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How to Fight Back Against Anxiety Thoughts

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Anxiety thoughts are horrible. They can make you feel like you are silently trapped inside your own head. Nobody can hear you but yourself. Anxiety thoughts are your mind overreacting. To overcome the thoughts, you need to take care of the anxiety.

As a person living with anxiety, I understand how it can make you feel. It’s the constant worrying about different stuff, or getting the same nasty thought over and over. I’ve had anxiety since I was a child, which I think started with not wanting to go to school. Some anxieties can be triggered from childhood.

Since having my own children, my anxiety got worse and turned into obsessions, especially worrying about something bad happening to them. One of the triggers was something I saw on the news. I find comfort in knowing that worrying about them means I love them so much. Other triggers I have can change from one thing to another, even things people do not think twice about. I can worry about so many different things, such as things I’ve said to people, past mistakes, or made up scenarios. The list can go on and on!

So, we all know anxiety can ruin your day and follow you around. It’s so tiring for your mind and body, you can’t enjoy your life properly. The scary thoughts are your worst fears. Over the years, I have picked up some tips on how to overcome anxiety thoughts and make them feel less threatening.

1. Label the thoughts as anxiety. They are caused by anxiety and stress.

2. You are not your thoughts. Everyone gets thousands of thoughts each day and most of them mean nothing, even the scary ones.

3. Do not try and push the thoughts away — it will only make it worse and they will come back stronger each time, or even attract more thoughts. Accept the thoughts as anxiety and rubbish in your head.

4. Accept that the thoughts are there. Accepting the thoughts does not mean you agree with them; it means you aren’t giving them attention.

5. Say to yourself, “I have this anxiety feeling, but I don’t need to act on it. I need to accept it is there but it doesn’t need to make me miserable.

6. Watch the thoughts as clouds passing in the sky. This will feel uncomfortable at first, but the more you don’t give into the thoughts, the more chance of them not affecting you badly. Watch them and continue on what you are doing in your day. Do not question the thoughts or interact with the thoughts even though it is very tempting. Once you realize the reaction to your thoughts is the problem and not the thoughts themselves, they won’t spike your anxiety.

7. Do you know what triggers your thoughts? Maybe it’s a certain food, person you know or certain events. Keep a dairy of what foods you eat or a time when you notice the thoughts getting worse.

8. Get creative. Some say worrying and anxiety can be a lack of doing something creative. Get busy by doing something — it will help your self-esteem and the anxious thoughts in the long run.

9. Exercise helps keep your mind busy and gives you a positive feeling.

10. Most importantly, rest and eating well can help a lot. Deep breathing exercises help and having some quiet time to yourself by being mindful can help you feel less cluttered in your head.

I hope this has helped you. It’s a process that will have its ups and downs. I am still learning and I hope to be (nearly) completely free of anxiety one day.

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Thinkstock photo via finwal

Originally published: October 5, 2017
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