Advertising
Advertising

8 Thoughts That Are Stuck In Anxious People’s Mind Throughout The Day

8 Thoughts That Are Stuck In Anxious People’s Mind Throughout The Day

Have you ever felt anxious? Maybe you had a job interview or an important presentation and it made you nervous. Can you imagine feeling that way all day long, or at least for portions of the day – everyday? This is the burden carried by those of us who suffer from anxiety disorders.

Here’s some of the things we think when we’re anxious. Bear in mind this list is not exhaustive and it is different for every one of us. But these are some common themes.

Advertising

1. We Don’t Want to Be Alone

Many of us with anxiety fear being by ourselves. It leaves us in a vulnerable position as we’re then free to worry endlessly. These anxious thoughts can in turn escalate into a full blown panic attack. None of us want to be alone when that happens.

2. We’re Afraid of Messing Up

After some time, anxiety can begin to affect your self-esteem. We start to believe that we are not capable of carrying out tasks that once came so easily to us. Something simple like making dinner for the family can become an enormous feat.

Advertising

3. We Hate Our Lives

When we experience chronic illness, we can become desperate. We feel negative about everything and depression often develops for people with anxiety. People who have anxiety with depression get caught in a spiral of negative thinking and need a lot of support to help manage their condition.

4. We Fear Having Panic Attacks

This fear is so real for many of us. Not knowing when the next one is going to strike makes it all the more difficult to manage.

Advertising

5. We Avoid Situations and People

Not being able to face people is a stark reality of anxiety. We fear being found out and we fear not being able to take part in the conversation. Sometimes we avoid certain situations like going to the pub or out for dinner. We fear not being able to find a parking space, getting lost, being left on our own – the list is endless. It’s just easier to stay in and read a book.

6. We Think We Are Sick

Worrying about having cancer and other serious illnesses is a common feature in generalized anxiety disorder. Sometimes we can’t be convinced that we are healthy despite medical evidence to prove it.

Advertising

7. We’re Afraid of Dying

Most anxious thoughts are completely irrational and are not based in reality in any way. The fear for many of us with anxiety is that death is imminent – we worry for our families who will be left behind and we worry about all we have to do before our time comes.

8. We Worry About Fires

Many of us anxious people spend an inordinate amount of time checking and double checking locks, sockets and light switches. Trying to function on too little sleep is often the result of these obsessive thoughts.

We worry ourselves into knots over things that will probably never happen. We avoid situations that really aren’t a big deal and we isolate ourselves in the process.

But help is at hand. Here are some quick tips to help with anxious thoughts.

  • Leave some time aside each day for worrying – say 15 minutes at 7pm every night. Leave it at that. That is the only time you are allowed to worry.
  • Think in the now as much as you can. We need to be aware of the moment we are living in – this reduces worrying as we are not focusing on the past or the future.
  • Use a gratitude book. Write down three things you are truly grateful for each day.
  • Stand in a power pose (like Wonder Woman – hands on the hips with your legs apart) for  2 minutes to feel more powerful.
  • Exercise, but not alone. Try to bring a friend along to keep you company so your mind is occupied and not wandering into negative places.
  • Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is excellent for anxiety. It helps us to stop our negative thoughts and replace them with a more positive and rational alternative.

More by this author

How To Discipline Your Kids Using Words 21 Little Things Every Parent Can Do To Make Kids Really Feel Loved What Do Kids Think About Love? Pregnancy At Week 31 Researchers Discover Devastating Results of Childhood Bullying

Trending in Communication

1 40 Acts of Kindness to Make the World a Better Place 2 6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak 3 How to Train Your Brain to Be Optimistic 4 How to Stop Living on Autopilot with Antonio Neves 5 The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

Advertising

Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

Advertising

How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

Advertising

Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

Read Next