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Anxious Thinking

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Alicia Divico

Licensed Mental Health Counselor specializing in addiction therapy

How to avoid Anxious thinking
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Anxious ThinkingWe tell ourselves a lot of stories even within a day. We often believe that our stories are true, and generally we really want to believe that our stories are true. In fact there are times that we as humans have gone to great lengths to prove that our stories are true, searching for evidence in illogical ways, being obnoxious about proving our point, etc. Unfortunately reality is that it doesn’t matter if we are right a lot of times. What matters is if our stories/thoughts are helpful or not, and we have to be willing to let go of stories that aren’t helpful for our own sanity.

I recently heard a speaker say that in order to be a success with this we have to be able to let go of being “right” and/or being a victim. I had never thought of holding on to my story as being a victim, but I can see that in some ways there is overlap. For example, if I am convinced that my partner is going to cheat, and I spend of a lot of time worrying and obsessing over this line of thinking, I stay a victim. Or if I think friends are pulling away from me or being rude on purpose, I am choosing to believe that I am the victim, because the TRUTH is, I don’t really know!

I remember a professor saying that we are really poor judges of what’s going on with other people in general anyway. We make assessments and interpret people’s behaviors and words, but ultimately, we don’t know exactly what is going on unless we ask. And even then, people may not be able to tell their truth well. Sometimes people don’t fully understand themselves. Other times people just aren’t truthful about what’s really going on. These are more reasons why our obsession with what is right is pointless!

Now this isn’t to say that we shouldn’t pay attention to warning signs within relationships or gut instincts that kick up. What this is saying is that A. We are often wrong in our stories, and to stay healthy, we must be able to consider that possibility, B. Obsessing over things and telling ourselves negative stories is not HELPFUL to us so when we find ourselves doing that, we need to be able to manage that. One way of managing it is to consider that our first thought may be wrong. If we want to next level this technique, we can then check in with our other brains. Allow me to explain…
We have similar neurological patterns around our brains, our HEART and our GUT! This blew my mind a bit, so I started paying more attention. As it turns out, I can tell the difference now between my anxiety created by negative thoughts, my gut, and my heart. My gut is most often right, but there have been times I had to follow my heart for the best results as well. It’s a different way of checking in with ourselves, and it’s effective! If you are a person who already questions yourself about whether or not your story is right, this is a great tool to help develop confidence in decision making.

So there we have it, relative truth and ultimately double and triple checking in with ourselves- two tools that can help relieve anxious thinking.

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