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How To Break Anxiety Cycle

Use The Power Of Excitement

Breaking the anxiety cycle through kindness | Steven Zanella | TEDxAmoskeagMillyard

Excitement or eagerness is different from being anxious or nervous. The former means looking forward to something, while the latter means dreading it.

Although you might experience performance anxiety with tasks you really enjoy and look forward to, you can use your excitement to overcome the anxious feeling.

One way to harness the power of enthusiasm and excitement is to remind yourself why you enjoy a particular task or activity. Ask yourself why you look forward to performing and what aspects of the performance excite you most. You might even choose to write them down and read them to yourself when you feel anxious about your performance.

Once you have your answer, nurture the feeling of excitement for as long as possible to help overcome performance anxiety, even if it is only temporary.

A Different Relationship With Experience And Its Impact

This capacity to relate differently to experience and its wider effects were also reflected in the themes which emerged in a qualitative study of MBCT for health anxiety carried out by Williams et al. . Participants experiences could be grouped into the following: validation and normalisation of my experiences through MBCT an awareness of my anxiety cycle enables me to break it acceptance of my experiences a different outlook on my life in general and change large enough for significant others to notice. All of these effects can be seen in the case of Raymond.

Relaxation For Health Anxiety

Relaxation has a two-pronged attack on health anxiety. First, worrying can cause symptoms of anxiety and panic which easily increase your concerns about your health. Practicing relaxation techniques will reduce the sensations of anxiety, and therefore, reduce the extra symptoms that anxiety produces.

Secondly, as you stop checking online or seeking reassurance from others, you will initially feel more anxious. Stopping a compulsion is almost like stopping a alcohol problem cold-turkey. Thats where relaxation techniques can really help you tolerate the lack of knowing.

Relaxation can come in many forms. Experiment with techniques to find a practice that works for you. You might want to use a more active form of relaxation such as gardening or doing a puzzle, if you find distraction works best for you. Check out my article about Progressive Muscle Relaxation.

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But By Doing This You Allow Exposure To Uncertainty To Take Place And Your Brain Will Eventually Learn That Uncertainty Is Not Dangerous

You will then reach the point where uncertainty is no longer a trigger for anxiety and the worry process loses its purpose. That is how worry stops and anxiety gets better. It is hard to do, but it really does work.

Once they commit to following through on this, my clients are often shocked at how powerful and effective this simple idea really is. Believe it or not, if you try it, you will find the same thing for yourself.

Want to learn more about how to stop the worry cycle? Check out my self-help video series, How to Stop Overanalyzing, with over 3 hours of content covering the skills I teach to almost all of my clients in the first 5 therapy sessions.

About Dr. Stein

Dr. Michael Stein is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders and OCD. He is the founder and owner of Anxiety Solutions, a group private practice that serves clients with anxiety and OCD both online and at its office in Denver, CO. He is the author of the self-help video series, How To Stop Overanalyzing. He is one of Psychology Today’s official expert contributors on anxiety and OCD and has also written for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. He has been featured/quoted in The Washington Post, HuffPost, The Denver Post, Bustle, PsychCentral, and more. ” He is passionate about both helping his own clients overcome anxiety and OCD and expanding access to quality care for these problems.

How to Stop Overanalyzing

Tips To Stop The Performance Anxiety Cycle

Break the Anxiety Cycle

Performance anxiety is common. In the world of music alone, as many as 60% of professional musicians may experience symptoms.

So, youre not alone if you sometimes experience symptoms of anxiety when faced with a performance-based task.

Anxiety symptoms can be managed, and help is also available if you feel you need professional support.

In the meantime, consider these tips to overcome performance anxiety:

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Stop Racing Thoughts And Learn How To Get Rid Of Sleep Anxiety

Medically reviewed in April 2022

Everyone experiences stress from time to timesome more than others. Some people also develop anxiety. The terms are often used interchangeably but theyre different. Stress is caused by an external trigger, such as work pressure, life demands or financial strain. Anxiety differs in that it often comes from within. It may be a reaction to stress, but anxiety lingers even when the external trigger is removed.

Stress and anxiety often cause similar symptoms, including muscle pain, irritability, fatigueand trouble sleeping.

Troubling thoughts and worries can make it more difficult to fall or stay asleep. Anxiety worsens tensions and makes people more alert, which can interfere with sleep. Similarly, stress can also keep the body more awake and alert.

Over time, sleep loss can have serious health consequences and even contribute to anxiety. In fact, chronic insomnia is linked to an increased risk for mood disorders, including depression or anxiety.

Understanding this two-way relationship and taking steps to ease stress and anxietywhile prioritizing quality sleep can help protect your mental and physical health and well-being, according to family practitionerâ¯Barbra Alvir, DO, ofâ¯Saint Joseph Mercy Health Systemâ¯in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Manage anxiety to promote better sleep Taking steps to ease anxiety can help improve sleep. The opposite is also true: Prioritizing quality sleep can help turn down the anxiety dial.

