Anxiety can be a good thing.
Yes, A counselor said that!
Consider the circumstances for how it might be helpful. Anxiety can tell us we are in a dangerous situation or we might need anxiety to tell us that it is time to study for a test or complete a project that is almost due. When it is healthy and we can do something about it listening to that anxiety and following the prompting to do something can be helpful. The problem is that we often get in a spiral in our thoughts where we feel stuck holding on to the anxiety. What if you become an expert on your thoughts and could learn to tell in an instant if the anxiety is helpful or distracting.
Anxiety becomes a problem when it comes to worrying about things we cannot control.Simply knowing you cannot control it may not make a difference. It is easy to tell ourselves that it will be ok, but it seems to barely take the edge off at times. An important question to be asking – Are these thoughts something that you talk about with friends or family or do you keep them to yourself?
Often anxiety is just a feeling or a thought and may not necessarily be the truth about your circumstance. What if you could decide how to respond to anxiety instead of letting anxiety decide for you?
Considering taking another look at your anxiety.
Here are some steps to consider for rethinking your anxiety process that could give you that different perspective. These are all things that a good therapist would be a key ally in helping you move forward with your anxiety.
- Make a list of which anxious thoughts are helpful and which ones are distracting.
- List out ways to move forward on things you can do something about. Do this when you are anxious or when you find yourself stuck and procrastinating because of anxiety.
- Find a healthy outlet for your thoughts/emotions. (This might look like self care or conversations with someone close).
- Give yourself some slack as you are learning to pay attention to your thoughts. It is a skill that takes time to learn and which could all always use improvement.
These are blog posts intended for further thought or discussion on a variety of topics and should not be considered a replacement for face to face therapy. If you are experiencing any negative emotions please reach out and get assistance.