Trying the SODA Method for Anxiety

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The SODA technique may be a beneficial tool to implement into your daily life if you struggle with anxiety. This method is used to reframe a situation or negative thought, and it’s a very simple way to bring in mindfulness and de-escalate anxious thoughts and feelings surrounding a given situation (and no, it doesn’t have anything to do with drinking something!)

SODA refers to the acronym stop, observe, detach and affirm, and practicing SODA helps to bring the out-of-proportion and exaggerated thoughts typical to anxiety back into a more balanced view. By following and practicing each step, you can build more awareness of your inner thoughts, evaluate your mindset and create a more positive, optimistic attitude. Thoughts are an extremely powerful component of what we feel and how we behave, so it is through changing your thoughts that you can ultimately change any behaviors that do not serve your greatest good.


You choose to stop yourself when you catch yourself thinking a thought that causes anxiety. At this moment, we invite ourselves to put a pause on our automatic thinking and gain some control over our thoughts by interrupting our thought patterns.


In the observation step, we watch our thoughts without assigning any judgment to them. We tap into our observing mind so that we can observe our thinking mind. In this step, you let the thought be without assigning any feelings or emotions to them.


In this step, you recognize the path of negative, fear-based thinking that you are accustomed to heading down and instead consciously choose not to engage with these pathways. Simply saying “no” to these thoughts and refusing to believe them will take away their power and give you back your power and control over your thoughts.


In the final step, you must affirm your decision of denouncing your automatic negative thought by supplementing it with a positive thought. Commonly, this affirmation includes the opposite of your negative thought.


By gaining control of our thoughts, we will have more power over our feelings and behaviors. Learning how to disengage from emotionally fueled, negative thoughts and reframe them into more balanced, positive thought is a popular strategy to ease symptoms of anxiety. If you or a loved one is struggling with sobriety or mental health struggles, call Avalon Malibu. At Avalon, we specialize in treating substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders. Our supportive staff of professionals will create a treatment program tailored to all of your individual needs through our effective combination of clinical and holistic therapies. Call us at (844) 857-5992 for more information about how we can assist you.

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