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By Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate

Snap Out of Anxiety Today by Thinking Like This Person

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Snap Out of Anxiety Today by Thinking Like This Person
You’re an artist.
Or, you could be one.
Even if you don’t think the label could ever apply to you.
Because there’s something that artists do that helps tremendously when you’re stuck in an anxious spiral.
By the end of this article, you’ll know what it is.
Steps three and four are probably the most important.
It’s time to think like an artist.

The Artist's Mindset
What do you think of when you think of the word “artist?”
Do you think of floofy, creative types?
Do you think of odd structures and statues?
Do you think of that barista who always creatively spells your name on your morning coffee cup?
Whatever you think of, there’s no denying that artists have one thing in common.
They just go for it.
They don’t worry about how they’ll be perceived.
They create because they have to.
There’s a vision in their minds, and they’ll do whatever it takes to make it a reality.
I’ll admit, when I was younger, I never thought of myself as an artist.
Art is the only class I ever failed (A for effort, though!! Thanks, teacher…)
But now that I’m out of formal education and I’ve gotten some good life wisdom, I realize that anyone can be an artist.
Exhibit 1: Beautiful fingers snapping
Exhibit 1: Beautiful fingers snapping
Think Like an Artist (And Out of Your Anxiety)
Now, what happens when you’re feeling anxious?
Here’s what happens to me.
I get stuck.
My mind starts to spin.
It’s like pebbles are filling up my mind.
And my body starts to tense and twist, followed by muscle stiffness, usually in my neck and upper back.
I’m consumed with worry
And I stop taking action.
It’s not a fun state of mind.
Or being.
But it dawned on me the other day.
When I’m writing this newsletter, or journaling, or doing any kind of creative activity, I’m no longer anxious.
When I’m in Artist Mode, I can do anything.
I don’t let my brain stop me.
I’m pure action.
This is key.
Anxiety dissipates when action is present.
When you act, anxiety disappears in a puff of smoke.
Here’s something you can try this week to think like an artist–and then act like an artist:
  1. Identify one situation in which you are anxious and not doing what you need to do.
  2. Think about why this might be happening to you, but don’t spend too much time on this step! Not more than 2-3 minutes.
  3. Now, think about how an artist would act. If you can’t picture yourself as an artist yet, think of someone else. Did you know Vincent Van Gogh was terrible at drawing and painting when he started out? Like, really, really bad. So, if you select him, which I love to do, remember that he started from the beginning like everyone else.
  4. Now do what you think that person would do–and don’t worry about the result. What’s important when dealing with anxiety is that you do something. Anything.
  5. Use your initial momentum to keep moving and doing.
Remember, you don’t have to feel like an artist to snap out of your anxiety the first time.
It’s been shown that acting as you think someone with fill-in-the-blank ability would act is enough to trick your body into being that way.
So, begin to develop your artist persona today.
Start small.
Work your way up through bigger, anxiety-causing tasks.
This is a strategy you can use at any time.
Before you know it, you’ll be doing more and worrying less.
The artist’s mindset is one way to get there.
Your life is a tapestry.
Bring it to life.
Seriously, try this today. It’s helped me so much, and I’m interested to hear what you think. If you try it, reply to any of my newsletters and let me know!
You’re so capable. Don’t forget that.
Jordan
P.S. My book is one example of bringing art to life. All these things were in my head for so long, and then they became poems and short essays.
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