When I experience anxiety, one of the main symptoms I have is anticipatory anxiety, which is excessive worry about what will happen in the future. It is this symptom that keeps me up at night when I'm not sleeping well and often results in intrusive thoughts that interrupt my concentration when I'm trying to focus.
The start of a new year usually brings new goals and resolutions, but anxiety can sometimes be a barrier to actually accomplishing those goals. Because of my anxiety, there have been many times that I have established New Year's resolutions that I had every intention of following, only to find myself unsuccessful at following through for one reason or another.
How often do you think of anxiety as your friend? This may sound like a strange question, but I believe the way we relate to anxiety plays a significant role in how we experience it. Cultivating a positive relationship with anxiety can be an important part of recovery, but it's also really difficult to do.
Using a trust test for anxiety helps you decide whether you should trust what your anxiety tells you. Often, anxiety comes on too quickly for us to do much about it, and we easily get swept up by the intensity of our anxiety. Whether we know it or not, this happens in part because we implicitly accept that our anxiety is trustworthy and only shares true information.
Anxiety from change occurs often, but it can be even more challenging to cope with when you deal with chronic anxiety. Just recently, I started a new endeavor. Since I have become very mindful of my anxiety, I have also become aware of when my anxiety symptoms worsen and it becomes difficult for me to function. This is something I noticed when I started this new undertaking. I began having a hard time sleeping, and my stomach was constantly in knots. I had panic attacks and I was feeling emotionally exhausted. I have noticed this anxiety often happens when I try something new.
You can cultivate a positive outlook without also creating expectations that cause anxiety. Have you ever felt so worried about something that you couldn't focus on your family, friends, or work? For me, the answer is certainly yes -- especially when I'm thinking about something I really want to happen. I've found myself thinking a lot about expectations, specifically how my expectations increase my anxiety and make it harder for me to focus on the present. For graduate school, I have a lot of expectations for myself, involving grades, developing research, and cultivating relationships. And although in some ways it is beneficial to have expectations, ultimately, they engender a narrow perspective that ignores a host of positive outcomes.
What is anticipatory anxiety? If you’re struggling with anxiety over the anticipation of an upcoming situation, you’re experiencing anticipatory anxiety and you're not alone. Most of us face anxiety about future events at some point or another. Sometimes it’s mild and other times it may feel downright debilitating. I’ll share with you some key steps I take to cope with anticipatory anxiety.
Limiting beliefs and thoughts are often at the root of social anxiety. If we trust these limiting beliefs, we give our thoughts undue power. Cognitive restructuring is one technique used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat social anxiety.
Nearly all of us with anxiety disorders have a specific fear or phobia that sends our anxiety into overdrive. For some people, it may be a fear of public speaking. For others, the specific fear or phobia may be the subway or dentist appointments. Whatever it is, the fear sends our hearts racing and this specific fear or phobia makes managing our everyday levels of anxiety that much harder.
Everyone gets overwhelmed. We all have times when life is stressful or we’ve signed up for--or been given--more than we can easily handle. For those of us with anxiety, however, feeling overwhelmed can quickly transform into outright terror. But you can battle the anxiety that comes from feeling overwhelmed with these stress relief tips.