3 NLP techniques to reduce anxiety right now

worry beads

There are varying degrees of anxiety, it’s true, and worrying about an event in the future can be a very stressful experience. You may have found yourself lying awake at night thinking about that meeting you have to go to, or that difficult conversation you know you are going to have. There is an endless list of things to be anxious about.

In fact for some people, anxiety can take over their lives to such a degree that it prevents them doing the things most people take for granted. Often my clients have got to the point where they cannot travel, or leave a certain area, or go to public events.

Whatever level of anxiety you experience though, there are some very effective, but easy to use, NLP techniques that can have an immediate effect in enabling you to cope with worrying about a specific event that is coming up.

1. Focus on what you want

One of the things people often do when you worry is that they use catastrophic thinking.

You think about the event that is coming up, or the challenge you have to face and you think of all the things that can happen. You may well think of some positive outcomes that can happen but if you are worrying you are almost certainly thinking of a whole range of things that can go wrong. Creating these thoughts in your imagination is like experiencing them in reality and you unconsciously create the exact reaction that you would have if these things really did occur.

An NLP process for anxiety involves focusing on the best outcome that can happen, or on a range of possible positive outcomes can reduce your anxiety. Try asking yourself the simple question ‘What would I like to happen?’  Just ask yourself that question and imagine what it would be like if that were to happen. Maybe you could create a picture in your mind, or you can imagine what things you would say to yourself and how you would feel. You could also try writing down a description of that outcome. One advantage of doing this is that you can read it back to yourself from time to time if you get anxious again in the future.

2. Go out beyond the outcome

The thing about being anxious or worried about something in the future is that it hasn’t happened yet! It sounds obvious, but when you have got past the event it is just a memory. Often the experience was nowhere near as bad as you had feared, and even if it did turn out badly, it’s over. It’s done.

So one way to deal with anxiety now and overcome the fear is to imagine a time when the event has already occurred. Go there now.

In your mind think of what life would be like when you have gone through the experience and have got the best outcome you could have hoped for. Imagine in rich detail that it is all over and things turned out to be just fine. Do this as richly as you can. Imagine what you see, hear, feel and think. Imagine the words that you will say to yourself and others and what they will say to you. Really be there.

Then, think back over the event that you were worried about and see how it feels now it is over and everything has turned out for the best. Congratulate yourself on getting through it and a job well done.

3. Hand the anxiety over to a higher power

Many things in life are out of your control. So much is dependent on the behaviour and attitudes of others and there are also many things which are governed by outside forces, including chance and coincidence. You can hope for the best and this can make you feel better in the short term. If this feels too difficult though, then another way to deal with things is to ‘hand it over to a higher being’.

Whether you are a believer in an all powerful being; or believe in fate, or karma; or even if you believe in none of these things, you can imagine or create a higher power to whom you can hand over the job of managing your fate and taking care of your need to worry.

  • Imagine that this being, this spirit, or a physical representation of chance, or fate, is looking down on you with sympathy and understanding.
  • You can be aware of the worry and anxiety of the event weighing around your shoulders like a dark and heavy cloak.
  • Imagine the being now gently lifts that cloak from your shoulders and takes it and wraps it around his or her own body, taking on the weight of the worry for you and taking responsibility for the outcome itself so that you don’t have to.

If you’re anxious, try this NLP process as a free audio download!

In exchange for signing up for my blog of articles like this one, I am offering a free visualisation recording, based on the ‘Handing it over to a Higher Power’ exercise described above.
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Sort your Anxiety Habits

My recently published book, ‘The Anxiety Habits Journal’ is also a great tool to help you gradually overcome anxious thoughts. It contains weekly and daily activities that, when repeated consistently can help change your thinking and overcome ongoing low mood and anxiety.

Book a one to one free session with me today via the button on the right of this page, and I will send you a copy of this book free of charge!

Learn more about NLP

These techniques are simplified versions of some very powerful and effective NLP techniques. They are from a vast repertoire of tools that can be used in appropriate contexts to create fast and effective change. You can find out more by contacting me, reading some of the other content on my site or by reading books such as ‘NLP for Dummies’.

Please note that some links on this page enable you to purchase products. In some cases, I receive a small income from these purchases.

Robert Sanders is a therapist and life coach, supporting people in their present and helping them create their future.

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