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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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