3 Steps to Help You Tame Your Anxiety

It’s simpler than you think.

Courtesy of By Sasin Paraksa / Shutterstock
Courtesy of By Sasin Paraksa / Shutterstock


Would my needs be met by raging at the supervisor who gave me a bad review?

Anxiety is a cortisol pathway built from life experience. Fortunately, you can build a new pathway to trigger happy chemicals instead of cortisol. But you have to feed your brain new experiences to do that. This may seem like an impossible paradox. How can you feed your brain new experiences while you’re running on old pathways?

The short answer is to focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want.

You can’t rewire your brain all at once, but you can control your focus for one moment. And you can do it again in the next moment. By carefully planning your focus, repetition will build the new pathway. Your electricity flows more easily each time. This chapter helps you design your new focus, and the following chapters help you find your power to repeat it.

You can design an experience that feels good now and doesn’t have bad consequences in the long run. You can design a reliable way to shift into happy chemicals. Wire it in now and it will come more easily in moments of distress. 

Maybe you think, “If it were that easy to feel good I would be doing it already.” Maybe all your feel-good strategies have bad long-run consequences. But you will learn a new taming tool that leads your inner mammal to natural good feelings.

This taming tool has three steps:

1. Spend one minute asking your inner mammal what it wants.

2. Spend twenty minutes doing an activity you like that completely absorbs you.

3. Spend one minute planning your next step, and take that step by the end of the day.

Practice this taming tool every day and your electricity will flow in a new direction. You will literally forget to be anxious.

Excerpt from the book Tame Your Anxiety: Rewiring Your Brain for Happiness by Loretta Graziano Breuning PhD. Used by permission of the publisher Rowman & Littlefield. All rights reserved. 

Follow us here and subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


From Stressed to Rest in an Hour

by Loretta Breuning, PhD

5 Natural Ways to Tame Anxiety

by Loretta Breuning, PhD

Four Ways To Tame Your Anxiety

by Michelle McQuaid

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.