In the meantime, here’s some tips that will help you to manage your anxiety.
Have you ever had what-if thoughts, or worry, across different situations in your life pop into your mind?
What if I get a negative work appraisal?
What if I’m made redundant?
What if my partner leaves me?
What if I get really sick?
What if my child gets bullied at school?
Most of us have had these thoughts pass through our minds at one point or another, but when you experience an anxiety disorder, these thoughts can become a major and overwhelming part of your life.
What-if thoughts, or worry, are generally adaptive as part of our thinking processes and help us to make decisions or take action. However, it can become problematic when we get stuck in a negative thought spiral that leads us to think of all the worst case scenarios. This is also known as catastrophic thinking.
Such thinking patterns can start to cause significant distress or impairment in daily functioning or relationships.
Three easy ways to manage your anxiety
When you become aware that you’re spiralling into negative thoughts try these strategies to help you feel more in control of your body and mind.
Focusing on your breath can slow down your breathing rhythm, which tends to become fast and shallow when you are overcome with a lot of anxiety. A simple exercise is to count to 5 as you breathe in and out. Repeat 5-8 times.
2. Grounding exercise.
Excessive worry tends to be future-oriented. You can do a grounding exercise to help you stay in the present. To do this, bring your attention to five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.
3. Practice self-care.
Be kind to yourself. Look after yourself by eating well, being active, and being connected with nature, loved ones, or your hobbies.
Help is there if you need it
If you’re struggling and think you might have an anxiety disorder, talking to a psychologist is a great next step. Seeking counselling for your anxiety can help you to identify triggers, come up with an intervention to alleviate your symptoms, and improve your overall well being.
For appointments, please phone (08) 6424 8177.
Divyah is a Counselling Psychology Registrar and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society.
Divyah cultivates a strong therapeutic alliance with her clients. Her warm and compassionate manner allows for the creation of a safe space which sets the foundations for therapy.
Book your appointment by calling the number below, or find out more about Divyah here.