Anxious Thoughts – Hypnotherapy Vlog
If you struggle with anxiety, then those anxious thoughts can take over your thinking. There are all those worst case scenarios and ‘what if’ thoughts that can take over your mind. And the more anxious you feel, the more those anxious thoughts are there, which then leads to even more anxious feelings. In this video I talk about anxious thoughts and some ways to start tackling them that will help you handle things better and cope better in your thoughts and feelings.
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Hello, it’s Dan here. I hope you’re good today. Now today I just wanted to say a few words around anxious thoughts and anxious thinking because if you’re struggling with anxiety right now you will know that your mind very quickly, very easily, very vividly can come up with worst case scenarios, and what if this negative or bad thing happens. And when you start thinking in that way, it leads to you feeling even more anxious, even more of those thoughts, and your mind can very easily start going down that path of this thing is likely to happen, this worst case that will lead to even more negative stuff happening, even worse, even worse, even worse, and often ending in destitution, or death, or losing your job, or losing your family, and all those kind of things that are very far removed from reality and what’s actually going on right now.
And lose track, anxiety will mean that you lose track of the fact that whether this thing you’re even thinking, this worst case, is probable or likely, or whether there’s any evidence for it, very easily then all those thoughts fill your mind, and you just feel worse and worse. And if your brain only has an option of one thing to think about, that worst case, it will run with it, and will go this will mean this and this will mean this.
So, for example, with coronavirus, it could be things around what if I’m made redundant, that will mean I can’t afford to pay the bills, which will mean that I’ll lose my house, and I’ll lose my family and so on. Or, what if I catch corona and I’m infected in that way, that could mean death, and illness, and suffering and, again, impacts on you and your family and your employment and paying the bills and all that kind of thing.
And it’s the same in any arena with anxiety, whether it’s public speaking, or fears, worries, what might happen, social stuff, the brain comes up with that anxious worst case, that what if this thing happens, and runs with it and the whole time that loop of anxious thoughts, anxious feelings are just getting stronger and stronger, and you’ll feel worse and worse and it starts to impact on your mental health and how you feel and the kind of stuff you’re doing and your well-being each and every day.
So, certainly, we want to do something about that because, like I say, if it’s an option of one your brain will run with it, so one thing I’ve talked about before is, if there’s a worst case, then deliberately start to come up with, alright, what would be the best case, because these things are in the future, they haven’t happened yet, so the worst case and the best case are as equally likely, or as unlikely, so already you’re getting your brain to start to dilute that anxious stuff.
And if there’s a worst case and a best case, there are many options in between, probably as many as you want to think about that could happen. A slightly less bad case, a slightly better case, a brilliant case, a neutral case, something where not a lot happens. A whole range of stuff that you can kind of project and imagine and come up with about what might happen into the future. And even by doing that, you start to dilute some of that stuff and stop your brain focusing on that one thing and treating it like a thing simply because you thought it. So, by doing that, already diluting the anxiety, diluting those kind of thoughts, and undermining it inside of your mind.
And you could do other stuff, ask what evidence is there for this, how likely is this, how probable is this stuff, would other people be thinking this about this, would a scientist think this, would a doctor think this, would my best friend think this. What are the facts here and what is the stuff I’m just projecting and perceiving and conjuring up, even making up inside of my mind because I feel anxious. Again, dilute all that stuff.
But, certainly, another thing that I often suggest to my clients to think around is to move away from that ‘what if’ thinking, ‘what if’ thinking tends to be very passive, like this bad thing is just going to happen, I’m just going to walk into it and suffer the consequences and there’s nothing I can do around it. What if I’m made redundant, for example, is a common one right now in terms of the stuff I’m helping people with. But there are still things you can do around it even if that was to happen, and you didn’t want that to happen. There’s plenty you can be doing in the meantime, you don’t have to just wait until you are made redundant then kind of go ‘Oh now I’m redundant what happens’ and start thinking ahead to potential negative consequences, you can retrain on stuff, you can set up on your own, you can look for other jobs, you can work on skills, there’s a whole range of stuff that can be done around something like that.
Or other anxious stuff, public speaking or social anxiety, you don’t have to just go into that situation and just suffer which is what anxiety will lead you to perceive. You can do breathing exercises, you can rehearse stuff, you can practise stuff, you can develop skills at doing these things, you can get better at doing it, you can treat it like your kind of benchmark, that you’ll kind of do other stuff and learn and improve and get better at doing that stuff.
