( Though written from my computer, am posting from my phone and preview button not working. Also, rather than uploading a bunch of links, you can scroll back a few days or do a search to find similar posts.)
(I don’t know if this as already been posted. It’s not showing up on my computer as having been posted, although it is showing up on phones as having posted. I apologize if something is amiss and you are getting this twice.)
Here is the first set of “helps”.
- You’re not a fortune teller. You’re not God. So why do you think you know what’s going to happen? If you’re that talented you’d better market it. You’ll be worth a fortune.
- Don’t dwell on the past. O.K. you made mistakes. Haven’t we all? But if you keep thinking about the mistakes you’ve already made, you’re probably going to repeat them. Your mind will be so caught up with negative thinking, there will be no room for constructive thinking.
- Stick to a structured routine. Almost everyone functions better with structure. I can always tell when anxiety is causing me a problem. I’m totally disorganized. I drop things, misplace things, etc. It’s one of my first cues to back off and consider what’s going on. Anxiety and stress are related so the more we can stay organized as much as possible, the less the stress, the less the anxiety.
- Avoid black and white thinking. Few things in this world are all black or all white. There is an awful lot of grey in this world. I wish things were black and white. It’s so much easier. Most things are not all one way or the other. Most people are not all one thing or another. Try to find the middle road.
- Anaylize your thoughts and take corrective action. Ask yourself some tough questions. Do you have any basis at all for thinking the way you’re thinking? Really challenge your thinking. There may well be some truth in how you’re thinking but probably not enough to justify constant rumination. Can I just gently say that you need to save your worry for the times when life really does hand you a blow. Don’t waste your energy now.
- Attack your anxiety. A good offense is the best defense. Act immediately. Do your best to nip your thoughts before they have a chance to mushroom.
- Quit catastrophizing. (Click on the link for some good information.) Catastrophizing is the inability to keep a realistic perspective when under even mild stress. By taking everyday worries and turning them into disasters people inflict great pain upon themselves. Probably even more pain than if what they were thinking turned out to be true.
- Share your worries. They almost always diminish when you talk about them. It’s like you take the wind out of their sails. Just don’t go on and on about them because then you’ll be back to rumination.
- Talk to yourself in a soothing manner. Most worriers “yell” at themselves, silent though it is. Have some key phrases on hand like, “You’re going to be fine.” “It’s ok.” “You’re going to get through this.” “Breathe”. Speak positive life-affirming words to yourself. I’m amazed at the number of people who never get that the words they speak out loud are words being circulated back into their own psyche and produce as much damage to themselves as harsh words do to others. But don’t degrade yourself because you’re feeling anxious. It’s far more common than you think.
- Use imagery. Ex: Jesus and me sitting by a gentle stream talking quietly. The air is warm, the breeze is soft and the rippling brook soothing to my ears.
We are at Teeny Tiny Red Cabin this week. Our pump won’t start. I began getting very anxious. But I challenged my anxiety. This was an honest to goodness real problem. But I realized that my anxious feelings did nothing to change the reality of the situation. We are without our own water supply till the “pump people” come on Friday. Till then we have good neighbors who let us get as much water as we need.The biggest problem is that it is raining and I have to go outside to pee in the woods. Frankly. That’s easier to handle than the anxiety!