How to Deal with Unwanted Anxious Thoughts

People who experience a high level of anxiety on a regular basis, and those who suffer from frequent panic attacks, often struggle with dealing with unwanted anxious thoughts. These thoughts are typically based on a particular place, situation or thing, and may include worrying about one’s health, fear that a loved one is in trouble, or other fears that limit the person’s ability to make rational decisions.

Unwanted anxious thoughts, sometimes know as intrusive thoughts, can become intrusive to the point that they lead to obsessive compulsive disorder or other disturbances that take away from the person’s quality of life. However, there are several things a person who is dealing with unwanted anxious thoughts can do to curtail the problem. talk more about dealing with this side effect of anxiety in my book Panic Away.

In order to take control over the cycle of anxious thoughts, it’s important to take a two-pronged approach. This involves making a big shift in your attitude, and using certain visualization tools that will help you ‘see’ a positive outcome.

A shift in attitude means you need to accept that the anxiety is there, and then ‘release’ it from your mind. If you focus closely on a certain thought or idea, you’ll see that it connects to a similar thought and you probably jump from one thought to another over the course of the day. If you continually find yourself coming back to a certain negative thought, you need to accept that it’s there until you become desensitized to it.

Your emotional reaction to the thought is literally what is making the thought appear in your mind time and time again. When you can maintain a ‘neutral’ attitude towards it, it will simply disappear from view.

There are several visualization tools you can use to end unwanted anxious thoughts, and one of them involves positive imagery coupled with deep breathing. You can ground yourself and stop the cycle of anxious thoughts completely simply by breathing deeply and enjoying the feeling of safety and security for a few moments.

6 replies on “How to Deal with Unwanted Anxious Thoughts

  • Stressless06

    Most anxieties are result of stress due to traumatic experiences that one person would be able to conquer if he/she is willing to do it. Sometimes it takes a great involvement of one’s self in looking for the right approach to address the problem and be able to continue a normal life.

  • Anna

    Thanks for this informative blog.

    With general anxiety and worrying thoughts I find they fly into your head so quickly and confusingly, its just a good start to know a technique that stops the chaos in your mind.

    Thanks again for all the great information.

  • Nici Wasserfall

    Thanks for all the info. I want to believe it but there is a problem behind my problem of anxiety. When I’m stressed I stop breathing in my sleep. It was so distressing waking up, gasping for breath, that now I’m too scared to allow myself to fall asleep. As soon as my breathing settles and slows down as I fall asleep, the panic attack comes because I’m scared I might stop breathing. During the day when I take a nap (with the TV on) I fall asleep without too much effort, although there is still some fear. Some nights I would fall asleep peacefully but lately the panic became worse. I got divorced recently with many, many emotional and other problems in tow. During my marriage I had the odd moment when I would wake up gasping but not often enough to become fearfull of falling asleep. I am so very tired, sitting here writing this note to you. I’ve been through the whole shabang, petit malls, phagophobia (scared to swallow because my throat tightened up and I could’nt get food down – ended up in hospital on a feeding drip). Since my divorce, this has now subsided, now it’s this damn fear of falling asleep! Please, is there hope for me. I do not have the resources to see a doctor. Regards, Nici.

  • denise

    hi i have just been reading about drinking water for anxiety does it help when you carry water with you when you are out , and does it help if you drink less cofee
    many thanks

  • resa

    hello! =) i’m at the job currently, thus i do not have very much time to write… nonetheless! I really liked reading through this post. It was a bunch of excellent stuff. many thanks! All the best, resa

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