Anxiety can affect everyone in different ways. Personally, when my anxiety hits full-on, I get absolutely bombarded with anxious thoughts.
- “ You’re not good enough”
- “(Person) doesn’t like you anymore”
- “Everyones just putting up with you”
- “You can’t do that!”
Ring any bells?
When I eventually got fed up with these types of thoughts, I decided to have Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
CBT works by changing people’s attitudes and their behaviour by focusing on the thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes that are held (a person’s cognitive processes) and how these processes relate to the way a person behaves, as a way of dealing with emotional problems.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy trained my brain to argue with and fight these thoughts. I was given many worksheets every week so write down how I will target each thought that I get. It is a very clever process. Although, I know it doesn’t work for some as much as others.
Anyway, today, I will be sharing all of the methods that I personally use to quiet my anxious thoughts. It is not an easy thing to do so I hope to help many people in the process.
Challenge Your Anxious Thoughts
Never just accept them. As difficult as it is, you can’t just brush them aside and think “that’s probably right”.
Don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself, believing that it’s impossible for you to do something. This is never the case! Anything is possible if you work hard and put your mind to it.
In order to challenge these thoughts, you need to start writing them down. Next to your thought, write down all of the many reasons why this anxious thought could be or is WRONG.
Yes, I am telling you to have a full-on argument with your brain. But, it really does work wonders.
Eventually, your anxiety will just give up and let you live your life how you want! Sounds amazing, right?!
Keep Focused On The Present
Anxious thoughts are usually caused by something that has happened in the past or fear of something that may happen in the future.
Therefore, you must try to keep your mind in the now. Think about how you are feeling about the situation at that very moment? Block out any thoughts of the past or future. How do you feel about it now?
Always remember. The past will not necessarily repeat itself so there is no need to worry.
Also, you can easily turn anything bad that has happened into a positive and learn from it. Do not run from it!
I know I sound very much like Rafiki from the Lion King at the moment but it’s very true.
Face Your Anxious Thoughts Head-On
Pinpoint what makes you anxious. Then, get out there and face it!
Whether its something big or small, at least try. This will help to prove your brain wrong and quiet those anxious thoughts as much as possible.
A few years ago, I was told that I wasn’t cut out for retail. Fast forward a few years and I’m still retail and a Supervisor. This is no longer one of my many anxious thoughts because I proved it wrong completely.
Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Drinking too much caffeine can cause you to become jittery and anxious. This will allow those anxious thoughts to slip through at an even faster rate. You won’t be able to keep up with them. I’ve been there.
Yes, it wakes you up but if you already suffer from anxiety, its really not worth it in the end.
If you love yourself some coffee, just make sure you are keeping track of how much you are drinking. Cut down if you feel that it’s necessary and could benefit you.
Start A Gratitude Journal
Starting a gratitude journal is an amazing way to quiet anxious thoughts.
Having one of these journals inspires you to achieve a mixture of great things that you can write about. Also, only being able to write about good things happening in your life will make your brain realise that things are not as bad as they seem.
This will help when training your brain to think more positively. Thinking about why you should be grateful every single day is an amazing way of doing this. Eventually, you won’t even have to think about it and your mind will think of it on auto-pilot. No anxious thoughts will appear at all.
There are so many brilliant gratitude journal prompts that you can use out there if you don’t know how to get started. Simply search some up on Pinterest and have a look through.
Do Some Colouring
Yes, I am from the UK if you are wondering why I spelt colouring in that way.
Anyway, colouring is absolutely amazing. I have many colouring books and I honestly can’t get enough of them.
It is a great mindfulness exercise which will start to calm you and therefore stop your anxious thoughts almost immediately. Especially the more detailed adult colouring books in which you really need to concentrate. Unless you don’t care about colouring outside of the lines!
Sometimes, you just need to shut off from the world. Shut off from your mind and colour in a few pretty pictures. Simple as that.
Talk To A Good Friend About Your Anxious Thought
Lastly, all you need to do is talk to a friend (or a family member). Tell them about your thought, and how it came about. Tell them how you are feeling. Tell them everything.
Sometimes, you just need a little bit of support and someone else to tell you “Hey, that is far from true”. Getting a second opinion from someone you love dearly and trust is an amazing way to quiet those thoughts. Oh, and there is nothing better than knowing you have support from your loved ones when dealing with anxiety or any form of mental health issue.
You will realise how silly you were being very quickly. Trust me.
If you don’t feel like you can talk to a friend or family member then talk to someone. Especially if you get overloaded with anxious thoughts. Talk to a doctor, a therapist, a colleague. Absolutely anyone.
You can even tell your pet just to get it out in the open. They won’t have much to say about it though!
Anyway, this is where I will love you and leave you. I really hope that these tips will help you in some way, shape or form the next time you come face to face with anxious thoughts.
How do you fight them? Or how do you prevent anxious thoughts from popping through in the first place? I would absolutely love to know your tactics.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ruth is a 23 year old and living in the South West of England. She works full-time in retail but also owns a blog called ColourfulHope. This is where she writes about topics that are very close to her heart. Such as; Mental Health, Personal Development, Self Care and Self Love. Her main aim ever since she started blogging was to help inspire others struggling and prove to them that it does get better. She inspires to give them the hope that they are longing for.