Living with an anxiety or panic disorder or feeling temporarily stressed out will definitely drain your energy, sometimes to the extent you can't get dressed in the morning. According to the American Psychological Association, anxiety is "emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure." If left untreated, anxiety can be life-threatening. It can also be the root cause of or the factor that worsens other medical conditions. Many people will see a physician for treatment of anxiety, but they will also turn to professional counseling to manage their thoughts and emotions on a regular basis. For some patients, anxiety will become a lifelong struggle. For other patients, there will be a tendency to experience anxiety's symptoms whenever life gets stressful.
What's Making You Anxious?
For anxious people, it's hard to eliminate the daily triggers, or what makes them feel uneasy, and/or to stay away from one or two powerful triggers. Consider the person who is afraid to leave home. He or she must face the visual reminders of that enormous and overpowering fear every day because the house is both a prison and a safe zone. One known trigger of anxiety that many people face is a negative voice inside their head. On some days, negative self-talk can become the thing you concentrate on most throughout the day. If you can change negative self-talk or silence it, you will feel less anxious. You can also trust a counselor like Mary Shull to help you address other issues and triggers that produce feelings of anxiety.
Negative Self-Talk is Never Good
Everyone has a voice inside them. It's a constant inner dialogue that you hear whenever you're awake. Sometimes, your inner voice talks to you or helps you resolve issues during periods of sleep. What's certain is that you can more easily remember the dialogue that occurs when you're conscious. However, this inner voice can take the form of a critic that puts you down, makes you feel bad, or holds you back from having good experiences. If you want to live life to the fullest, you must use positive thoughts to motivate yourself.
Examples of Negative Self-Talk
The sky is the limit in terms of how people might criticize themselves or set themselves up to fail. Below, we offer some common examples that you can turn into positive statements, basically by motivating yourself with the opposite statement:
- I am not good enough to get that job.
- Nobody loves me.
- I am never going to find a partner.
- My kids are so disappointed in me.
- I have no friends.
- I am fat.
- I need a drink. I need to forget about what a horrible day I had.
- I shouldn't talk to him (or her). We would have nothing to talk about.
- I can't make more money. I just have to accept the lifestyle that I can achieve on my present income.
Try Positive Self-Talk
It's really not a good idea to spend too much time alone if you're going to allow negative self-talk to dominate your consciousness. You can work with a counselor in therapy for anxiety to learn strategies for positive self-talk. You can also look for third-party sources of positive talk to listen to and to repeat (i.e. meditations including self-affirmation) throughout the day. Train your mind to project that you will have a good day. Tell yourself that you are lovable, talented, and able to contribute something positive to others. Spend your day focusing on achieving specific goals. This makes the time go by and redirects your focus from negative thoughts. While it could take a hundred attempts to stop negative thoughts from holding you back, when you get it right, the resulting positive self-concept will be worth it.
For more information on managing negative self-talk through better daily habits and counseling, I encourage you to send me a message; I'm here to help.