Stop Anxious Thoughts – 4 Steps

Stop Anxious Thoughts – 4 Steps Image

Stop Anxious Thoughts – 4 Steps

Whatever the motivation that triggers the anxiety you feel, in this article, I want to share with you some tips and techniques that I learned from Barry McDonagh, a coach who has taught thousands of people, on how to end the general anxiety and the panic attacks. These tips, if put in the act, will not only help you put an end to your fears but will also drastically reduce your general anxiety level.

Barry McDonagh has noticed, after many years of coaching, that what triggers anxiety and panic attacks is almost always the frequent occurrence of anxious thoughts.

Anxiety has a sneaky way of sowing doubts regardless of whether fear is rational or irrational.

So, let’s see in the following lines how to stop anxious thoughts.

How we nurture an anxious thought and how to eliminate its intensityoptions

Let’s suppose you are doing daily business and you’re feeling fine when a concerned idea enters your mind.
Whatever the nature of thought, the pattern that follows is usually entirely predictable.

The anxious thought flashes briefly into your awareness and, as it does so, you react spontaneously with a strange feeling similar to fear while you contemplate the view. The reaction that you have to that thought sends then a shock wave through your nervous system. At this point, you feel the result of that fear more intensely in the stomach (due to the number of nerve endings located there).

Because of the intense physical reaction to thought, you have been unconsciously led to examine the anxious idea over and over again.
The continuous reaction of fear you have to that thought increases the intensity of the experience. The more you react, the stronger the view rebounds back into your awareness creating more anxious shockwaves throughout the body; this is the typical cycle of anxious thoughts.

Some people think it that the anxious thoughts are stealing their peace.
Because of the reaction, you’re having; you can continue to spend the rest of the day thinking about the anxious thoughts you’ve experienced.
“Why am I thinking of these thoughts?” “Why can’t I get rid of this strange feeling?”
The more you try not to think about it, the more your mind focuses on it.
Of course, what you resist to, resists to you; this is the way our brain works.

How can you stop these unwanted anxious thoughts?Change

First things first:
•    -When you start to experience anxious thoughts, it is critical not to force the ideas away.
Let the thoughts in. The more comfortable you can become with them, the better. These thoughts will never go away entirely but what you can learn is to change your reaction to them.
By changing your reaction to the anxious thoughts, you become free of them.
Once you establish a new way of reacting to the thoughts, it does not matter if you have them or not. Your reaction is what defines the whole experience (and that applies to almost everything).
Everybody experiences fleeting thoughts that many would consider scary or crazy. The difference between most people and somebody who gets caught up in them, is that the average person sees them for exactly what they are, fleeting anxious thoughts, and casually ignores them.
The anxious person is at a disadvantage as they already have a certain level of anxiety in their system. The thoughts easily spark feelings of further anxiety which builds into a cycle of fear. You break the cycle by changing how you react to the fearful idea.

Here is an example of how to approach this:

You are enjoying the way your day is going, but then all of sudden a fearful thought comes to mind.
Usually, you would react with anxiety to the idea and then try to force that thought out of your mind.
This time, however, say:
“That’s a fear of X. I could worry and even obsess over that, but this time I’m going to do something different. I’m not going to react to it. I’m also not going to try and stop it either. I’m just going to label the thought and not react.”
Then the thought comes again with more intensity and possibly with new ‘scary’ angles you never considered. When this happens, you do the same. As if you were observing a cloud passing overhead, you just:
•    Observe it,

•    Label it (fear of whatever), then
•    Watch it as it passes by with no judgment,
•    Move your attention on to what you were doing.

Observe, Label, Watch, Move Ondepression

See the anxious thought for what it is:

 – One of the thousands of fleeting sane and insane thoughts every one of us experiences daily.
If you are a more indoors type of person then instead of thinking of the thoughts like clouds passing in the sky, you might try imagining a giant cinema screen, and the anxious thoughts are projected out onto the screen in front of you. Play around with this approach. Find what works for you.

When you are at a stage where you are comfortable doing the above exercise, and you feel you are making good progress, then try this additional step:
Think about one of your more regular fearful thoughts. Call the fear to you, say you want it to come close so you can observe it. It may seem like the last thing you would wish to bring upon yourself, as you don’t particularly enjoy these thoughts, but this approach can be very empowering.