So, with anything that’s coming up there are steps you can take, things you can do, you can look after your health, you can take action, you can do stuff, you can be proactive in terms of your life whatever that initial worst case anxious thing is inside of your mind. Like I say, already you can have diluted it by going worst case, best case, other options, so that already your brain can’t just fixate on one thing and run with it, and strengthen that negative association. Already you can challenge it, undermine it, maybe dispute it a bit by looking at the facts, the evidence, and what actually is going on here but, certainly, I would move away from that ‘what if’ thinking and move more to ‘if then’ kind of thinking.
So rather than ‘what if’ and conjuring stuff, it’s very open-ended and, like I say, you kind of have that sensation with the anxiety, like you’re just going to walk into it, and suffer, and struggle, and negative consequences are just going to happen, sometimes we forget in our anxiety that there’s plenty of action you can take, stuff you can do, things you can apply, skills, learning, self-help, breathing techniques, taking action, promoting stuff, learning stuff, whatever that thing is, if you move to that ‘if then’ then it makes you much more in control of your thoughts, feelings and how you respond to stuff. So, rather than what if this happens, I will suffer, there will be negative consequences, it’s alright if this thing happens, and already it may or may not, it may be probable, it may be possible even, it may be none of those things. It may just be anxiety conjuring it up, it may just be uncertainty, it may just be the current climate with the pandemic going on right now that leads to that kind of stuff, because none of us are quite sure how things are going to play out.
But, certainly, if you use that if then, if this thing happens, then I will do this. You have that resilience, you have that capability to take action. It’s not just that one thing, ….. anxiety will lead you to kind of very narrowly focus on that thing. There are other aspects of life that may be going well, or resources, or people, or things, skills, knowledge, places, times, things you can call upon along that journey. And sometimes we forget that with ‘what if’ and worst case scenario thinking. And that anxiety kind of clouds that stuff, but there are other aspects in life, other things that can happen, other steps you can take, things you can apply. So, if that happens, then what will you do about it. You don’t have to just walk into it like walking into a brick wall and going ‘Ow’ and suffering. If this is going to happen, then this is what I can do now, this is what I can do at the time, this is what I will do after, so it becomes very kind of action-orientated, very pro-active about putting things in place and recognising that this one thing, it’s one thing, there are other things that can happen, other things going on, other things you can do in terms of taking charge of your life in the situation that will lead to feeling calmer, more resilient and more capable of handling that stuff.
#So do remember that, that even if this stuff is going on, even if you’re anxious about a particular thing, start thinking about the steps you can take both now, during that thing potentially, and afterwards, so that if this happens then you will do stuff around it and you’ll get better at being you, and you’ll find yourself more in control, feeling calmer, feeling more confident, feeling better about stuff, and making progress along this journey of life.
So certainly put those things into place, worst case, best case, other options, dilute in your mind, give your brain more and more options, more choices of what might happen to undermine and dilute that stuff. Dispute that stuff, hold it up to scrutiny, that original worst case, that ‘what if’ thought, what evidence, what facts, have I been wrong, have I ever thought this stuff before, it’s very common with anxiety, have I ever been wrong, have I ever thought that this could be really bad, or I’m going to feel anxious, or people will judge me, or bad stuff or negative stuff is going to happen that’s left me feeling anxious, only to find it didn’t happen. If you’ve been struggling with anxiety, then that will have happened many times, so again start to remind yourself of that, because again it kind of drifts out of our awareness and we forget about it because we’re so focused on the next thing that we might feel anxious around.
And keep in mind that even if this thing happens, then there are steps you can take. Things that will mitigate it potentially, things that will alleviate it, things that will change it, things that will mean it doesn’t kind of unfold in the way you were originally perceiving that put you, like I say, more in control, feeling calmer, feeling happier, feeling better. So do put those things into place, start challenging that stuff, start diluting it, start twisting that thinking from ‘what if’ to ‘if then’ and I think you’ll find it makes a massive difference to the kind of stuff going through your mind, how you feel about stuff that might happen, like I say, it may not, depending on the thing, it may take anxiety away completely, and you just find yourself calm and confident about stuff, it may mean that it just doesn’t come to your mind, it may calm down those feelings, it may just mitigate some of that stuff, and allow you to deal with that thing better. But certainly it puts you more and more in control of the kind of stuff you’re thinking, the kind of steps you’re taking around it and how you’re choosing to show up in your life. So do put those into place, do take care of yourself, and do take steps to deal with anxious thoughts rather than just letting them run and run and run, and do look after yourself and I will speak to you very soon. You take care now.
16 November 2020
Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket
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