Learn How To Manage Your Anxious Thoughts
Anxiety doesn’t come out of the blue. When you have anxiety attacks, it’s often because your mind tends to spiral into negative thoughts – often without your control. Sometimes you can control this anxiety by keeping these thoughts at bay and learning to dismiss triggers that cause you anxiety.
For many, this is easier said than done. But there are many different strategies you can try that may be effective. These include:
A Question Checklist
When you feel anxious, have a checklist on hand of questions to ask yourself about that anxiety experience. The longer the checklist, the more you’ll find that your thoughts become more realistic. Questions that you can use include:
- Is there a reason to believe something is wrong?
- What evidence is there that something is wrong?
- Is there a chance I’m blowing this out of proportion?
Affirmations not for everyone, but those that do use them find them to be very beneficial. Affirmations are things that you say to yourself to make yourself feel better. These include:
- I’m okay. This is just anxiety and I will get passed this .
- I have a great life and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
- My anxiety won’t control me.
Getting Used to Physical Symptoms
The latter is known as “exposure therapy” and there are countless ways to create exercises that will habituate you to your panic attack triggers.
Shaking Is A Part Of The Fight
When youre extremely anxious, your body activates a fight-or-flight response to danger, even when no real danger is present.
This response triggers a rush of adrenaline, which feeds your body with energy, arouses your nervous system, and prepares to be able to fight or flight.
Contrary to what you may believe, shaking is a sign that your body is releasing energy . It happens when your fight-or-flight response winds DOWN.
When To Contact A Doctor
Most people experience anxiety from time to time. When a person has anxiety so intense that it undermines sleep, daily functioning, or relationships, it is time to seek help. This type of anxiety is a medical condition. And while medication is an option, it is not the only treatment.
A doctor can help with getting the correct diagnosis, ruling out physical health issues, and finding therapy and other remedies.
A person should contact a doctor or healthcare provider if they experience the following:
- They feel chronically anxious for no clear reason or have constantly shifting anxieties.
- Their anxiety is disproportionate to the stress they feel, such as if a person who has a relatively safe and comfortable life is chronically afraid of violence or starvation.
- They experience panic attacks or physical anxiety symptoms, such as a racing heart or stomach pain.
- Their anxiety treatment does not work or suddenly stops working.
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What To Do When You Cant Sleep: 9 Tips
Prioritizing a good nights sleep isnt just important for your general health, it can also help with feelings of anxiety, as your body is less likely to feel overwhelmed or on edge when youve slept well.
However, falling asleep can be difficult, so its important to build a strategy for a better nights sleep. Below are some tips to try in order to improve your chances of falling asleep naturally.
What Do Fear And Anxiety Feel Like
When you feel frightened or seriously anxious, your mind and body work very quickly. These are some of the things that might happen:
- Your heart beats very fast maybe it feels irregular
- You breathe very fast
- You have hot and cold sweats
- You get a dry mouth
- You get very tense muscles
These things occur because your body, sensing fear, is preparing you for an emergency, so it makes your blood flow to the muscles, increases blood sugar, and gives you the mental ability to focus on the thing that your body perceives as a threat.
With anxiety, in the longer term, you may have some of the above symptoms as well as a more nagging sense of fear, and you may get irritable, have trouble sleeping, develop headaches, or have trouble getting on with work and planning for the future you might have problems having sex, and might lose self-confidence.
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Stop Complaining And Blaming
Perhaps you were dealt a bad hand in life. Maybe you had a controlling mother or a father who put you down. Although these life experiences may have contributed to your social anxiety, you don’t need to let them continue to influence the course of your life. Start taking responsibility for your actions and behavior.
Become Your Own Best Advocate
Nobody else is going to look out for you the way you can look out for yourself. Gather knowledge about SAD so that you can make better decisions. Ask for accommodations at work and school if you feel they will help you. Guide others toward better understanding of the struggles you face. Take time out at parties if you feel the need. Nobody else knows what it is like to be you.
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Four Ways To Be Anxious
In his book Anxious: the modern mind in the age of anxietyJoseph LeDoux examines four experiences of anxiety through a brain-based lens:
Anxiety Is Not Always Bad
On that note, keep in mind that anxiety, as an emotion, is not inherently bad. Its only debilitating in the wrong amounts. Having the appropriate level of anxiety in our brain not too much, but just enough can actually motivate us. Like the example given above, anxiety is a contributing factor in motivating us to study for tests, determine how to act among others, maintain our physical health, achieve our aspirational goals, and so on. Its only when our levels of anxiety get out of balance that it becomes unhealthy and dysfunctional. Thats when we need to seek treatment.
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Name What Youre Feeling
When youre experiencing an anxious episode, you may not realize whats going on until youre really in the thick of it.
Recognizing anxiety for what it is may help you calm down quicker.
Name that this is anxiety not reality and that it will pass, says Kim Hertz, a psychotherapist at New York Therapy Practice. When you are in a heightened state of anxiety, you want to disrupt that cycle, and for some people, thought-stopping techniques are effective and as simple as saying stop to the internalized messaging that heightens anxiety.
In other words, consider recognizing that what youre feeling is anxiety and talking yourself through it.
Embrace absolute truths, says Steven Sultanoff, clinical psychologist and professor at Pepperdine University. I will get through this one way or another.
