Manage Anxiety with Your Thoughts
If you ever experience anxiety, you may be aware that there are constant worries, negative thoughts, which may include thoughts about the worst-case scenarios. This tends to become distressing and overwhelming. Every so often we think our negative thoughts are a direct indication that our worries will manifest.
The relation between your thoughts and anxiety:
Our thoughts have a direct connection to the way we feel. Your thoughts can provoke states of anxiety, stress, anxiety attacks, and depression. Situations are not directly impacting what you feel; it's your perception of the situation. Circumstances do not provoke anxiety, instead, it is the unhelpful thoughts that we often have and the over-importance we place on our thoughts. Anxious thoughts overestimate the risk and underestimate our capabilities to cope with the stressor. Check out the following steps to manage anxiety with your thoughts.
What to Do:
After you have noticed having a stressful or anxious state ask yourself the following questions:
1. What was going on in my mind before or during my anxious state?
2. What is the evidence that my thought is true?
3. What is the evidence that my thought is not true or completely true?
4. Which evidence is stronger?
5. Finally, how likely (on a scale 1-10, ten representing very likely) is it, that my negative thought will happen?
It is helpful to write your answers on paper.
Diana Ruiz, MA, LCPC