ANXIETY IS OVERWHELMING.
When it hits you, it can feel like the world is going to knock you over. Even when the symptoms are subtle, their persistence can eat away at you.
Luckily, there are many tools at your disposal. One of the tools that is often overlooked is learning to trust your gut.
Trusting your gut means that you check in with yourself.
For example, notice clues about the world from your body. As a result, you get in touch with your own inner wisdom.
When anxiety is high, it can be hard to hear your gut. However, that little voice is still in there.
By learning to listen to it, you can actually reduce anxiety. With lower anxiety, you can hear your gut even better.
WHAT IS YOUR “GUT”?
What does it mean to trust your gut?
There is a little voice inside you that knows the right thing to do. In fact, your body and mind hold a lot of subconscious information. Therefore, you can tap into that to guide you in your life.
Often referred to as trusting your gut because there is typically a physical response when you cross an ethical line.
For example, your stomach begins to hurt.
Alternatively, you may get that feeling of “butterflies” that spells out that you are nervous. These things alert you to a potential problem.
Of course, it’s not all physical. Your gut is also another word for your instinct. Another phrase for it is “moral compass.” Therefore, you can pause to check in with it. You can sense if you’re pointed in the right direction in life.
WHAT DOES THIS “GUT” STUFF HAVE TO DO WITH ANXIETY?
In anxiety, your mind is often all over the place. You have thoughts about the past. In addition, you have worries about the future.
Furthermore, you may have difficulty focusing on the present. However, you have the information you need within you to resolve your problems. It’s right there in your gut.
When you slow down and learn to listen to your gut, you bring yourself back into the present. This helps quell anxiety.
USE SKILLS TO REDUCE ANXIETY AND INCREASE GUT INSTINCT
THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO USE YOUR GUT AS A TOOL FOR REDUCING ANXIETY. HERE ARE A FEW:
- Check in with your physical gut. Get grounded by feeling what’s happening in your body.
- Calm your gut with breathing. You can reduce the physical sensations in your gut with deep breathing. This soothes anxiety as well.
- Ask yourself if you’re afraid of something. Sometimes we confuse anxiety and instinct. If you’re driven by fear, it might be anxiety. Go deeper than the fear and you’ll find your instinct.
- Consider that your gut might be right. Your instinct says to go to the party. All of your fears tell you not to. Choose to face the fears and go with your gut.
BATTLING ANXIETY THROUGH GUT INSTINCT
Research shows that there’s a link between anxiety and intuition. High anxiety leads to low intuition. Decreasing your anxiety helps boost your gut instinct. With practice, you can turn this into a positive cycle.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE TECHNIQUES THAT HELP TO LOWER ANXIETY:
- Use positive self-talk. For example, remind yourself that you are okay in this moment.
- Challenge negative assumptions. Replace them with empowering facts.
- Practice relaxation skills. Examples include breathing as well as progressive muscle relaxation.
- Identify what you’re afraid of. Bringing fears into the light can reduce their power.
- Weigh the pros and cons of a situation. This brings clarity instead of allowing free-floating anxiety.
- When your head is full of worries, you can’t hear your gut. As you reduce your anxiety, your instinct will get stronger. The more you listen to your gut, the easier it will be to battle anxiety.
Trusting your gut doesn’t mean that you have to go at it alone. For help learning how to distinguish your “gut” feeling from anxiety and use it to your benefit, please get in touch.