“Thoughts are only thoughts. They are not you. You do belong to yourself, even when your thoughts don’t.” – John Green
Our thoughts can be our best friend or our worst enemy. They can motivate and inspire us, or they can bring us down and cause us unnecessary stress and anxiety. We tend to identify with our thoughts, believing that they represent who we are, but the truth is that our thoughts are only thoughts. They are not us. We are separate from them and have the power to control them.
John Green, a bestselling author and philanthropist, reminds us that our thoughts are not us; they are merely mental events that come and go, and we can observe them without getting caught up in the stormy conditions they can quickly create.
When we experience unwanted inner chatter and emotional storms, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and out of control, which is where dropping the anchor comes in handy. This technique involves grounding exercises that help us manage intrusive thoughts by expanding our awareness of the present moment and exerting control over something physical, such as our breathing, posture, or movement.
For example, taking a deep breath and feeling the air enter and leave our lungs can be a powerful grounding exercise. We can focus on the sensation of our feet on the ground or the weight of our body in our chair to anchor ourselves in the present moment. Engaging in physical movement, such as stretching or taking a walk, can also help us to release tension and reduce stress.
By practising these grounding exercises regularly, we can recognise when our thoughts are overwhelming and regain control over our minds by dropping an emotional anchor. We learn to observe our thoughts without getting caught up in them, and we can choose how we respond to them.
Our thoughts are not only just based on the current trigger (like a change in our investments, increased pressure at work, or someone becoming ill); they can also trigger stories that we’ve been telling ourselves since childhood. These can be even deeper traumas or limiting beliefs that swirl around on replay, keeping the waters murky and the stormy conditions harder to weather.
Regardless of why we feel anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed, we can turn to these techniques to ground ourselves and regain a sense of control. We can remind ourselves that our thoughts are not us, and we have the power to choose how we respond to them. Once the anchor has dropped, we also have the power to tell ourselves new stories that are reframed from a place of victory, not victimhood. At WellsFaber, we believe that how we think and feel when under stress can have a serious impact on the success of how we manage our money. If you’d like to check in with our team, drop anchor and explore how your current beliefs are holding you back from living in your wealthspace, please reach out soon!