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Using Anchors to halt negative thoughts

anchors: not just for pirates

· anchors,negative thoughts,mindfulness,affirmations

"Change your thoughts, change your life." - Wayne Dyer

Have you ever felt like your mind was a runaway train?

I work with my clients on creating anchors. Anchors work as a way to stop you in your tracks when you're going down a destructive path, mentally or emotionally. Think of them as a way to throw you back into the present moment. An anchor that I use is, "CHANGE!" I've shouted this countless times in my car while my mind was starting to create situations that would never happen. Let me demonstrate:

*blue Corolla driving mildly over the speed limit*

"Hey look, a billboard with a hospital I've always wanted to work with. Maybe I could be an independent contractor there. I know I don't want to have a boss again. The commute would be such a hassle though...maybe I'd listen to audiobooks to tolerate the drive. I hate audiobooks though. It doesn't feel like reading. I'd definitely be too tired after the drive and sitting in traffic to make a home-cooked meal. Plus, I'd have to leave home so early in the morning that I'd start drinking coffee again..."

"CHANGE!"

Do you see how these random thoughts are producing an emotional response? In about 30 seconds I've managed to create a future where I'm bitching about traffic, caffeine fueled, under-read, resenting my boss and ordering take-out. That train of thought clearly needed to be stopped.

Even though that situation isn't actually happening, my body doesn't know the difference. It's processing that I'm feeling stressed out, which can trigger the fight-or-flight response. Our wise bodies want to help us escape the threat of danger, which in many situations are psychological events that aren't presently happening. The fight-or-flight response isn't only activated when prepping to fight a saber-toothed tiger. It can turn on when you're having a fight with your boyfriend, when you're arriving to Thanksgiving dinner, or even when your coworker is out sick and you have their workload.

Consistent stress will undoubtedly lead to emotional burnout or a physical illness. Now, we have many things that are out of our control (that damn coworker and their workload). But we do have control over our thoughts. Anchors can be a lifesaver (literally) for regaining a sense of control. Each time you interrupt the negative thought pattern, you squelch the emotional response that was being created. Why would you want to feel resentful, angry or distressed? You wouldn't. That's where anchors can help.

You can have a physical anchor, like a hairband on your wrist. Snap it each time you start to spiral. This action alone will bring you back to the present moment. Anchors aim to grab your attention. You can use an affirmation, "I'm completely safe", "I'm free as a bird", "Life loves me." Or a single word or mantra that feels powerful to you. CHANGE really works for me (especially when yelled). "Stop", "Nope", "Not today", "Let go", "Surrender", "Ease."

Get creative with your anchor, try out a few to see which has the biggest impact. This will be a lifeline for you, so make sure it feels like a powerful voice of reason.

Which anchoring word, affirmation or technique are you going to try? Comment below to share your ideas!

Big Love,

Kara

meet the author: Kara Laudenslager

Hello, I'm Kara! I'm an energy healing practitioner, transformational coach, massage therapist and unapologetic tree hugger. I believe that getting to know ourselves is our greatest gift and responsibility in this life. Create the life you want by first knowing who is doing the creating.

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