Stop Checking Your Symptoms So Often

If you are constantly checking bumps, moles and lymph glands, its time to slow down. Its not necessary to do this more than once a month. It might also be time to stop wearing tracking devices that measure your heartbeat or sleep. Theyre not as accurate as you might think. And it could be easy to get obsessive about keeping your heartrate under a certain level.

Read Also: How To Calm Anxiety Now

What Is Health Anxiety

Health anxiety affects 5-10% of the general population. A person with health anxiety will believe they have an illness, and seek reassurance from others but disregard other peoples opinions about the symptoms. At a clinical level, it can stop people enjoying their daily activities because they believe it will lead to more symptoms. And they live in permanent fear of having or developing a serious illness. The anxiety and fear is real even if the symptoms are benign and an enormous amount of time is spent checking, seeking reassurance and researching health conditions.

Until very recently, health anxiety was known as Hypochondriasis. An unflattering word derived from hypochondriac, which is normally a negative way of telling people they are unnecessarily worrying about health. The term health anxiety describes it much better. Feeling anxious about your health.

A stressful life event can be the trigger for health anxiety forming. Anything from moving house to having a baby. But sometimes it can follow a normal diagnosis of a very real illness, such as diabetes or Parkinsons disease. This may then lead to extra checking of symptoms and being hypervigilant for changes.

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Breaking The Loop of Anxiety | Colin Bien | TEDxLeuphanaUniversityLüneburg

Dr. Nikki Lacherza-Drew, licensed psychologist and owner of Vici Psychological Care, suggests engaging in proper sleep hygiene to help get better sleep. Lacherza-Drew says, If you have a routine and engage in appropriate sleep hygiene on a consistent basis, your mind will be less likely to go down the rabbit hole of anxious thoughts.

Sleep hygiene refers to various habits that are necessary for good sleep quality. To practice good sleep hygiene, Lacherza-Drew suggests:

  • No major physical activity or heavy meals close to bedtime
  • No caffeine or alcohol near bedtime or after a certain time in the afternoon

Other easy ways to practice good sleep hygiene include:

  • Soaking up the morning sun

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How To Manage The Cycle Of Anxiety

To break the anxiety cycle, you need to become aware of the cycle. So instead of letting your anxious thoughts and feelings drive your behaviour, you have to slow down your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. As you learn to experience thoughts and feelings as an observer, youre increasing your power and decreasing the power a thought or feeling has over you. That will then allow you to consciously choose your behaviours. You need to identify automatic thoughts and core beliefs to change your thoughts. An automatic thought is what you say or think automatically. That thought alone doesnt inevitably lead to anxious feelings and avoidance behaviours. You need to break your thought down and figure out what else I think leads me to feel anxious.

What about that thought makes me anxious? Its different for each person and could be related to not feeling like you accomplished enough, feeling like youll have let people down. Challenging thoughts can be difficult. This is especially true when our core beliefs have been around for a while. When we challenge thoughts, Its about thinking realistically based on evidence.

What Is Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorder is like the enhanced version of usual anxiety. The feeling of anxiety is much more intense.

More distress mentally and more discomfort physically.

Anxiety disorder is nothing uncommon anymore. In fact, its the most common mental illness today. Just in the United States, there are over 40 million adults having an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorder is not just feeling extremely anxious a few times, but the fear can be with you all the time.

Anxiety disorders sometimes come with other few types of disorders, such as hypochondriasis obsessive-compulsive disorder , social anxiety disorder, or depression.

I struggled with a few types of disorders when I was younger, but mostly OCD. I am constantly distressed and extremely anxious from unwanted, uncontrollable harmful thoughts.

If you are coping with OCD or having loved ones in similar situations, you can check out these posts on my personal journey with harm OCD and intrusive thoughts. Hopefully, I can bring some light to you.

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How To Break The Anxiety

Using ACT to move toward what matters.

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Hey y’all! Dan here. I have another post from you from Casey Rosengren who recently wrote How to Do Hard Things for us. This one takes a simple tool from the psychology literature, the ACT Matrix, and shows us how to use it to work through avoidance. It’s something I’ve turned to frequentlyand it works extremely well, despite being simple and easy to learn. I hope you enjoy the piece!

When I started my first company, I remember waking up each morning excited by the possibility of what we were creating. However, over time, much of my work came to be driven by avoidance.

This shift happened gradually. What started as a side project became a company with customers and employeesand suddenly fears around failure and letting people down started to play a larger role in how I related to the business. 2-3 years in, I felt trapped everything I was doing felt like it was about obligation to others and simply trying to keep the business alive.

In this piece, well look at a little-known tool called the ACT Matrix that you can use to become aware of avoidance and to drastically reduce it.

Lets begin.

