Anxiety Hack #1: The Carousel & The Mason Jar

Cole Schafer Blog

In order to overcome our anxiety, we have to destroy the thoughts that cause it.

Generally, anxiety is caused by looping thoughts.

Imagine standing in front of an empty, motionless carousel -- this carousel represents your mind.

As you begin to think about different things, which you are sure to do because you are only human, the carousel fills up with various objects.

Am I over-spending? Does s/he like me? Why has my daughter been so distant lately? Why is my boss such an asshole? Am I going to fail physics? Did I pull out? etc. 

At first, these thoughts are manageable, and you can clearly see each one of them sitting upon the round stage of the carousel.

Eventually though, as these thoughts pop in and out of your head at various points in the day, the carousel begins to spin. Slowly at first, then much-much faster. Until finally, you look up and the carousel is spinning so wildly out of control, that the thoughts are just blurs of colors and tracers.

When the carousel begins to spin out of control is when your mind has entered into an anxious state. 

The reason people struggle with fighting anxiety is because they don’t catch it early enough. They try to stop the carousel when it is spinning at full speed, and end up getting mauled to pieces in the process.

Don’t attempt to kill your anxiety, attempt to kill your looping thoughts.

Destroying Anxiety Through Eliminating Looping Thoughts

At any point in the day when you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed with a series of looping thoughts, follow these instructions:

1. Grab a mason jar, and label it “Looping Thoughts” -- with a piece of masking tape and a sharpie. Set the mason jar on your desk, next to a pen and a stack of 3x5 notecards.

2. Sit down and write your worry or fear on a 3x5 notecard -- make sure it is a complete and detailed thought, and that it is no longer than one sentence. Be sure it is angry and full of emotion, don’t hold anything back.

3. Fold the 3x5 note card in half, with the words facing inward -- this is essentially telling the worry or fear to go fuck itself.

4. Place the now folded index cards in the mason jar, and screw the lid back on until it is airtight -- this is the most important step in the process, because you are now deriving the thought of oxygen, bringing about its demise.

I am sure half of you are intrigued, “What is this dark magic he speaks of?” I am sure the other half of you are a little skeptical, and that’s okay -- I have found that we all have to come up with our own formulas for controlling anxiety.

Regardless, I encourage you to give this a try. 

Lastly, please always remember -- your thoughts were not meant to control you, but rather you were meant to control your thoughts.

Afterall, those thoughts were generated from that big beautiful brain between your ears. I would kiss it, but this screen is in the way and that’d be weird.

With Love & Wellbutrin,

By Cole Schafer