Anxious Impulses: The Butterfly Effect

Are you slave to anxious impulses?

Anxious impulses are often intrusive and have painful consequences. Giving into anxious impulses takes you off your task and often increases unwanted anxiety.

Picture this: You’re in the middle of a task, a nice thought, a conversation, or even just relaxing, and then suddenly you find yourself doing something else, flooded with anxiety, or just bombarded with worry thoughts. Anxious impulses can have a BUTTERFLY EFFECT. One anxious impulse flutters into another negative emotion, more unwanted thoughts, or a task you didn’t anticipate.

When you constantly allow yourself to get off task and act on anxious impulses, you’re teaching your brain to become more impulsive, easily sidetracked, and less focused. Side effects may be that staying on task with full engagement may seem impossible and you may gain UNWANTED ANXIETY.

Allowing yourself to ward off anxious impulses and become fully engaged in one task at a time increases positive emotions, ability to focus, and overall better health and brain functioning. The deeper and richer the engagement in the present moment the more rewards you’ll gain. Being fully present and engaged has been known to increase positive feelings, empathy, focus, health, and brain functioning.

Improve your ability to be present, focus on one task at a time, and ward off anxious impulses with these 4 tips:

  • Awareness: Become aware of the moment you sense a change. This can be through a sudden feeling, a thought, or a remembrance of something you should do.

  • Freeze-frame it: Freeze the impulse. For example, if you suddenly feel anxious, freeze-frame the anxiety.

  • Visualize: Imagine the freeze-framed image as a butterfly. Watch it flying off and LET IT GO.

  • Re-Focus: Continue with what you were doing.

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