By doing this, you are discharging the dense vibration of fear surrounding the anxious thought. That fear was sustaining itself on your resistance, -the idea that you could not handle these thoughts.
The fear quickly evaporates when you turn around and say “yes, of course, I can handle these thoughts.”
Fear intensifies when we pull away from it. Anxious thoughts become a mental tug of war if we struggle with them.
It is the mental struggle of pulling against the anxious thoughts that creates the inner psychological tension.Fear

Thoughts that fuel the inner tension:
•    “I can’t handle to think about this -please go away.”
•    “I don’t like that though- I want it to stop!”

Take a different stance. Invite anxious thoughts in. Willingly sit with them, label them and do your very best not to react.
Yes, it does take practice, but very soon you find yourself in a unique position of control. You are no longer a victim of fearful thinking but a decision maker in what will or will not be your worries.
As with every technique, there is always a level of practice involved in the beginning. Initially, you start observing but then suddenly get anxious about the fearful thought. That’s very normal in the beginning.
Keep at it. Practice and you will quickly see how less impacting those fearful thoughts become.
Don’t let your mind trick you into believing that your anxiety is something you will have to struggle with forever. That is not true.


I hope you’ve found this information helpful. If you have any question, please leave a comment below, and I’ll be more than happy to help you out.

I’ve found the above information on:

Panic Away- End Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Thank you,









Author | Marta Comments | 7 Date | June 15, 2018

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Hallo there Marta,

You have made my day today. I have been suffering from too many negative anxiety thoughts and this has been weighing me down so much.

Your concept of changing the reactions to anxiety thoughts has really been an eye opener for me and it has turned my life over. I am surely going to remember this forever. Thanks.

July 3, 2018 | 12:08 pm

Derek Marshall

Hi Marta,

Thank you kindly for this article regarding stopping anxious thoughts.It is fully appreciated, thanks.

From what I have taken form this article, the techniques could be applied to many different thoughts including anger, stress and so on. Being mindful and observant of ones thoughts and just accepting them that they are there goes a long way to aiding ones anger, anxiety and yes stressful thoughts too. It is being mindful, a concept from Buddhism that aids monks to achieving that true joy and inner bliss and calmness.

I do believe being mindful like this is a big step towards quality meditation sessions.

June 25, 2018 | 4:33 am


    Hi Derek,

    Thank you for taking time to comment on my article.

    All of us need to be aware of our feelings to control them better. It’s not even so easy to do. That’s the reason we should take time to meditate or to listen to an audio program which can help us in whatever our issues can be.

    I meditate and listen to an audio program every day, and I must say that I’ve seen a massive change in my self and consequently in my reality.



    June 25, 2018 | 1:19 pm


Nice article on anxiety Marta. It is very common for people to have in our society. I like the 4 steps you mention for people to take as well, observe, label, watch, move on. Nice step involved to help people get through the anxiety that they are feeling. I love to meditate as well to help keep my body in check and relaxed under most situations.

June 19, 2018 | 5:30 am


    Hi Cliff,

    I also do meditation, and that helps me a lot. But I also listen to audios that help me to change my mind paradigm. Anyway, there are many ways to deal with our negative emotions and everyone chooses what better fits for him/her. We must devote every day some time to ourselves, and learn to recognize our feelings.



    June 19, 2018 | 6:38 am


I thoroughly enjoyed this read! Anxious is experienced by so many people and it’s so important to know how to deal with it.

I think you’re spot on when you say that it’s vital to not force the thoughts away. Thoughts are thoughts and they have to be accepted for what they are. Observe it and then move on.

Meditation actually taught me the techniques you highlight. Do you practice this?

June 18, 2018 | 7:12 pm


    Hi Stephen. I’ve started by listening to audios like the one I recommend in This article, because I had a moment in my life where I’ve genuinely experienced anxiety. They helped me a lot. But now I do meditation every morning, and I’m ok with it. 

    Meditation is a ritual for me, almost like praying.



    June 18, 2018 | 8:30 pm

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