Anxiety is overwhelming. Negative thoughts are overplayed in our minds and this builds up a wall, we need to break down this wall and take control.
'I cannot cope'
Fear and anxiety are a part of everyday life. The experience of anxiety is our body's way of preparing us for difficult situations, which is called the 'fight or flight reaction'. Sometimes we misinterpret emotional and physical symptoms as a personal threat without stopping to challenge them. The cycle of negative thinking can have an adverse effect on our lives.
Fear of your condition is the very thing that keeps it alive; avoiding situations only feeds our anxiety.
We can improve our quality of life by regaining control. A helpful clear plan to overcome this is needed. Identifying areas for change will motivate us and put us on the right path to a happier life.
'Things always go wrong'
Thinking in terms of 'never' and 'always' can lead you to making some pretty rash and harsh judgements. It's easy to allow a few bad things cloud your judgements. It is mental filtering that only lets the information through that fits with what you already believe about yourself, others, or the world. This can lead to a very biased and negative view of yourself and your environment. Therefore positive information is quickly discredited and ignored because it does not support your negative self opinion. Noticing your problematic thinking can help you re adjust your thinking and increase your chances of managing your emotions in a helpful balanced way.
Challenging this attitude
Identify these extreme ways of thinking, then carry out a thought investigation and prepare to change to a more constructive, balanced and healthier way of thinking. What evidence is there, for and against that what I am thinking is in fact true?
Changing extreme and unhelpful thinking
Many negative thoughts are inaccurate and unfair. When feeling low,anxious or upset you may notice that it is easier to believe these thoughts. STOP! THINK! REFLECT! Break the habit of thinking this way by undermining your negative thoughts and acting against them. Take a moment and confront them, do not allow yourself to be beaten! Rate your negative extreme thought and the amount you believe it. Then ask yourself how accurate and sincere are they?Question how truthful your original thought is and re rate it by using useful questions such as...
What evidence can I find against and for my thought?
How would I need to change my thought in order to feel better and act more constructively?
Is my negative thought extreme?
What would I encourage a friend to do?
Set yourself mini goals to start. Over times these goals will get bigger, and your new way of positive thinking becomes your new approach to problems. I used this method, and set myself weekly tasks, as simple as taking my dog for a walk. As the weeks went by this activity did not fill me with worry but became enjoyable. My anxiety levels dropped each time I faced a goal. The anxiety we feel can only reach a certain point until it starts to fall again. Therefore by doing the things that make us feel anxious, your level of worry will lower the more you do them.
One of my goals was to have driving lessons. Each week I dreaded the thought of going out for an hour (I don't think many people enjoy learning to drive anyway) and I managed to face my fear and furthermore passed my driving test (what an amazing feeling that was).
I wish there was a magic wand that could take away that anxiety feeling for good, sadly there isn't. But if I could give you any advice it would be to seek help from a friend or a professional. It will not get better by avoiding and ignoring how you feel. By taking these first steps, it's a way of making the right changes to new beginnings.
Anxiety is a very common mental illness, and you would be surprised how many people experience it at some point in their lives. The more we talk about it and realise it's an everyday struggle for some, the more awareness it brings to the issue.
Anxiety had a huge impact on my life. It was by making subtle changes in how I think and behave that I managed to overcome it. It will take time and patience but it will make you stronger and you will have the knowledge to deal with such problems in the future if they should arise.
When faced with a problem or a negative thought pops into your mind, tackle it!
What evidence is there for and against?
Don't let negativity rain on your parade!
A thought is just a thought...
..Build bridges not walls..
..and finally enjoy the moment!
When I started to challenge my anxious feelings, I also decided to start doing things I enjoyed to redirect any negative emotions. Here are a few things that I enjoy;
Walking my Dogs
Cooking. Trying for a healthier diet and healthier lifestyle. It's hard when you have a sweet tooth.
|Butter-nut squash soup|
Evenings out with friends. I try and limit my alcohol intake to once a month (I don't deal with hangovers very well).
Collages. I love nothing more than cutting out pictures from magazines and creating a collage. A visit to Hobbycraft also gets me in the creative mood.
Re-arranging my bedroom. I am always moving things around and buying pretty things for my bedroom, as it's where I enjoy time on my own.
This has been a great outlet to focus my attention on something and improve my writing skills.
New hobbies are a great way to increase your sense of achievement and self esteem. Do the things that make you happy and get pleasure from, and remind yourself there is a silver lining and things can get better.
Thanks for reading my post and I hope it is helpful in some way.