Everyone with anxiety or panic experiences those great days or nights where you don’t feel anxious at all. As I am writing this article, I find that my anxiety is non-existent – not at its lowest but gone. So, I decided, in my anxiety journal, to write down what I am not thinking – this way, I can identify what is irrational thinking when I am next anxious over the coming weeks. I have never done this before but have found it a very insightful experience.
So, what did I discover? Well, here are my findings:
- As mentioned in my first article “How to Stop Anxiety,” while it is important to recognise the reason why you have anxiety to understand it better, it is irrational to constantly think about why you have it; this is a form of compulsive thinking that supplements the anxiety itself because every-time you feel anxious, you will think about why you have it; confusing the two leads to two-fold anxious thinking.
- Most irrational thinking comes from reflections on your anxiety itself. When your thoughts are being taken away with anxiety, you think about the anxiety itself rather than the anxiety causing you to think anxious thoughts – this external “third person” pattern or thinking about the thing causing you to think again worsens the anxiety.
- Current insecurities or questions about yourself are exacerbated by the anxiety – so issues orbiting around self such as appearance or personality are inflated by anxiety which makes them appear worse than they are or adds edge to them. These issues are not regarded when you stop thinking anxiously.
- Over-analysis takes form when you are anxiously thinking – this can involve deepening confusion over your own productivity or anything which involves judgement such as ability – this relates to school or work / relationships. While it is normal to fear these things outside of anxious thinking, they take pattern on a daily-basis inside it.
- Thinking of yourself in a negative and deprecating fashion can also take form inside anxious thinking. A sense of guilt can also take form irrationally during this period.
While this article was more about a comparison help. You can view my other material on how to stop anxious thinking straight away by viewing the CBT page here.
I hope this helps provide some grounding when you want to clear out the clutter that anxiety leaves in your thought patterns.