To stop feeling anxious, stressed or worried, you have to learn to just stop the thought

Every day it’s estimated we have around of 50,000 thoughts, which is around 2083 per hour, or around 35 thoughts per minute. That’s a lot of thinking! This steady flow of internal information serves as a thick filter between our thoughts and feelings, our head and heart, and governs our behaviours. The quality of our thoughts become habitual, it’s estimated 98 percent of them are exactly the same as we had the day before. Talk about creatures of habit! But what’s even more significant is that it’s also estimated 80 percent of our thoughts are negative, focusing on what we don’t like or don’t want.

Unconscious behaviours are really just old thoughts repeated in the present moment. Because they present themselves as unconscious, we don’t actually notice them, we are indeed creatures of habit! But why do we need habits?

Our brains are designed to run as economically as possible; imagine if you had to re-learn to drive every time you got in a car, or had to learn to ride a bike over and over again. We would not be able to grow and develop the skills that we have and take for granted every day.

Every emotion has a unique chemical makeup or prescription. The neurotransmitters that generate a feeling of strength and control are very different from the ones that make us feel anxious and crave certain things. Because you cannot produce the prescribed chemical messengers for 2 opposing feelings (e.g. cravings and self-control) simultaneously, you need to stop producing one, in order to start to produce the other. Although it might seem like certain feelings last for hours, we only produce enough chemistry to sustain them for around 90 seconds. So, if you feel anxious for longer than that, it’s because you are repeating the thought (or a similar one) that made you feel anxious in the first place over and over again. To stop feeling anxious, you have to learn to just stop the thought.

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