those beliefs and notice how you act.

Tip 4

Ask for help. It can make all the difference not having to face your fears on your own. It might be as simple as asking a friend to accompany you or asking for advice from someone you trust.

Tip 5

Every time you step outside your comfort zone, celebrate. Take a deep breath and visualise giving yourself a pat on the back.

Now note it down in your Clanbeat Reflections so you can see how brave you are, how brave you have been. This will give you the confidence to be brave in the future.

Tip 6

Remove rude or unkind people from your social media accounts. Think mute, unfollow and delete.

Tip 7

Get rid of your inner critic. Anxiety itself is painful to deal with, but very often we get hit with a wave of self-critical thoughts. When this happens, ask yourself, “Do these judgements make me more or less anxious?” The answer is almost always more. But by being aware of this pattern, we can break it. When you notice you are being self-critical, take a breath, put your hand on your heart and say, “May I be kinder to myself.” Keep repeating it until it passes.

Tip 8

Repeat an affirmation like, “I am enough, I am safe and calm,” or “I love myself.” Repeating one of these phrases over and over, like a mantra, will help settle your mind and change your thought patterns.