• David Schlagter, LCSW

How to Get From Anxiety to Peace?


Everybody wants peace. But peace seems so far away, so unobtainable when you're struggling with anxiety. You wonder if you'll ever experience it again. When we have anxiety, we realize just how precious inner peace is. We just want the suffering to end.


The truth is, peace is always with us. It is the core of our being. It is the essence of who we are. It just gets covered up with feelings of fear, anger, and sadness.


It's like knowing that the sun is there, but we can't see it, feel it, or experience it because dark clouds are covering it up. It is not until the clouds are gone that we can experience the beauty and light of the sun. We want to walk from the darkness of anxiety into the light of peace.


What Causes Anxiety?


Most people believe that it is something outside of themselves that is causing their anxiety. It is not the person, place, situation, or thing that is causing your anxiety. It is your thoughts about the person, place, situation, or thing that is causing the anxiety. This awareness is critical in beginning to transition from anxiety to peace.


At any given moment, we can choose how we see, process, or think about what we are experiencing in our lives.


For example, you are scheduled to give a presentation at work. Thoughts of "what if I can't answer all of their questions, what if I forget important points or details, suppose they won't like it..." And the mind keeps going creating one fearful, worrisome thought after another.


Is it any wonder we're feeling anxious? Especially, when these thoughts are a constant barrage throughout the day.


Here are my tips for how to go from anxiety to peace:


We Can Change Our Thoughts


We want to learn to change these anxiety-producing thoughts to thoughts that will contribute to inner peace. Such as, "I have prepared the best I can for this presentation. That's all I can do. I'll do the best I can. If they like it, great. If they don't, there is nothing I can do about that. But I do know that I will be ok regardless of what happens." You can feel the difference between the two thoughts immediately. Our feelings are directly related to our thoughts.


Stop Feeding The Anxiety


Every time we choose to entertain or get involved with anxious thoughts, we strengthen the anxiety. In other words, the more we feed it, the bigger it gets. Each time we choose not to get involved with it, it weakens it. It gets smaller.


Stay Mindful


Sometimes it seems like we don't have any control of the ongoing onslaught of one thought after another. Worse yet, most of these thoughts are worrisome or fearful thoughts.


In addition to learning how to change your thoughts, you can also learn how to have a quiet mind. A quiet mind means no thought, no thought means no anxiety. If you have experienced a high degree of anxiety or even panic attacks, this would seem like the best thing that could happen to you. And it is. This is where true peace is found. This is where you experience the peace that is within you.


Simply stated, thinking stops when we give our complete, 100% attention to the present moment. Thoughts can not come in when we do this. If you find yourself thinking then your attention has slipped off the present moment.


When you become aware that you are thinking again, you have a choice. You can get involved with the thought again. The same thought that has led to the anxiety you have been tortured by. Or you can return your attention to the present moment. The thought pattern, or loop you have been stuck in begins to dissipate each time you choose to return your attention to the present moment instead of engaging in the anxiety-producing thought. Eventually, you will come to know that the present moment is your safe place, your refuge.


What we are talking about here is Mindfulness. It has been around since ancient times. For whatever reason, more and more people are becoming aware of Mindfulness and making it a part of their lives. I strongly encourage you to read and learn about it and incorporate it into your daily life. Moment by moment, step by step, you will be going toward peace and away from anxiety.


Exercise Regularly


Let us not forget the tremendous value of exercise when it comes to dealing with anxiety. Cardiovascular exercise is one of the best things we can do to combat anxiety. Run, swim, bike, kickbox, etc. Get your heart rate elevated, breath hard, sweat, get your endorphins activated. Do this for a minimum of thirty minutes each day. The more you do the less anxiety you will feel.


You don't have time? Get up earlier in the morning. I guarantee you that the time exercising will far outweigh any benefit of any extra sleep you would get. Vigorous exercise in the morning is a great way to start your day and that good feeling will help you face and cope with your daily challenges.


Nutrition to Calm Your Mind & Body


Your body and mind are already overstimulated from anxiety. You don't want to add more stimulation to it with caffeine, sugar, and processed foods. Remember, the goal is to return to our natural state of being, which is peace. Give your body nutrients that will have a calming effect on your mind and body. Chamomile tea can have a very calming effect as can other herbal teas. Eat a variety of whole foods that include plenty of green vegetables.


Eat at least three small meals per day with one or two healthy snacks. Just enough to get you to your next meal. This will keep your blood sugar steady and prevent mood swings. Eating in this way will keep you emotionally, mentally, and physically balanced.


A Brief Word About Me

I have been teaching and practicing these concepts and tools for many years. It's helpful and beneficial for you to have someone that fully understands the anxiety and how to get you through it. Someone who can keep you on your path to recovery. I can assure you that your life can, and will change when you begin taking the steps to change it.

My genuine and sincere interest is in helping those who suffer from anxiety. I know what you are going through and how to help you return to the peaceful, joyous life you deserve.


Please feel free to contact me at 954-391-5305 if you have questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment. For more information about my approach to counseling, click here.


For more tips on how to manage your anxiety, click here.


Here's to living an anxiety-free life!



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