A doctor asked me if I have an anxious mind. When I hesitated, he told me what he meant. He asked if I woke up in the middle of the night and then couldn’t fall back to sleep, did I become extremely nervous about some things, or did I have panic attacks.
An anxious mind is focused on what could go wrong and is always thinking about what ifs. It can distort how we think as we become threat-focused, finding problems instead of solutions. An anxious mind overestimates danger and underestimates our ability to handle it.
Anxiety can be tough on our body as well as our minds. When we become anxious, adrenaline and cortisol rise. Our body goes into flight or fight to protect us from danger.
An anxious mind can struggle with social situations, searching for relief by trying to obtain reassurances from others that everything will be all right. We can interpret ambiguous events as negative. An anxious mind may misinterpret a comment to mean that others do not like that person.
If you are wired to worry, there are a few things you can try to alleviate the anxiety. Here are a few ideas.
Admit you are anxious
Once the problem is identified, you can look at it logically and eliminate the future possibilities and replace them with the present reality.
Calm your body
If you can calm your body, you can calm your mind. Find a quiet place and practice rhythmic breathing. Exercise also helps. I know when I am worried, a long run soothes me. You can also practice something called soothing imagery. This is when you visualize a soothing picture in your mind and focus on the sense of peace you feel.
Writing down your thoughts and worries will help you sort them out.
Instead of worrying about what is going to happen in the future, focus on what is going on now.
I know these are small steps, but I hope it is a start for you to control anxiety so that it does not control you.