It is often possible to manage anxiety by actively replacing irrational thoughts with more balanced and reasonable thoughts like the following:
1. I’m going to be OK. Sometimes my feelings are irrational and false. I’m just going to relax and take things easy. Everything is going to be fine.
2. Anxiety may feel bad but it isn’t dangerous. There’s nothing wrong with me. Everything is going to be OK.
3. Feelings come and feelings go. Right now I feel bad but I know this is only temporary. I’ve done it before so I can do it again.
4. This image in my head isn’t reasonable or rational. I need to change my thinking and focus my attention on something that’s healthier, and generally helps me to feel good about myself. For example _____________.
5. I’ve managed to interrupt and change these thoughts before – so I know I can do it again. The more I practise this, the easier it will become. Anxiety is a habit – and it’s a habit that I can break!
6. So what if I am anxious. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not going to kill me. I just need to take a few deep breaths and keep going.
7. Just take the next step. Just do the next thing.
8. Even if I have to put up with a period of anxiety, I’ll be glad that I did, and persevered, and succeeded.
9. I can feel anxious and still do a good job. The more I focus on the task at hand, the more my anxiety will ease, then disappear.
10. Anxiety doesn’t have a hold on me. It’s something I’m working on, and changing over time.
If you worry about what tomorrow brings, you’re going to be worrying for a whole lifetime. Focus on the present moment.
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
My whole life I’ve been telling myself, ‘don’t be afraid’. And it is only now that I’m realizing how stupid that is. Don’t be afraid. Like saying, ‘don’t move out of the way when someone tries to punch you’ or ‘don’t flinch at the heat of fire’ or ‘don’t blink’. Don’t be human. I’m afraid and you’re afraid and we’re all always going to be afraid, because that’s the point. What I should be telling myself is ‘be afraid, but do it anyway’. Live anyway.
You wake up every morning to fight the demons you fought the day before. And that, my dear, is bravery.
1. Remind yourself that worrying doesn’t stop things happening. Things will happen – or not happen –anyway.
2. Recognise that “What ifs” don’t usually help with problem solving. It’s better to use logic, and brain storm for solutions. Take control of your emotions by using rational thinking.
3. Motivate yourself by something other than worrying. Take a break and do something fun, and then go back to your work again. That positive approach will reap more benefits.
4. Face your fears – and do the things that you worry about. The thought is often much worse than the actual thing you fear.
5. Ask yourself “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Then, “What are the chances that it will happen? Then “Will you survive it, if it happens, in the end?” Usually, that helps to move us from an extreme and irrational way of thinking to a more realistic, and reasonable way if thinking.
6. Teach yourself a range of relaxation strategies – and then concentrate on them instead of on your different fears. Or, adopt a mindful approach – and keep your focus on “right now”.
1. Go for a walk around the block – and even longer if you have the time.
2. Make faces in a mirror to reduce the muscle tension (and the chances are it will make you laugh as well).
3. Stretch – and loosen the muscles in the shoulders, neck and jaw
4. Make a thankfulness list.
5. Find a place to withdraw from everyone. Five minutes on your own can really make a world of difference!
6. Turn off your phone and any message notifications.
7. Switch off the inner critic in your head.
8. Look for humour in the situation.
9. Have a cup of herbal tea.
10. Eat a banana. It increases your levels of potassium (which are depleted in times of stress) and gives an immediate boost in energy.
Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just… start.
1. Simplify – your time, your stuff, your social life.
2. Live in the moment.
3. Practice gratitude.
4. Take control of the thoughts that pull you back into the past.
5. Stop the anxious thoughts about “what next”, and of your future.
6. Practice getting comfortable with saying “no”.
7. Don’t worry about others, and what they think of you.
8. Do your best, then relax, and avoid perfectionism.