We currently live in a stress -filled age. Stress is everywhere. Lives are moving faster, and stress seems to be on the increase. Human beings can only take so much stress before it boils over into anxiety.
Are you constantly turning over issues, thinking about the future, picking over the past, constantly analysing, worrying, or ‘nit-picking’ about what did happen or might happen? This can be exhausting and unproductive.
If you are suffering with anxiety, you may often ask ‘What if?’ ‘What if it rains and I get wet?’ ‘What if I say something stupid?’. This is largely based on fear of the unknown, of taking risks, and feeling unprepared or unable to deal with the unseen.
Or do you say ‘If only…’ ‘If only we had got up earlier, we wouldn’t have been delayed’ or ‘If only I hadn’t said that’, ‘If only I hadn’t eaten that cake, I wouldn’t have put on weight’. This anxiety is around regret often disguising anger and resentment.
Or do you have the mindset of ‘should have, could have, would have’. This is about what you should have done, what could have been and what would have happened. This is the worst kind of negative mindset, as it is a way of beating yourself up for the past, the present and the future.
This mindset takes up a huge amount of energy and can become obsessive, we worry away, trying to rewrite history. ‘I should have got up early, and then we could have caught the train ….it has ruined the whole day. Should have, could have, would have can also be a way of blaming other people. Either way it usually wipes out positive thinking as you constantly try and change the past and the future without living in the present.
An anxiety mindset can be common if you grew up with anxious parents/carers, have experienced a lot of trauma in your life or have had some bad experience with receiving any support. Or you just maybe made that way. You can end up using a lot of valuable energy worrying about things before they actually happen – which can be exhausting.
The good news is that it is just a bad habit which can be given up, you can learn to conquer it if you want to. The key is to learn to catch yourself when you start off on a path of anxiety.
Consider whether you are a ‘What if’, ‘If only’ or ‘Should have, could have, would have’ type? Or maybe you are all three. Next time you start thinking like this, take notice, don’t beat yourself up, just be aware of when you do it. Catch yourself and gently correct yourself. Gradually you can learn to nip it in the bud and stay calm before it escalates out of control.
It is all about unlearning a bad habit and replacing it with something new.
If you feel you need help with transforming your anxiety mindset and want to find out more about the work I do, I would love to support you, you can call me on 07974 682525 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to chat.