Challenging Anxious Thoughts


Anxiety can cloud your thinking and make everything seem dark and dreadful. When your mind is overrun with worries, it's easy to fall into the trap of anticipating negative outcomes. You might dread any event, journey, or social occasion because you're scared of what might go wrong.

The official tag for this kind of thinking is "cognitive distortion" simply put, it's the wonky thinking of a mind on red alert for stress or danger. Why does your mind do this? Usually it's trying to protect you by urging you to avoid anything that it thinks might cause you extreme discomfort. And it's there that we find a clue to handling anxious thoughts, if your mind is perceiving danger, one way to address that is to ask yourself some quick questions.

Any time you feel stressed or anxious try the following questions to help you round up your thoughts and start getting your head straight:

What exactly is it about this that's worrying me?

Is it really likely to happen, or am I allowing myself t0 think the worst?

Is there a more practical or positive way I could look at this?

Is there something I could change that would make it easier?

Finally, if a friend was having these worrying thoughts, ask yourself what advice would I give them?

Write your answers down in a notepad or journal and then sit back with a warm drink and take some deep breaths while you reflect on your words if the situation really is too much for you then you've allowed yourself the time and space to self-reflect and get clear on it. Sometimes anxiety speaks to us for a good reason, asking these questions gives you the chance to honour your intuition and step back from areas that might cause you more stress. It also gives you the clarity to pinpoint what's really worrying you if your anxiety is due to a negative thought pattern and from there you can look at what you can change to make things more comfortable.

For self help anxiety tools to help you increase your personal sense of calm and security we invite you to sample our anxiety relief downloads.



Photo by @boetter