Please Don’t Feed the Beast

When you suffer from anxiety, it is like there is a hungry beast living in the pit of your stomach. When you discover the beast, if you want it to go away you have to stop feeding it. The beast feeds on your thoughts, on your fear and worry. You may wonder how the beast came to be. Did your thoughts awaken the beast or did the beast awaken on its own and begin  invoking your thoughts? This is an interesting question to consider. If the beast is awoken by your worries, then you are indulging your imagination with something like thinking about the future, or trying to guess what somebody else is thinking about you. If the beast is invoking your thoughts, then the worry came first and you are projecting your worry onto something in your environment. Considering that question is more important than finding an answer. Either way, you have to deal with the beast.

The beast feeds on your thoughts, so you have to stop feeding it.  To cut off your thinking you have to start by observing your thoughts. See just what you are worrying about, even say it out loud if you need to get it out. Then breathe in deeply into your stomach. Wag your chin around to see if there is tension in your jaw, then breathe out. Focus your attention on your breath so there is no extra room for thoughts. If a thought sneaks in, observe it. If it is doom and gloom, it is food for the beast. Breathe it out. Keep breathing mindfully until you have lulled the beast to sleep.

The less food you prepare for your beast, the less often it will wake up expecting to be fed. Be ever alert for when you start to worry. Please don’t feed the beast.

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