This month we would like to share with you some ways of how to deal with overthinking and the anxious thought patterns we all have, exploring one idea of how to manage anxiety and fear, and offering you some tools that you might find valuable.

Many people are experiencing high levels of anxiety and fear at this moment in time. We can even say that we are living through a huge increase of challenged mental health. Isolation and non-security about your surroundings and life, is causing many to realise that their perhaps previous underlying anxiety and fear, are coming up more so during this time. And with that growing fear and anxiety, overthinking and negative thinking thought patterns can be awakened.

But how do you deal with this? You cannot change what happens around you, what you can change is how you are in relationship with your awareness of the fear and anxiety, and how these provoke thought patterns that may cause you sadness, depression and negative thought patterns.

Anxiety and fear that is based in reality

Being afraid or anxious, are states of being that are normal. We need to be afraid to become conscious and aware of any danger that might surround us. But what if that danger is fuelled by direct and unexpected core-shaking reality? The reality of a pandemic and the by-products (losing your job, living in uncertainty and insecurity about the future, not knowing what might happen when this is “over”) is that we might lose our loved ones, and we righteously become afraid.

The fear is based on a real possibility, but how do you deal with the fear of the possible future? You aren’t sure if it might happen, however you are afraid of it right now. It is a forced sudden ending to how you knew life to be. How can you become aware of your thought patterns and how can you stop fuelling the anxiety with your thinking?

How to become aware of your thought patterns and how to stop fuelling your anxiety with your thinking

Eckhart Tolle, the author of The Power of Now , has a perhaps useful way of looking at fear and anxiety, in order to not become the fear and anxiety. In a YouTube video called How Do I Handle the Fear That I’m Feeling? on his channel, he talks about the current situation and the change of the world. “Everyone was lost in the world, and suddenly someone said, let’s turn it off for a while. Enforced stillness.” He goes on to say that before stillness there can be fear and anxiety, and he proposes the question: “How do you go beyond the fear of thoughts?”

How fear behaves

Tolle believes and teaches that fear comes from one thought, you might experience a feeling in your body after the thought, and your mind would like to take you further into the occupation of spiralling fearful thoughts. Your mind wants to keep you interested.

Tolle believes that anxiety and panic come from following the thought train further. It might start with a small thought, and before you know it, you’re completely paralysed with fear of what could happen and what tomorrow might bring. You are already suffering future events.

He says, that in order to go beyond the fear of thoughts, “it requires awareness, the awareness of what’s going on in your mind. The awareness can recognise the thoughts, and think I’m thinking all these useless thoughts.” Useless, because they haven’t happened yet, they might happen, you don’t know. But at this moment in time, right now, they are useless thoughts because it isn’t happening.

“All the things you’re afraid of are not happening now, but they could happen says the mind, so I better think of it now in case they do happen. Of course, if they do happen, you would face the situation with the power of your conscious awareness. But what you cannot do is overcome these problems because they only exist in your imagination, they haven’t happened yet. There’s absolutely nothing you can do about it, in fact the more you think about them and amplify them, the more it will make you suffer. Awareness can help you to realise what you’re doing to yourself.”

– Eckhart Tolle