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The 4 Step Process to Overcome Anxiety

Taming anxiety and the anxious brain with the RAIN technique

If you’re struggling with anxiety, the process of overcoming your symptoms can seem like an impossible feat. However, there are several therapeutic strategies that have proven successful in treating and managing anxiety, including a 4-step process called RAIN (Recognize, Accept, Investigate, Non-identify). Whether you’re in therapy or not, this process will help you manage your panic and racing thoughts. Read on to learn more about how this strategy works to ease your symptoms and give you back some control over your life!

1) Recognize What’s Going On

One of the most important steps in overcoming anxiety is recognizing what you’re feeling. This might be easier said than done, though. In fact, a lot of people avoid their  symptoms and brush them off as part of everyday life when really, they’re signs that something isn’t right. Acknowledge your feelings as soon as possible. Take a moment to notice that you are experiencing anxiety. Notice what it feels like in your body. Just be aware of the experience.

2) Allow the Experience To Be There

It’s normal to want to fight our anxious feelings as they arise. We don’t like feeling anxiety, so we do everything we can to get rid of it. Fighting this off oftentimes makes the anxiety worse. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but just let your anxiety be there. Even if it’s unpleasant, sit with the feelings, sensations, images, and thoughts without judgment or contempt. Avoid resisting or trying to change the emotion. Just let it be there and don’t fight them.

3) Investigate With Kind Curiosity

Rather than immediately go into problem-solving mode when anxiety hits, take a moment to be with your feelings and sensations. What is happening right now in your body? Are you breathing fast? Are you gripping your hands so hard they hurt? Is there a lump in your throat? By observing these sensations and thoughts with kindness, you’ll tap into an inner wisdom that will allow you to feel compassion for your experience.

4) Non-Identification

It’s easy to identify with your situation and feel bad about it. We all do it sometimes. You might say, I am so stupid for having made that mistake! What you’re doing is equating yourself with a specific thought or action, which is stressful in and of itself. Instead, try identifying your anxiety as simply a passing sensation—simply one of many thoughts and emotions you have throughout the day. Remind yourself that these feelings are not who you are, they are something passing through you. Don’t hang on to your anxiety and let these random thoughts run their course.

Anxiety taking over?

While the RAIN technique is an amazing anxiety tool, it may not be enough to calm your anxious mind. Knot Therapy helps people who are struggling with anxiety and panic attacks. We use techniques such as the RAIN technique, as well as relaxation techniques like breathing exercises and guided imagery along with therapy aimed at breaking down negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. Several of our therapists are also trained in EMDR therapy and Brainspotting. Call today for a FREE CONSULTATION.


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