What makes you feel anxious? Worries about money? Health issues? Conflict in relationships? For most people, these seem to be the big three. Now, is there something that happens in these three situations that makes you feel anxious about them or not? For example, why do you sometimes feel anxious about these things and sometimes not? In this article, we’ll explore the two most common causes of anxious feelings and two things you can focus on to instantly relieve anxiety. So, think for a moment of one situation in your life that is making you feel anxious. Do you have one in mind? Good. What thoughts come to mind when you contemplate this situation? How do you feel when you think this way? What do you want to do when you think and feel this way? Now, as you consider the way you are thinking, feeling, and acting in this situation—and how this is causing you anxiety—what is it exactly that is making you feel anxious? Are you concerned that you might not have the ability or resources to handle this situation effectively? Are you thinking about a possible negative future outcome that hasn’t happened yet? Our feelings of anxiety often come from these two thoughts: 1) This is going to work out badly (possible negative future outcome) And 2) I may not have what it takes to handle this well (I’m not good enough or talented enough, and/or I don’t have enough resources). If you can turn around those two thoughts, you can instantly relieve your anxiety. So, how can you do that? Let’s address these thoughts one at a time. First, let’s consider the validity of “This is going to work out badly.” How do you know that? Is it because things have worked out badly for you in these type of situations in the past? Does that mean that’s the way things have to work out now? What if there are other possibilities? Can you think of an exception to your rule that “things like this work out badly for me?” Can you think of a time when this type of situation worked out well? If not, can imagine a possible scenario in which this situation could work out well? Use your imagination. What would need to happen for things to work out well? What if that could happen? Can you at least consider that this better result might be possible? O.K. good. That relieves a bit of anxiety. It opens up other possibilities. Now, let’s address thought number two, “I may not have what it takes to handle this well.” How can you counter that thought? A moment ago you considered what would need to happen for things to work out well. So, what resources do you need to realize that result? Do you have any of these resources now or could you get them? Do you have any skills that you can use, any contacts you can call upon, any money stashed away, or anything at all that could help you handle this situation? Make a list of your personal qualities and skills, relationships and contacts, and physical resources that could help you get to a better outcome. Go ahead, take a minute, and give that a try. Make a list of your available resources. How are you feeling now? Has your anxiety come down another notch? Do you feel more optimistic? Do you feel more empowered? When you counter your anxiety-producing thoughts by considering: 1. Alternative (better) possible outcomes and 2. The resources you have (or can get) that can help you, you instantly relieve anxiety. You instantly shift into seeing opportunities in your challenges. I would like to hear what helps you handle anxiety in the Comments below. Also, please share this article with your family, friends, and co-workers through the social sharing links. Thanks for sharing!