How to make peace with anxiety.
The Make Peace with Stress method transforms every challenge into a catalyst for growth—even anxiety.
Learn how to apply this simple method. N.O.W. is an acronym:
N is NOTICE—step 1 is noticing your experience.
O is OPEN—step 2 is to open to the opportunity for growth.
W is WELCOME—step 3 is welcoming what you want.
Feeling anxious is typically experienced in your body, mind, and emotionally. It’s a loop that can be self-perpetuating. For example, your heart might pound, and if your first thought is, Oh no! then you begin to get panicked that something is wrong, which intensifies the stress response including increasing your heart rate.
NOTICE this: Can you identify this loop when you feel anxious? What specifically is happening in your body? What exact thoughts are present? What precise feelings come up for you? Answering these questions for yourself will be helpful. Writing them down in 3 lists may make it easier.
The ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, wrote, If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present. So at least to some extent, anxiety is fueled by worry about something that isn’t actually happening right now.
OPEN to this: Slow, smooth breathing is the simplest and most immediate way to come back to the present moment. Feel your breath slowing down and smoothing out in your body while thinking my slow, smooth breath calms my mind and putting your hands on your heart and belly in a gesture of self-support.
So you’re worried about something. Ok. Worry, in and of itself, is not something to—ummm—worry about. It may be your mind’s way of trying to get your attention about something that needs your attention. Hey, thanks mind! It’s possible to befriend your mind so that you two can work together and get along.
WELCOME this: Be your mind’s best friend. Think about the qualities of a true best friend: honest, accepting, non-judgmental, loyal, respectful, and trustworthy. When you feeling anxious, try listening to what’s going on in your mind with these qualities so that your mind will feel heard and won’t have to keep screaming.