Anxiety – suggestions for changing negative thinking patterns

Change your thoughts, change your world.

Having done a previous post on Anxiety I would like to focus on one aspect of anxiety in this post which is our thought patterns and how they can feed into our anxiety. Many people I have met would consider themselves to be worriers, having racing thoughts, playing conversations or situations over and over in their minds time and time again. Having had anxiety myself in the past I remember having thoughts like;

I “should” have said this or I “shouldn’t have said that
I “could” have done this different
I am stupid or silly
I can’t do anything right
I am not good enough etc …

These can be regular themes in our thoughts. This thinking can sometimes interfere with us getting off to sleep at night. It can also stop us interacting with people in social situations out of fear we do or say something wrong when our inner critic is constantly in our ear. Some people might feel a knot in their stomachs or suffer tension head aches,irritable bowl syndrome or migraines from the constant thinking. This can leave people feeling drained of energy and overwhelmed.

Our thoughts impact our bodies and these thoughts over time can manifest in physical ailments within our bodies.

Here are some suggestions for changing negative thinking patterns.

1. Firstly try to identify the kind of thoughts you are having in the here and now as a result of the problem or situation. Keeping a diary can help to identify our thought patterns and make them clearer to us. Sometimes we are so use to having these thoughts we do not even notice how often we have them. Once we identify them we can begin to become more aware of them when they surface. We can then begin to explore our thought patterns and implement a more positive way of looking at situations with the support of Counselling.

2. Try a guided progressive muscular relaxation or guided meditation. Some of these can be found on YouTube. PMR works well because when we are feeling anxious we can sometimes notice a lot of muscle tension within our bodies, neck etc. By using a PMR this can have the reverse affect helping us to relax our muscles and calm our minds. If you are doing a guided mediation and find your mind wondering just bring yourself back to the voice on the meditation and continue to do this until over time it becomes easier to stay present with it.

3. Notice if you find yourself thinking ahead and thinking “what if’s” if you catch yourself thinking of what is ahead then bring yourself back to the here and now by engaging in something like talking to someone or feeling your feet firmly on the ground.

4. Exercise. Studies on the affect of exercise on anxiety have shown that it can help with decreasing levels of anxiety. Exercise releases good endorphin’s which help to lift our mood.

Anxiety is something which with the right techniques and some work can be very treatable. It is something which built up over time and it will also take time to deconstruct. I am always happy to help if you would like to pick up the phone and give me a call.

People begin to heal when they feel heard. Take back the power.

Phone: 085 106 9066

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