When you can learn to balance your thoughts, you will begin to slowly reduce the intensity of anxiety over time.
If you suffer from anxiety like I do, it’s very likely you’ve experienced this exact scenario: a minor inconvenience suddenly develops into a full blown catastrophe, and before you know it, it feels like you have lost total control.
The mind is unbelievably good at conjuring up all kinds of stories that can often leave us dwelling on them for hours. I myself have spent many hours thinking of the worst case scenario of an event or events that are unlikely to ever occur.
This is what anxiety mostly is. The fear of something that hasn’t happened, and in all likelihood probably won’t.
IT’S NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK IT IS
We’ve conditioned ourselves to prepare for the worst case scenario because we think it will make us more prepared. In reality, it causes us unnecessary stress in the long term.
Suddenly a build up of worst case scenarios begin to fuel the flames of our already burning anxiety, which often leads to it getting out of control and leaves us to try and fight the flames by our brains going into overdrive.
RELATED POST: SHIFTING YOUR THINKING WHEN ANXIETY STRIKES
So how do we stop that from happening? We train ourselves to stop thinking of the worst possible outcome. Easier said than done, I know.
A solution to this is to balance our thoughts. Take an unwanted thought and try and think of a more reasonable thought to challenge it.
An example of mine would be “my heart rate is up I’m going to have a panic attack” and I could balance that with “my heart rate is up because I have been active.”
LEARN TO BALANCE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH THIS SIMPLE EXERCISE
It takes a while to get the hang of it, and for me it works better if you write down your thoughts and balance them that way. There’s something about putting thoughts down in writing that seems to cement them in your mind.
Much like all exercises related to anxiety, this will not work instantly. It takes time and patience to really get the benefits of doing this exercise. If you stay with it though, you will slowly begin to see results as well as lessen the intensity of your anxiety over time.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing distress you can reach out to Beyond Blue: Beyond Blue’s support line is available 24/7.
Lifeline: For crisis support, Lifeline provides a 24/7 line, as well as online resources on a range of issues.