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From the desk of Coach James

Decrease your anxiety and improve your mindset as easily as pushing a button.

Excessive worrying and overwhelming thoughts of how hard the world is heightens our personal levels of anxiety and feelings of being on edge. How you feel leads to the thoughts you have and that leads to the actions you take. If you are feeling stretched by life, the thoughts and actions that result from being in a state of melancholy will be equal to those thoughts.

To feel better and chipper means we’ll do better and perform more proficiently, leading to us feeling happy and fulfilled – and more true to who we are.

Last year I was very busy doing two courses simultaneously, which took up all my time and resulted in feeling overwhelmed and under pressure. The pressure of my studies combined with the weight of the world (doom-and-gloom news reports of the war in Ukraine, cost of living crisis, food supply issues and so on) resulted in excessive worrying and anxiety.

In order to take control of our lives and feelings we must address how these thoughts are being created. Having made one simple change resulting in me feeling better about myself and life I have become fixated by the concept of reverse engineering, and beginning with the end in mind.

If you want better quality thoughts, producing more efficient actions resulting in a better performance in life, then what must happen to create the results you want? From personal experience, and knowing that a plethora of highly successful people also employ this strategy to their lives to create the successes and lifestyle they want; I know this will help you.

Where do most of our negative thoughts come from; negative and degrading information from our external environment. You don’t have to be Sherlock to see where all of this negativity is coming from. The news and media, which has become more accessible now that we carry a device in our pockets that can access information with a few swipes.

Society today has become entrained to swipe left for a date, up and down for likes and reactions to memes and posts of what we had for dinner, getting a hit of dopamine as we feel validated. All the information you could ever want is at your fingertips. While this information, used wisely is a good thing, if you use it incorrectly it has detrimental consequences on your mental health and daily life.

If you are anything like I was; then one of the first things I did on waking up was flip open my phone and swipe through the news headlines to feel informed about the world. I was starting my day off on the wrong foot and consuming doom-and-gloom information that negatively influenced the rest of my day, and filled my already stretched mind with worries that did not help me [and that I have no control over]. If you get stuck and feel overwhelmed and anxious, chances are it results from a constant barrage of negative information and thoughts of how bad things are around you.

While it is good to stay informed about your immediate surroundings, it doesn’t enhance your life to know about bombs going off in other countries, and murders in cities hundreds of miles away. If you want to know world affairs, that’s fine, but I wasn’t finding it helpful, and it was resulting in excessive worrying and anxiety. How do I know it was resulting from those things; because I have stopped consuming that sort of information. As soon as I wake up, I no longer swipe the headlines, or watch the news on TV, and I feel better for it. I deleted the news app, when the news comes on TV I swiftly change the channel or shut it off.

If you want to feel less depressed by the state of the world, be more productive, and decrease worrying/crippling anxiety, then look at the information you are consuming, because that produces thoughts in line with what we are taking in. Poor quality thoughts produce poor quality states [low mood] and that influences our mindset and resilience of how we approach and deal with the world.

Keeping up to date and well informed with current affairs used to be something I thought was serving me. However, the world has rapidly changed and now more than ever there seems to be an increase in doom-and-gloom. My 87-year-old nan said she has never known anything quite like it; even in the during WWII things were not like this with all the worker’s strikes and global uncertainty so rife like it is, she informed me.

If negativity is on the increase and we want to decrease its effect on our wellbeing then we need to adopt a way of being so we can experience life without being trapped by anxiety and fear of what might happen. One simple solution is to switch off the news, and consume something that uplifts you, causes you to laugh not cry.

In the personal development and coaching arena which I am in, the idea of guarding your thoughts as if your life depends on it is not a new concept, but it is definitely a concept that more people should adopt to improve the quality of their lives.

We run our lives from the narrative of the world around us, and the stories we make up and tell ourselves internally. Create a better story for yourself by getting better quality materials.


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