Let’s look today at how we can get stuck on our own anxiety hamster wheel and each step we are taking on the wheel is reinforcing our habits and negatively impacting how we feel. Some of our negative anxiety habits over time can form into our own hamster wheel these can at times seem the hardest to break. This is due to the fact that many of the ways we are now living have become the rungs on the hamster wheel. The longer we have had the bad habit the more anxious we have become and the faster the wheel will now be turning; this makes it feel just as fearful to step off of it as it does continue this way. If we can’t see a fear freeway out of the hamster wheel then our minds can feel very trapped in this cycle and all we can do is just keep stepping. Habits like this are the worst ones to let go of, but one of the first things to understand in the process of letting this go is that the wheel doesn’t have a motor turning it, you are turning it, this being the case if it’s you in control of turning the wheel then you can stop this.
Know that you know it’s you that is motorising the wheel, it’s time to take down the fear and worries that are perpetuating your wheel. This is the biggest thing that will be speeding up the wheel and is essential to change this worry cycle, as the more we worry the faster the wheel will turn. Go back and read all the Cat blogs Don’t Feed The Cat, the Cat is Back, I Can’t See The Cat and The Cat Lives On. In one of these blogs or in fact may be in multiple blogs will be the habits you have, that are feeding your worry habits, after doing this you will now understand what you are doing, to create the worries and fear. Once you have started to implement the changes and stop feeding your worry habits the wheel will now be slowing down and will continue to slow down as you work to break those old habits.
This will help you take a breath for a moment and it will also help you see more clearly that stepping off the wheel isn’t anywhere near as scary as before. Now it’s time to tackle a few more of the rungs you keep stepping on, as the continual stepping is still powering the wheel. For many people with anxiety, they feel bad that they are behaving this way and feel guilty for the people in their lives which they feel this is impacting. This thought process, which is not necessary or needed as our family and friends only want to help us. These negative thoughts will in turn often lead us to beat ourselves up lowering our confidence and self-esteem, which will impact our ability to change. If we’re not feeling confident changing is much harder to achieve as our survival mechanisms in our minds will be telling us not too plus, we will be creating more rungs on the wheel. If we not beating ourselves up over the family and friends and the fears that we have impacted them with our anxieties and worries, we may be thinking that we should be grateful for our lives. Look at all the other people with less than us why are we doing this? Which will lead us to not feeling good about who we are and we add another rung to the wheel of anxiety and every time we feel this way; we take another step perpetuating the turning wheel.
Another thing that can have become another rung on the wheel is that we can feel depressed over the limitations in our lives and ever moment this continues it enables us to continue to feel trapped in this process and feel that we can never get off. If our anxieties are limiting our lives, stopping us from being ourselves or doing the things we enjoy, then we can also feel alone and lonely as our continual stepping on the wheel is stopping us from being in the moment and enjoying the real life what is going on around us. Living this way can also make us sad, angry, withdrawn, frustrated and low, all of these rungs keep following on from each other and we then can end up in a chicken and egg situation. Are we truly depressed or are we depressed because we are living our lives this way and that is depressing us?
As we focus on the rungs of fear, insecurity, low self-esteem, depression, anger, frustration, worry, loneliness, hopeless, despair and all the other feeling which make up our own hamster wheel. All we do is keep stepping from one rung to the other and not feeling able to take that step of off this negative cycle. Now is the time to see things clearly and choose to break from this cycle. What we need to do now that we have slowed down the wheel by not feeding our worries, is to start to stop those other cycles of negativity and remove some of the rungs on the wheel. Some will be harder than others so choose the easiest ones first, don’t panic you won’t have to fix them all to stop the wheel. Once you have found ways to stop, say beating yourself up, and you have removed a few rungs, the stepping won’t feel so fluid or as effortless as it did before. This can give you the chance to step off the wheel and start to find a new track to follow and over time it will form into a new positive pathway.
Often, we try and fix everything instead of just focusing on just a part of it, using this wheel analogy will help you break down your own negative cycle into smaller chunks which will help you to start to tackle individual parts of it. This is a much easier way to look at change as trying to break the whole cycle in one go may seem too impossible and could limit your ability to change. Slow the wheel down, choose one or two rungs and start changing today.
Thanks for dropping by Sara x