Naming your sensations and feelings may help you step away from them. This is anxiety, it is not you and it wont last forever.
Break Up With Caffeine
A cup of coffee, chocolate, or an ice-cold Coke might help you feel better. But if caffeine is your go-to drug of choice, your anxiety could worsen.
Caffeine gives the nervous system a jolt, which can boost energy levels. But when under pressure, this nervous energy can induce an anxiety attack. Now, the idea of giving up your favorite caffeinated beverage might raise your heart rate and induce anxiety as you read this, but you dont have to stop cold turkey or give up caffeine completely. Its all about moderation.
Rather than four cups of coffee a day, scale back to one or two normal-sized cups a day normal as in 8 ounces, not 16 or 32 ounces. Give it a test run and see how you feel. As you wean yourself, slowly introduce other beverages into your diet such as decaffeinated herbal tea, which can calm your mind and nerves.
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Practice Slower Deeper Breathing
Slow down your breathing. Many people dont pay attention to their breathing during an anxiety attack when their breathing usually becomes shallow, rapid, and erratic. This type of breathing decreases the oxygen in the brain, which will trigger fear and panic . When you take slow, deep breaths, you increase the blood flow to your brain, which will put you back in control.
Research has found that deep breathing can have a number of beneficial effects including lowering heart rate, improving mood, and lowering stress.
One way to practice deep breathing is by learning how to breathe from your diaphragmthe area of the body that tends to get clenched when were anxious. This is also known as belly breathing.
Tip : Challenge Anxious Thoughts
If you suffer from chronic anxiety and worry, chances are you look at the world in ways that make it seem more threatening than it really is. For example, you may overestimate the possibility that things will turn out badly, jump immediately to worst-case scenarios, or treat every anxious thought as if it were fact. You may also discredit your own ability to handle lifes problems, assuming youll fall apart at the first sign of trouble. These types of thoughts, known as cognitive distortions, include:
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Why Is It So Hard To Stop Worrying
Constant worrying can take a heavy toll. It can keep you up at night and make you tense and edgy during the day. And even though you hate feeling like a nervous wreck, it can still be so difficult to stop. For most chronic worriers, the anxious thoughts are fueled by the beliefsboth negative and positivethat you hold about worrying:
Negative beliefs about worry. You may believe that your constant worrying is harmful, that its going to drive you crazy or affect your physical health. Or you may worry that youre going to lose all control over your worryingthat it will take over and never stop. While negative beliefs, or worrying about worrying, adds to your anxiety and keeps worry going, positive beliefs about worrying can be just as damaging.
Positive beliefs about worry. You may believe that your worrying helps you avoid bad things, prevents problems, prepares you for the worst, or leads to solutions. Maybe you tell yourself that if you keep worrying about a problem long enough, youll eventually be able to figure it out? Or perhaps youre convinced that worrying is a responsible thing to do or the only way to ensure you dont overlook something? Its tough to break the worry habit if you believe that your worrying serves a positive purpose. Once you realize that worrying is the problem, not the solution, you can regain control of your worried mind.
What Causes Anxiety
Some people tend to be more prone to anxiety, often due to upbringing or genetics, but there are also other factors at work that can contribute to the anxiety cycle. Such things include:
- Avoidance: Anxiety can persist and even grow worse because of the ways people respond to their worries. Individuals with untreated anxiety problems tend to respond to their fears by trying to suppress the worry, seek reassurance that nothing bad will happen, or avoid situations that might trigger the fear. These strategies can backfire and reinforce anxiety, thus creating a cycle.
- Distorted or biased thinking: Some worries might persist because of biased thinking. This could involve an overestimation of the likelihood of a bad outcome or an exaggeration of how bad the bad outcome will be.
- Negative thinking: Some worries are strengthened by negative thoughts about oneself, such as the belief that one would be unable to cope with uncertainty or an undesirable outcome.
- Selective memory and attention: Worries can also persist because of how information in the environment is processed. A person with GAD may selectively tune into information that supports the worry and ignore evidence that refutes it. And memory can also be selective.
In some cases, people with anxiety problems have difficulty recalling data that is inconsistent with a particular worry.
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How Do I Get Help
Talking therapies, like counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, are very effective for people with anxiety problems, including Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which takes you through a series of self-help exercises on screen. Visit your GP to find out more.
Drug treatments are used to provide short-term help, rather than looking at the root of the anxiety problems. Drugs may be most useful when they are combined with other treatments or support.
You can learn a lot about managing anxiety from asking other people who have experienced it. Local support groups or self-help groups bring together people with similar experiences so that they can hear each others stories, share tips and encourage each other to try out new ways to manage themselves. Your doctor, library or local Citizens Advice bureau will have details of support groups near you.
Do You Immediately Try To Stop Trembling
Most people will not allow themselves to shake when anxious.
When their whole body starts to shake violently, they freak out and quickly try to suppress all shaking.
when you do not release the energy of an aroused nervous system it gets stored in your muscles as tension
This tension can result in:
More frightful thoughts and unusual bodily sensations, such as:
This, in turn, makes you even more anxious a vicious cycle.
Anxiety trembling is a discharge of nervous arousal and a fast clearing of stress hormones from your body.
Isnt mother nature clever?
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