Anxious thoughts

Anxious thoughts can be a problem when self-reflection gets out of hand and becomes negative rumination.

As a health professional I accept that the Mental Health Foundation place this issue as a cause of anxiety and depression.

In 2013 the University of Liverpool published a study that  said that rumination (a word for constant repetitive thinking or dwelling that comes from the action in cows of chewing the cud) far from being a player in the most common mental health issues, is the largest predictor.

So what does this mean for us? It means that when we dwell on things, not only do our thoughts tend to spiral downwards but that can lead us to poor mental health.

This will come as no surprise to therapists, but the extent may. Most therapists see the link between persistent negative thought and self-blame and anxiety and depression, but as a causative factor?

It also means that psychological issues can lead to problems at a mental health level. Replaying thoughts over and over again makes us sad and anxious.

There is also evidence that rumination is at play in OCD and eating disorders, in fact anywhere our negative thoughts are stuck on repeat, we find the potential for problems.

So… what can we do about it?

Well firstly, we can learn to relax. Relaxation is often the key in early therapy to opening up the space into which the client can grow and change can be made.

Think about the amount of time that anxious thoughts or worried thoughts take up, or as some say, the amount of space they rent in your head. With all that time and energy freed up, what would you be able to do?

After that, we can look at the sense of threat that generally underpins anxiety, often being able to identify that threat can help us move forward to explore it and perhaps re-frame it or find ways to cope with it.

Please don’t think that anxious thoughts, constant thought repetition or rumination are something that you have to ‘put up with’ or suffer. If you need help to overcome these patterns, then please reach out to a professional.



Fearing Anxiety

Fearing Anxiety comes from how we shape reality. Our focus determines our reality, change the focus and as a result, change the reality.

You see,  your fear can  distort your reality. When we focus on avoiding uncertainty, we skew our logic, taking anything over dreaded uncertainty.

The good news is that you can create your reality.

Fearing anxiety makes the things you dread seem like things you know. We assume rather than reasoning.

As therapists, one word we use for this is ‘Awfulising’.

Fearing anxiety changes uncertainty from possibility to threat. The fear of fear works its way deep inside and prevents us from critical balanced thinking, often when we need that ability most. It blurs our ability to think rationally with emotion, The Chimp in our minds is in charge.

Fear can also make you inactive when there is an opportune moment, becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This is a fictional version of the world born of and bred by fear, but it isn’t always the reality.

Confronting fearing anxiety behaviour within ourselves is key to relief from it and here are some useful tools:

Identifying assumptions  helps, what is real and what is assumed on the basis of the fear?

When is the poisoned parrot on your shoulder feeds negativity into your ears, silence it.

Are you rationalising? justifying? projecting beliefs onto unrelated situations, or simply making excuses?

Do you notice yourself jumping to conclusions while stuck in those familiar shortcuts to them?

Are you seeing fiction as truth?

Are you thankful for what you do have, or struggling because you’re counting curses rather than blessings? Can you identify the difference between your strengths and your weaknesses, and can you live with your weaknesses?

Can you let go of your pain or are you identified by yourself (or others) due to it?

Are you building your own reality from guesses and maybe untruths, or your fears?

Most importantly, what are you missing out on?

Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy aren’t magic wands, they’re spades, hard work in therapy challenges the above.

You as client do a job and so does the therapist, if the therapeutic relationship is strong then results are best when the right therapist, right client and right time coincide.

Using the questions above, and with professional focused help, you can identify the negative patterns in your thinking and begin work to check them out, perhaps challenge them…

… and maybe change them.