Anxiety – part 3

Once you learn to notice when you get anxious, you’re already halfway to feeling a lot better.

The next thing you need to do is…stop!

As an anxious person myself, I know it’s way easier said than done.

When I notice I start feeling anxious, wether it’s catching myself biting my nails, or feeling physically tense, I take a moment to ask myself :

“what was I thinking about just now?”

Most of the time we will focus on the feeling of anxiety without understanding where it comes from, and it just makes it worse.

So I get inside my head…

And here are some of the things I catch myself thinking:

“I should not have walked around with my phone in my hand at work, they will think I am going to make a secret phone call, like a job interview, and they will fire me.”

“When I said that I liked that shirt to Annie, she did not react much. She probably thinks I have ridiculous taste and is questioning our friendship.”

Wow.

Just taking a second to write down what I was thinking, in a completely unfiltered and honest way, already makes my thoughts seem completely delusional.

In the vast majority of cases, these thoughts will be irrational, non founded assumptions.

NOT facts.

So next you ask yourself these questions:

-Is that true?

-am I certain of that?

-can I prove it? out of any doubts?

-what else could possibly happen?

-what else could they be thinking?

-am I a mind reader?

-were there occasions when I was wrong?

Etc.

Refocus on the truth. Refocus on right now.

Anxiety is a natural, normal thing to feel. It is here to protect you. Just sometimes, you need to take it by the hand, and tell it:

“it’s going to be ok.”

Image: Eleanor Davis
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