Someone shared some thoughts on anxiety with me recently. This person suffers from it too, and their counselor gave them some interesting advice. The counselor said anxiety is a direct result of negative thinking. I thought that was very interesting, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made.
We all know I'm an "over-thinker". I think way too much. The more my thoughts race, the more hysterical and distorted they become. The more distorted they become, the more anxious I get. So it makes perfect sense. Constantly thinking of the worst case scenario (something I do all day long) is indeed negative thinking, and certainly does lead to anxiety.
So how do you turn it off? Unless I have the help of alcohol or benzodiazepines, my mind simply doesn't stop racing. The counselor suggested focusing on positive or neutral thoughts. A lovely idea, but not easy to do. I'll couple that with the idea Kate gave of focusing on one thing every time your thoughts go sour. I rub my left forearm very softly with my right hand.
So if anyone sees me wandering the streets, stroking my arm and singing a tender song under my breath, please know that inside my head there is probably a swirling vortex of fear, anxiety, and distorted thoughts, all just fighting for my full attention!
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