I caught up with Danielle LaPorte the other day. I wanted to ask her a bit about anxiety. She gets it. She writes about it.
I’ve followed her White Hot Truths for a while. And her career in the self-help-of-the-brutal-variety realm. (Note: Danielle tours Australia next month, with special guest Clare Bowditch. Details, and a ticket giveaway, below). A while back she dropped one of her “truth bombs”:
Interrupt anxiety with gratitude
I like this. I’ve dug around on the topic of late. Alex Korb writes in The Grateful Brain, ‘Gratitude can have such a powerful impact on your life because it engages your brain in a virtuous cycle. Your brain only has so much power to focus its attention. It cannot easily focus on both positive and negative stimuli.’ Literally, you can’t be grateful and anxious at the same time. You can, thus, derail your anxiety by being grateful. Chuck a bomb under it!
On top of this, research shows gratitude stimulates the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that regulates anxiety.
Korb adds that the brain loves to fall for the confirmation bias – it looks for things that prove what it already believes to be true. ‘So once you start seeing things to be grateful for, your brain starts looking for more things to be grateful for.’
And thusly interrupting anxiety even more.
I asked Danielle a little more about her anxious thinking.
Me: Why do we get anxious?
DLP: Because every time anxiety shows up, it’s our psyche’s way of saying, “Knock knock, I’ve got something to show you about yourself that you really should see.”
Me: How do you cope with it?
DLP: I get in front of it. I prepare every day with a regular esoteric practice. I meditate every morning.
Me: Tell me more…
DLP: The fuzz and fogginess of anxiety creates a kink in your energy system. And distorts perspective on EVERYTHING. So it’s difficult to reach for courage or positivity when we’re anxious. But reach we must. So that’s why we have to practice for when it comes.
Me: Meditation…and what else helps?
DLP: Breathing exercises. Anxiousness is just ordinary and reasonable fear without the breath. Add in breath and you come back to centre.
Me: The worst upshot of anxiety?
DLP: It tells us the lie that we’re not safe.
Me: Are we more anxious today because we have less spiritual (or otherwise) guidance?
DLP: We have more access to tools than ever before…to all kinds of spiritual tools, one of which will fit the shape of your heart. The thing is a lot of people don’t do the work.
Me: Is there a light side to anxiety?
DLP: Anxiety is a wakeup call, it’s our soul’s GPS system that tells us when things aren’t right. When you’re in the anxiety, sure, you can’t analyse what your soul is saying and get back to centre. The trick, then, is that when you’re back to centre, you MUST analyse what got you off centre.
Me: What’s been the most successful Truth Bomb?
DLP: “Find your tribe and love them hard.” It speaks to our longing for connection and commitment.
Me: And your favourite?
DLP: “Love love”. Be in love with the concept of love. That’s who I am. This Bomb gives myself permission, affects who I hang with, my business policy.
And now to the giveaway.
I have 2 x double passes to give away for each city (Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) of Danielle’s February Tour.
Simply share below why you’d love to attend, before Tuesday January 17.
(Include your city and your contact email in your comment so we can get in touch with you!)
We’ll be choosing and announcing winners Wednesday January 18.