We are told that a certain amount of anxiety is good for us, maintaining our adrenaline and spurring us on to achieve. It is when it interferes with our daily functioning that we need to learn to control our thoughts and feelings.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a symptom of worrying
Although we may be aware of the triggers for worry, worrying can become a habit until understanding anxiety better, we are unaware we have the power to push away our negative thoughts.
When feelings of anxiety become overwhelming we do not feel in control of our bodily sensations and automatic thoughts.
Bodily Sensations may include:
Thumping chest and palpitations
Hot and sweaty
Distracted from what is going on in the present
Feeling negativity in many situations
Mind busy - unable to appreciate just being in the present
Distracted from communication with others
Catastrophizing – thinking worst case scenario
Lacking self belief
Unable to turn the dial down on negative talk in our head
Not in control of emotions
Become angry quickly
Agitation caused by a busy mind with an inability to relax
What maintains anxiety?
Distortion of our thought processes, maintaining negativity and overwhelm
Avoidance in facing fears by shutting down emotions
What can I do to reduce anxiety?
Learn to distract yourself from negative thinking
Consider the following questions
What evidence do I have to support my thoughts?
What evidence do I have against my thoughts?
What is the impact of thinking the way I do?
Does it help or prevent me from getting what I want?
Some Healthy strategies
Aspects of Mindfulness such as meditation, deep breathing exercises that focus on being in the present(Apps such as headspace)
To break the negativity of mental worry and anxiety, it helps to be aware of the impact of our spiralling thoughts feelings and behaviours.
Focus on your wins when you are able to distract yourself from your anxiety and repeat what worked. It takes little time to get into negativity but a lot longer to break a learned habit.
If you feel your anxiety is taking over your life, it helps to talk to someone:-
Visit your GP
Talk to a family member or friend