If at any time you had to fight against anxiety, it is likely that your mind was bombarded by a series of anxious thoughts that you could not control. These thoughts generate even more anxiety, generally because they amplify the concerns taking them to catastrophic limits.
The problem is that, until those anxious thoughts go around your mind, you will feel overwhelmed and confused, so you will not be able to think clearly. It is as if you lived in a storm without the possibility of glimpsing when calm will come back again.
In fact, the anxious mind is more likely to distort reality, in large part because of those intrusive thoughts. This mechanism leads to a vicious circle because you will put into practice maladaptive coping mechanisms that generate more problems than they solve. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to anxious thoughts that indicate that we are oversizing the problem.
The anxious thoughts that generate even more anxiety
- Fear of being wrong. One of Murphy’s famous laws says: “Everything that can fail, will fail”. However, living every minute of the day thinking that something can go wrong is simply exhausting and stressful. One thing is to prepare for setbacks and another completely different to envision failures at every step we take, because that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In the long period, it will end up generating a level of anxiety that will really affect our performance.
- Fear that something bad is about to happen. Fear does not always come from our actions, it can also be generated from the unpredictability of circumstances. This anxious thought will put you in constant tension making you think of all the possible and even impossible dangers, including those to which could exposed the people you love the most. That will make you live in a state of anxiety and constant expectation, as if you were constantly waiting for the next bad news.
- Forget something important. One of the most recurrent anxious thoughts is to believe that you have forgotten something important. It is the result of a process of constant scrutiny, not only inward but also outward. The days of tension you will ask yourself a thousand times if you have closed the refrigerator, turned off the light or past the key of the lock. In turn, that will trigger catastrophic thoughts such as: “what would happen if…?” Sometimes the tension generated by these anxious thoughts is so great that you can not overcome the impulse to control several times, to make sure you have not forgotten something important.
- Fear of not being able to control the future. Anxiety is inextricably linked to uncertainty, so it is not surprising that many of the anxious thoughts revolve around the inability to control what could happen in the coming days, weeks or even years. The anxiety about the future is simply terrible because, unless you learn to flow with life, you can not do anything else.
- Fear that the loved ones are upset with you. “Why do they take so long to respond to my message? Will they be angry with me? Maybe I bothered them”. This is one of the most common anxious thoughts, intimately linked with the feeling of guilt. The anxious person often also blames himself excessively, bears all the responsibility of the world on his shoulders and worries too much about the consequences of his actions, moving quickly from the real world to the fantasy world of dramatic consequences that he has created in his mind.
- Fear of social judgment. “Are you laughing at me?” Often the anxious person suffers also from social anxiety, he may feel uncomfortable in social situations in which he feels valued or judged. As a result, he adopts a hypervigilant and a little egocentric attitude, taking note of everything that the others do from a self-referential perspective.
- Stay trapped. A common anxious thought refers to the fear of being trapped. As soon as the anxious person sets foot in the elevator, he imagines that he could be trapped. The same thing happens if he has to go to a meeting or an appointment, immediately thinks he might get stuck in traffic. That fear arises from the fear that something holds him back and takes him away control over the environment.
- Think you can get sick any moment. We all worry about getting sick, but anxious people turn anxiety dizziness into a brain tumor. Anxiety and fear leads them to worry excessively, so they always imagine the worst possible scenarios.
- Fight against time. Time runs faster when we feel anxious. Therefore, it is normal for anxiety to make us fear that we will not have enough time to face all the tasks that lie ahead or that we will be late for an important appointment. This feeling of fighting against time, which inevitably runs, generates even more anxiety and makes us make mistakes that delay us even more.
- Feeling anxious about being anxious. The greatest anxiety usually comes from anxiety itself, from that tendency to constantly scrutinize inside ourselves. Many people wonder why they feel anxious if they have no apparent reasons for it. The prospect of responding with anxiety or that it may appear at any time, generates even more anxiety, which closes a vicious circle.