There are days when my mind is just bursting. I've got anxiety over some issue or another, I'm depressed about something, I have a busy week, I need clarity on some issues. It's hard to be at peace, much less hear the guidance of God when your brain is overloaded like this.
I have occasions where I experience this overwhelming anxiety and often negativity, and the best tip I have learned for overcoming this obstacle is from the book The Map by Boni Lonnsburry.
My mom recommended this book to me, and it is great for clarifying your visions, dreams, intentions, and goals. It contains many similar themes to other 'manifesting' and 'law of attraction' and 'positive mindset' books like The Secret and such, but this book took it to a level I had previously not experienced, dealing with issues of removing your subconscious negativity in order to clearly put energy into your goals, dreams, intentions (and prayers.) I could go on and on with a review of this book (there was lots of greatness, along with a little weirdness, as is usual with this genre) but the most important tip I learned was 'talking to my negative self.'
Lonnsbury writes about how we carry baggage from our childhood, past hurts, and other factors, including our 'negative self' that can rob energy from manifesting what we DO want. Everyone has a negative side; that voice in your head that puts others and yourself down, makes you afraid, makes you anxious. In her book, she recommends you talk to this negative side of you regularly, letting it rant and rave until it has nothing left to say. It seems counterintuitive; I previously would have swept my fears under the rug, not express them! But, when ignored, this negativity builds and builds in me, until I feel like a dark cloud is hiding my clarity, joy, and connection to God.
After doing this simple exercise, the relief and peace is unbelievable. It's immediate. Without going too far into it, here is how I talk to my negative self: I basically just invite my negative side to come out and share all of her thoughts, talking to myself in my head about all my negative opinions and fears about any subject that comes up. Like, 'you are fat, ugly, and a single mom, no one will ever love you.' Or 'you are so self centered, all you think about is yourself.' Letting it go on and on in as much detail as comes up. If there's a pause in thought-flow, I ask if my negative self is done, and see if any other rants come up. Usually this lasts quite a few minutes until my negative self runs out of steam. When it's finally exhausted, I pray that my negative self is forgiven, loved, and purified and that I am cleansed and free of negativity and anxiety.
The freedom afterward is amazing. And here's the magic (or reality) behind the exercise: while hearing your negative side rant and rave unrestrained, you hear truth. Sometimes, your negative side has a good point, just not to such an extreme (like the point about being self centered.) Other times, the negativity is rooted in such an obviously silly and unreasonable fear, that you can let the negative idea go with a laugh (like the point about being ugly, fat, and unlovable.) Either way, you see the truth, and it is freeing.
I do this whenever I feel overwhelmed or clouded or disconnected. Sometimes once a week or every other. Sometimes every couple days, if I'm having a rough week. If you have anxiety or negativity issues, maybe it's worth giving it a shot? Check out The Map for more thorough detail!