You see, it’s all too easy to plan ahead and take the necessary steps to help your anxiety when it surfaces, but sometimes, you feel so anxious that accomplishing seemingly simple tasks becomes impossible.
The problem with anxiety is that when you’re overwhelmed with worry you exhaust your emotional energy. This means you’re less able to cope with life’s daily challenges and left feeling burned out and emotionally drained.
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However, lacking energy and feeling emotionally exhausted is only a fraction of the negative impact that anxiety can have. If left unchecked anxiety can manifest and seriously affect your ability to cope in day-to-day life.
This is when anxiety becomes an anxiety disorder which is why learning how to stop anxious thoughts is key to improving your mental and physical well-being. That’s why in the following post I want to discuss a seven step process that will help you prevent anxiety and take back charge of your life: The following are not coping strategies, treatments or lifestyle changes to help anxiety. Instead, we’re going to look at prevention through managing worry and the way in which you react to anxiety.
Worry List – Document any anxious thoughts and worrying you encounter throughout the day
Whenever you find yourself overwhelmed with worry and fear take a pen and make a note of it. Doing so serves two purposes; documenting your thoughts helps to get a rationale perspective in order to move on from your worries and it also provides a means to assess your emotions after the event.
Make it a habit to update your notepad daily with any anxious thoughts you encountered throughout the day.
Worry Time – Establish a time each day for you to “purposely” worry
As you start to establish your worry list you can use it as a road-map to determine what’s worrying you the most, or more to the point what’s triggering your anxiety. From here you can establish a time for each day where you’ll purposely worry and use this worry time to address the things that are worrying you the most.
There’s no set time or schedule but strive to purposely worry in the evenings for a minimum 15 minutes.
STOP Worrying – Counteract any worrying thoughts as they surface
I know it’s easier said than done but becoming mindful of worry is key to preventing anxiety. Whenever worrying thoughts creep into your mind take stock and say to yourself “I know that there’s no use worrying about this right now, I will use my worry time to address these concerns later on”.
As you become more practiced in refusing to worry you’ll be better able to dismiss any worrying thoughts.
Worry Alone – Use your worry time to quietly self-reflect and worry alone
Only you will really know what’s worrying you and what triggers your anxiety so use your worry time to address these concerns. Avoid any distractions such as watching TV, listening to music or playing with your mobile phone. Set yourself a time-frame for worrying and then take out your worry list and start worrying.
Only focus your mental energy on whatever is worrying you, everything else is irrelevant during worry time.
Am I Worrying Over Nothing? – Play The Devils Advocate & Question Your Anxiety
For the anxiety sufferer fear and worry are very real even if they’re genuinely worrying over nothing. For example; if you are worried that people are staring at you then stop and ask yourself “are they really staring at me or is it a passing glance”.. This same principle can be applied to any worrying thought, question your worry always.
Whilst this may sound to simple it can really help you get a logical perspective on your fear and worry.
The Worry is Genuine – OK, so is there a solution and what is the solution?
Not all worry stems from nothing; in fact, anxiety can surface from worrying over something that’s very real and not just a figment of your imagination. If there’s something that’s very real and particularly worrying you then you need to take the logical approach and try to determine a solution to deal with the worry at its roots.
Remember worrying solves nothing; it certainly doesn’t make the problem go away.
My Worries are Real & Unsolvable – Some things are just beyond our control!
It’s true that some things are beyond our control; therefore, it’s no use worrying about them. If you can determine particular worries that are beyond your control then follow this exercise… Take a pen and make a note of your unsolvable worries, place the list inside a balloon, inflate and send the balloon off into the atmosphere.
This simple exercise will help you wave good-bye to those unsolvable worries.
Wrapping It Up
If you want to learn how to help anxiety then this 7 step formula can aide you in your quest. This isn’t some made up process, similar systems and processes are used by medical professionals to help patients.
Essentially, you’re trying to help anxiety by getting to the roots of your worry. In doing so you’ll gradually come to understand your anxieties on a much deeper level and you’ll free up some of that misspent emotional energy.