Set Aside Time For Winding Down

Break the Anxiety Cycle

If youve been struggling with sleep anxiety, Dr. Fran Walfish, family and relationship psychotherapist, suggests creating a routine that winds you down and gets you in the mood for sleep. This can include things like dimming the lights, listening to calming music, or taking a warm bath.

Walfish also suggests opting for activities like light reading in place of a TV or computer, as using a screen can tend to rev up anxiety and excitatory thresholds versus relax and calm you down.

The best nighttime routine allows your mind and body time to slow down before you turn off the lights. Allot at least 30 minutes to take a bath, read a book, listen to a podcast, or play quiet music. These transition rituals can condition your brain to associate certain actions with preparing for sleep.

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Write Down Your Worries On Paper

According to Juanita Wells, director of clinical development at New Method Wellness, putting your thoughts down on paper can help us remain accountable to ourselves, our feelings, our purpose, and plan.

Instead of letting thoughts and to-dos swirl around in your brain, write them down so that your brain has a game plan for the following day. Wells says that writing down your anxious feelings, especially through stream-of-consciousness journaling , can help ease anxiety before bed.

In addition to calming pre-bedtime anxiety, research shows that journaling can also help you fall asleep more quickly. To get started journaling, just snuggle up with your notebook and some cozy pillows and let your thoughts take it away.

How To Identify The 4 Stages

According to Gulotta, the first stage of anxiety usually includes an automatic fight-or-flight response.

The second stage might involve bodily sensations or reactions that may lead to some form of self-protection. By the fourth and final stage, you might feel mentally, emotionally, and physically drained.

Your answers to the following questions can help you identify which stage of anxiety youre in to help you manage your symptoms.

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How To Break The Cycle Of Health Anxiety

Have you ever experienced the physical symptoms of anxiety in your body and not known how to get rid of them? Dont worry. You are not alone. Experts say that one out of 20 people experiences anxiety at one time or another in their life.

It may often include anxiety about your health, where you may misinterpret normal bodily functions as dangerous signs that threaten your health. In this article, we will take a closer look at how to help people with health anxiety to overcome their health worries.

If you want to know how to win the struggle against anxiety symptoms, keep on reading and find out.

Read Also: Does Anxiety Make Your Heart Race

Sports Psychology For Performance Anxiety

Health Anxiety: How to BREAK the Cycle (Part 2) #PaigePradko, #HealthAnxiety, #OCDwithPaige

Do you perform well during training or practice but choke in competition? If feelings of nervousness, anxiety or fear interfere with your sports performance, learning to use a few tips from sports psychology may help you get your anxiety under control and reduce game-day nerves.

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What Is Triggering The Anxious Thoughts

Understanding the triggers of those anxious thoughts is important. You need to pray through whats causing fear to arise in you. For some, it may be physical like too much caffeine or sugar. Or, it could be something mental like stress or wrong thinking patterns. Whatever the situation, its important for you to learn what is triggering the anxious thoughts.

There was a time I had to stop all caffeine, because it was pushing my body too hard, releasing adrenaline that was not good for me. Today, Im back to one cup of tea in the mornings, and thats all. No sodas, no coffee, and no energy drinks.

Another trigger for me is stress. I run my own business, and things are booming right now. Ive never experienced such growth as I have the past year. Its been wonderful but it has also been quite stressful. Im learning more each day on how to delegate and how to say no . But, my emotional and mental health is far more important than just making money.

Take a moment during or after the anxiety attack to write down your thoughts. What were you thinking before the rush of anxiety? What emotions were you feeling and experiencing? Was there something that happened during the day that caused you stress, or got you thinking about about something? Write down your thoughts, your ideas, and your emotions. See if you can start to recognize a pattern.

Dietary Supplements For Insomnia

There are many dietary and herbal supplements marketed for their sleep-promoting effects. Although they may be described as natural, be aware that sleep remedies can still have side effects and interfere with other medications or vitamins youre taking. For more information, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Medical Treatments For Health Anxiety

There is a small evidence base indicating that medication can be helpful for reducing the symptoms of health anxiety. These include clomipramine, imipramine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, and nefazodone . The effectiveness of medical treatments appears to be smaller than for cognitive behavioural therapy .

Treatments For Sexual Performance Anxiety


To confirm whether or not you are suffering from this sex-related psychological condition, healthcare providers or mental health experts can help you diagnose. Furthermore, their role also adds significant assistance to your treatment development.

Fortunately, sexual performance anxiety can be treated with medications and psychotherapy.

  • Psychotherapy: As the first treatment for the condition, a certified sex therapist can help you address the sex-related issues youre going through by practicing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy . From there, CBT can help you understand your feelings and thoughts about your body image.
  • Medication: The doctor may prescribe medicines for erectile dysfunction and alleviate performance anxiety. A few medications used to treat erectile dysfunction include: Sildenafil, Tadalafil, and avanafilall of them can boost confidence in men with sexual performance concerns.

In case of low hormone levels, testosterone replacement therapy may also involve your treatment with gels or injections.

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