Chapter 5: Overwhelm and Anxiety


In our journey through life, we often find ourselves entangled in the web of overwhelming anxiety. It’s a topic so vast and profound that it could easily fill an entire podcast episode. Today, we will explore a life lesson shared by Melo, shedding light on how overwhelm and anxiety are often products of our minds. By understanding that we are not our thoughts and redirecting our attention to the present moment, we can liberate ourselves from the grip of anxiety and discover the power within us to cope with any situation.

Breaking Free from Identifying with Thoughts:

In the midst of our struggles, we may find ourselves saying, “I am anxious,” “I am depressed,” or “I am scared.” These statements imply that we have become identified with our thoughts, and our thoughts have become our identity. Melo, in his book, emphasises the importance of realising that thoughts are just thoughts; they do not define us. We have a tendency to attach ourselves to our thoughts, constructing intricate and believable stories that make them feel real. However, the truth is that thoughts are separate from who we are.

Challenging the Validity of Thoughts:

Our minds have an uncanny ability to create fearful and uncertain thoughts that may not align with reality. These thoughts can trigger anxiety and distress within us. Melo introduces a simple and effective system to confront these thoughts. When confronted with an anxious or fearful thought, we should pause and create space. Then, we can ask ourselves two vital questions: Is this thought true? Is it a fact? More often than not, we discover that these thoughts are products of our imagination rather than actual realities. This realisation empowers us to detach from these thoughts and regain control over our emotions.

Choosing the Helpful Path:

In addition to questioning the truth of our thoughts, we must also evaluate their usefulness. Is it helpful for us to dwell on these thoughts? Do they contribute positively to our well-being and growth? By shifting our focus from the “what if” scenarios of the future to the present moment, we can redirect our energy towards what is happening now. We must acknowledge that the future is merely imagination, while the past has already occurred. The only place where reality exists is in the present moment. By embracing the present and accepting what is happening, we unlock our inner strength to cope with any difficulties we encounter.

The Story of Resilience:

Melo shares an inspiring story of a client and friend who battled aggressive throat cancer. The doctors painted a grim picture of his prognosis, preparing him for the worst. However, Melo took a different approach, urging him to focus on each day as it came. Instead of being consumed by the future and what might happen, they met every day in the present moment. Together, they navigated the challenges of each day, using techniques such as meditation, prayer, and affirmations. Despite the physical and emotional hardships, the individual emerged as an embodiment of resilience, surprising even the oncologist. By embracing the present moment and meeting the day as it unfolded, he discovered the inner resources to cope with his circumstances.

Overwhelming anxiety can often paralyse us, trapping us in a web of fear and uncertainty. However, by understanding that we are not our thoughts and choosing to focus on the present moment, we can liberate ourselves from this burden. Melo’s life lesson reminds us that we always possess the inner strength to cope with what is happening in the present moment. While we may face difficulties, by redirecting our attention and energy to the present, we empower ourselves to respond effectively to any situation that arises. Embrace the present moment, challenge your thoughts, and discover the resilience within you to overcome overwhelming anxiety.


Disclaimer: This blog post is an overview of Melo Calarco’s book, and we highly recommend reading the complete work to delve deeper into the transformative power of self-awareness.

Purchase the book here.


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