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Toxic Vs Balanced Thought Patterns ~ Exploring Anxiety Part 2 of 3

January 17

Is it possible to reduce the intensity of your anxiety through replacing habitual thought patterns?

Does controlling your anxiety come down to a matter of toxic vs balanced thought patterns? Well, probably not…or maybe, it all depends on what is causing the anxiety and its intensity. I do believe however (because I have found it to be true for myself), that replacing certain anxiety causing thoughts with purposeful stabilizing thoughts can often help.

First let’s take a look at what anxiety ‘feels’ like. Below are two videos that give excellent examples of how anxiety manifests in the day-to-day. Many people think anxiety is just a matter of ‘worrying’, and can therefore simply be stopped through force of will. Anxiety is far more complex than that:

Does controlling your anxiety come down to a matter of toxic vs balanced thought patterns? Click To Tweet

 

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There are others out there with the same 'inner thought experience' with 'anxiety' ... Click To Tweet

I came across an excellent article written by Kristen Corley called, ‘What Anxiety Actually Is, Because It’s More Than “Just Worrying”‘, and it resonated in a way that encouraged me. Why? Because it showed me that there are others out there that have the same ‘inner thought experience’, and that contrary to what I have been told, I am not just being ‘weak’ and/or ‘willfully negative’.

Here are a few highlights she touches on in her post:

  • Anxiety involves excessive worry over not receiving back an answer to your text right away: 1) is the person offended 2) did I ‘word’ it correctly so as not to cause conflict 3) are they mad ect.

  • Anxiety is obsessively worrying and speculating about what the other person is thinking

  • Anxiety is ‘hyper-awareness’ of yourself and everyone around you

  • Anxiety is needing to ‘fix’ a problem that is not a problem

  • Anxiety is the need to ‘control’ things, because if you do not, impending doom is sure to follow…

Sounds ridiculous right? Yes, I’m sure to the average person it does. Heck, even typing it out the ‘rational’ part of me can see the hamster wheel of  craziness that is represented here.

But, it’s perfectly understood by the person who deals with anxiety disorder e v e r y d a y….

So, in thinking about all this for some time now, allow me to share with you a few ‘replacement thoughts’ I have been practicing. Sometimes they help, and sometimes they do not. But, the hope of more freedom inside my own head causes me to choose to fight on…

Toxic Vs Balanced Thought Patterns ~ Exploring Anxiety Part 2 of 3

Toxic Vs Balanced Thought Patterns {A few Jedi-Mind Tricks I use on myself}

 

  • There are usually ‘predictable patterns of behavior’ in people & relationships ~ I used this a few weeks ago when my mind was racing with ‘worse case scenarios’ over a conflict between family members. I chose to remember that past experience has shown that these conflicts tend to resolve quickly with seemingly no horrific long-term consequences…and it did. So instead of allowing a parade of gut-wrenching ‘end of the world’ fantasies to play out in my head, I chose to believe that it would more than likely resolve on its own, and it did.

  • What I feared most has usually never come to pass ~ Yes, anything is possible, but experience has taught me that the ‘worst’ thing I can think of never really happens.

  • Even if it is ‘bad’ it works out one way or another ~ Again, I pull from my own experience and know that even if what I do fear happens, it’s not the end of the world, and there was always a way through to the other side. Plus, there was always good that came from the trial.

  • Not my circus, not my monkeys ~ So often I find myself twisted up over things that are really not my problem. There is enough on my plate, I must discern what is appropriate (and what is not) to get emotionally involved with. Leave other people’s problems with ‘other people’.

'Not my circus, not my monkeys'~ a mantra when twisted up over things that are not your problem Click To Tweet

Next: I will explore the idea of anxiety disorder being brought on, or exacerbated by chronic illness, as well as some chronic illnesses being caused by anxiety disorder.

Used with Gemma Correll’s permission

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Anxiety Disorder Caused By Chronic Illness? 3 Helpful Steps To Managing Your Anxiety ~ Exploring Anxiety Part 3 of 3
'Self-Care' Sunday ~ 1/15/2017

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6 Comments

  • Reply Anna January 17 at 12:05 pm

    This is how I feel everyday. Somehow it is nice to read that it isn’t just me who experiences these anxious feelings and actions. Right down to the twisting of rings and taping fingers on fingers. No one ever wants to talk about it outloud so everyone who does have anxiety disorder feels closed off and isolated, and that is such a problem. Thank you for these posts!

    • Reply kristine January 17 at 5:31 pm

      I completely agree Anna. It just helps knowing that there are others experiencing the same struggles. Thanks for leaving a comment, have a fantastic week! 🙂

  • Reply Dianna January 18 at 4:51 am

    I am always worrying about things that end up never coming to pass! Always! Thank you for sharing the balanced thoughts to help with this type of thinking. “Not my circus, not my monkeys”…love it! I need that discernment to realize when I have enough on my plate. Thanks so much, Kristine, for these posts on anxiety disorder.
    Dianna recently posted…Smile – It’s Wednesday! 🙂My Profile

    • Reply kristine January 18 at 5:55 pm

      Absolutely Dianna! You and me both sister! 😉 Have a great one!

  • Reply Nikki January 23 at 7:33 pm

    I am excited to see what you have to say about chronic illness caused by anxiety. That’s me. I’ve always been worried about everything, how everyone feels, if they are mad etc. For the most part I have limited my exposure to those who I know love me and have my best interests at heart, my anxiety is much less.

    I have always had anxiety, but it got worse when the “worst” happened, so when I tell myself that I’m blowing things out of proportion I am reminded that really bad stuff can happen. Then my anxiety is out of control. Lots of praying and breathing gets me through, but I hate it when I want to scratch my skin off to let the anxiety out, I don’t do it, but that’s the only way I can explain it.
    Nikki recently posted…Best of 2016 – Top Viewed Posts of the Year.My Profile

    • Reply kristine January 24 at 9:20 am

      Yep, I completely understand that Nikki. It is hard to reconcile the ‘don’t be anxious for anything’ the fact that terrible things ‘can’ happen. You’re absolutely right, only trusting God with all of it is the answer.♥

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