Anxiety - whew, it can really become an endless drain. Perhaps there are thoughts that are driving this feeling? There is something called the ABC’s of anxiety, which is a technique in cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) that challenges the way that you think and cope with worries and stressors. First take a moment to step back from your own experience of anxiety and think about how you perceive it. Your thoughts and feelings are not always fact; they’re your perception. Sometimes what we think about ourselves, about others about the world is misleading and make our anxieties worse. Do any of the beliefs that you have sound like this:
This always happens to me
I’ll never get this right
I deserve this to happen
It always ends out in the worst way
I’m never going to get better
Thinking patterns like this are pretty unhelpful and cause us to think very narrowly about a situation, event or person. One way to put your feelings and thoughts about yourself, about others, about the world is to look only at the facts. A good way to begin to pull apart your anxious feelings to identify – is this my perspective that is leading me to feel anxious? Or is this really fact?
Alarm – what you’re perceiving as the stressor; a situation, or person
Belief – the thoughts you have about that situation, or stressor
Coping – how you deal
Alarm – Going out to a birthday party, I feel nervous, sweating, my mind is busy with worry, I want to leave as soon as possible, if I even get there – I don’t want to go
Belief – people are looking at me and thinking that (insert negative thought about what others are thinking here)
Coping – I’m quiet, sit alone and leave early
Can you think of a situation in your own life using the example I provided as a guide?