Three calming questions to ask yourself when you’re feeling worried or anxious
by Susie Moore / © 2018, Greatist.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Worry suddenly washes over me sometimes, and I find it hard to explain to other people. I worry about my mom getting sick. I worry that I’m spending too much. I worry that I’ve hurt someone’s feelings or that I’ve done something wrong if a friend doesn’t text me back.
My friend Charlotte told me she worries that whenever her husband is late, [she thinks] he’s been in an accident. My former boss told me she pretends she’s sick to avoid public speaking because she’s lost her breath on stage before and loses sleep if she has to talk in front of a group.
So when worry and anxiety bubble up in your chest, first, know that you’re not alone. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 18 percent of Americans are affected by anxiety. That’s almost 1 in 5! It’s more common than you think.
And although anxiety comes in many forms (from incessant worrying to more severe panic attacks), when I experience it personally, I’ve learned that asking myself certain questions can help calm me down. They’re not a perfect solution, but in times of worry, this inner probing has helped. And oftentimes, even just a little relief from panic feels good. (Please note: These suggestions are more for those with fleeting worries as opposed to true anxiety disorders. If you’re experiencing the latter, you should speak with a medical professional.)
1. Is this really a threat?
In life, accidents do happen, yes. But most of the time, we worry about things that are very unlikely to go wrong. What is it that is making you worried? How possible is it really? Truly think about that for a second. Allow the practical nature of your question to help ground you.
Our overactive minds can make common situations seem far worse than they actually are.
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