We ALL have experienced anxiety at one point or another, whether it lasts for 20 minutes, for the day, or for days to weeks at a time.
Rationalizing with yourself during these times is the best way to work through and minimize these anxious thoughts. When you start to experience anxious thoughts, try to:
1. Be present – anxious thoughts take situations from 0 to 100 reallll quick.
Usually, the pattern looks like:
receiving unpleasant news -> anxious feeling + spiraling thoughts ->
worst case scenario thinking -> heightened anxiety
Remind yourself that the place where your anxiety has taken you is not reality and try to focus on the current situation you are actually in.
2. Patience – sometimes just sitting with your thoughts and feelings, without acting on them, is the best solution. Remind yourself that everything passes, and that these feelings will pass, while allowing them time to do so.
3. Think through the situation – entertain where your anxious thoughts have taken you and evaluate if it is actually earth shattering or if you can get through it.
Let's say you make a mistake at work and your first thought is “I’m going to get fired”. So walk through the scenario: you get fired from your job. Then what? The world stops? No. You get a new job. Is it an ideal situation? Maybe not, but that is life. You must be able to come up with a solution to problems that come your way to keep moving forward.
While rationalizing is usually effective, we all know that using a logical approach isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Or sometimes, we experience anxious states without an identifiable trigger or cause.
Some great ways to keep anxious feelings under control while trying to figure out the cause or waiting for them to pass:
1. Write down any anxious thoughts you have when they come to you. When you wake up in the morning, take a minute to write down everything you’re thinking. When you’re on the go during the day, write down anything that makes you anxious throughout the day in the notes section of your phone. Sometimes, the simple act of writing things down gets them out of your mind and helps the feeling pass.
2. When you wake up, don’t check your phone right away! Checking your notifications and emails while still in bed or getting ready sets yourself up to experience anxiety & experiencing anxiety or tension as soon as you wake up can set the tone for the rest of your day.
What are you really going to be able to do when you read an email that there is a problem at work while you’re brushing your teeth? Nothing. It will only create tension during the rest of your morning routine and your commute to work. So save the emails for when you get to the office or to your workspace when you can appropriately respond to them.
3. Sweat it out! Yes, I mention exercise in almost every post because it realllly is that beneficial – not only for your physical health but for your mental health as well!