Woman covering eyes with hand, expressing fear or surprise. Woman covering eyes with hand, expressing fear or surprise.

Thoughts Don’t Control You: Manage Negative Thinking, Reduce Fear and Anxiety

 Anxiety and fear are not very new or uncommon behaviors, rather it is an everyday problems faced by all.

We experience anxiety and feel it is due to something negative but it can also be due to various reasons, one of them being the ability to not know what will happen in the future.

Considering the neurological and brain working behind anxiety and fear response, you might be surprised to know that the two have the same circuitry involved and this article will give you all an insight into how to train your brain to stop the fear response.

1. Amygdala and Emotions in your Brain

An almond-shaped structure in the brain called the amygdala is actually the orchestrator of all anxiety-related responses of the brain.

Whenever there is stress, which can be acute or chronic there are changes seen in the amygdala, both functional and anatomical.

The basic function of the amygdala is that it will assess your emotional condition based on what is happening in your environment and then analyze if there is a threat to you or not.

It is basically that part of your brain that instructs it to send the fight or flight response.

The purpose of this response is to make sure you are safe and make your body prepared for what is yet to come so that you can be fine in any circumstances no matter how fearful or dangerous.

But this has to happen in a state of actual danger to be biologically safe. If it gets activated very easily then the brain functioning will be very harmful because now it will act like you are in a dangerous situation.

And since you’re not, this prolonged activity will create anxiety.

2. You and Your Thoughts

Do you know that your body is always working, in the sense that your brain is always in action?

Even when you’re sleeping there will be a lot of things that are happening in your subconscious mind and given that there are so many thoughts, let’s actually give it a number.

Also, according to a study conducted in 2020, it was observed that a human gets about 6000 thoughts every day. Well, this sounds astonishing. Right?

Now, that you know that the number is so large, and if you actually think back to yesterday, do you really remember thinking about 6000 things? I’m sure you don’t.

Indeed, let alone 6000 it’s hardly possible to even think about the 60 thoughts that you had yesterday.

3. Letting Go of Anxiety

This implies that these thoughts just come and go and they do not stay and occupy your headspace, indeed you’re not even consciously aware of their presence in your head.

Some of these thoughts can be negative, some positive and when you have a lot of negative thoughts several times a day, it might cause anxiety.

But remember one thing, sometimes or more than sometimes you are not even aware of the same.

So, what needs to be done primarily is that you have to become aware of your thoughts, of what you are thinking in that way you can actually differentiate between the positive and the negative thoughts.

You can then diffuse your negative thoughts and let them go so that anxiety doesn’t set in.

Doing this multiple times trains your brain, and it becomes less anxious and fearful.

4. The Worries in Your Head

The second step to treating this issue is maintaining your stressors and the worry that they bring along.

We all will worry about a lot of things, and we can not even prevent it no matter what. So, if we encounter a factor that is not under our control then the step ahead is to control the factors which we can.

In this case, we can control or manage the time frame around our worries or basically set aside time in our everyday life which is dedicated specifically to thinking and listing down all our problems or things that are bothering us.

A more relieving exercise would be to actually write them down because then you will have it all in front of you and will be able to make better decisions based on these.

It will release the negative thoughts and energy from your body and once it is curated you will avoid the habit of stressing the whole day.

Set aside a time, get this done, and then spend your day doing more productive activities.

5. Brains’s Fear Response and How to Train Your Brain to Stop the Fear Response?

If you are scared of something, then you are and there is no why to it.

There will be reasons behind some fears like you may be scared to climb up heights because you had some accident at a height some years back and now when you are at a height again, then to your brain that height is a trigger to start a similar response that it had started when that accident had happened.

But then some people are scared of lizards and if you ask them why, they might not know the reason because chances are that there is no reason.

So, this being clarified, we clearly can not change our fears but what we can change is our response to such situations.

So, if you are scared of something,g try to recreate the same in a smaller magnitude so that you can train your brain to accept and understand this stimulus and the reaction that it creates to just another normal body reaction.

Once you start with a small trigger and go your way up, the brain is slowly trained to understand that there is not any actual fear involved and then you eventually do overcome your fear.

6. Final Thoughts

They say the brain is an amazing organ, if it can be molded; it can even be remolded.

So, if you do practice the steps to relieve stress and work towards the triggers that make you fearful; you can not only feel less scared but also train your brain to stop the fear response.

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by soubhik

Author

Anushree Khandelwal
  1. I really have a problem of getting afraid easily, even the slightest inconvenience shivers me.
    Reading this article made me feel like it can be controlled.
    I am really affected by the writer’s thoughts on the matter.
    I will make sure to apply them in my life and let you guys know the results..

  2. I am, too, a sufferer of anxiety who thought there was no way to cure this issue. Thankfully, I went through this article and got to know every problem has a solution. Next time, whenever anxiety triggers me, I will only think of positive thoughts to overcome it. Hope this works for me.

  3. Exploring anxiety and fear responses, the role of the amygdala stands out. Cultivating awareness of thoughts, scheduling worry time, and gradual exposure to fears offer practical ways to reshape the brain’s response. Your insights provide a valuable guide for managing anxiety through intentional efforts and leveraging the brain’s adaptability.

  4. Very informative article , it really helps the readers who feel anxious , the reasons mentioned on the article are indeed . I have seen the persons & personally i also faced this problem for many reasons , among them i can see few in this article to . The remedies also genuine .

  5. Practicing mindfulness has been a trans-formative experience for me.It has helped me to become more aware of mine thoughts and emotions and respond to them in a more constructive manner .Literally,thanks a lot in helping me out through this.

  6. The amygdala, an almond-shaped structure in the brain, plays a key role in anxiety-related responses. It evaluates emotional states and signals the fight or flight response based on perceived threats. Training your brain to curb the fear response involves becoming aware of your thoughts, differentiating between positive and negative ones, and letting go of the negative ones

  7. I never realized the power of mindfulness in overcoming fear until I read this. Thanks for shedding light on such an important topic!

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