Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today comes to us from Kelly in New Orleans. How can I overcome obsessive anxiety thoughts?
One of the symptoms of anxiety is having racing or obsessive thoughts, so having obsessive thoughts means having either intrusive thoughts or thoughts that continue despite efforts to stop. Everyone experiences times when they feel anxious; however, having anxiety that involves obsessive thoughts can interfere with daily functioning. Now there are a few ways to stop obsessive anxious thoughts.
First, write down your thoughts. Using a daily journal can help to sort out continual thoughts. In your journal, write them all down and write down your solutions. Try to come up with at least one to five possible solutions. Some anxiety comes with feeling powerless, so identifying the problem and a potential solution can really help a person to feel more in control. Every time you have an obsessive thought, do this exercise. Review your journal weekly and identify situations where you were successful in your plan.
Second, identify if your plan is something that can be started immediately. For example, if you wake up at two in the morning with anxiety about a bill, there’s nothing that can be accomplished at that time. In this example, nothing can be done about the bill until the office or bank opens at 9 a.m., so telling yourself “I can’t do anything now, but I can do it tomorrow at 9 a.m.” can again give a sense of power and help to deescalate your anxiety. Keep repeating that it will be managed later and that it will be okay. This self-talk can be really helpful in emotionally and physically calming your anxiety.
For more tips on overcoming obsessive thoughts, visit AnxietyBoss.com. There’s also an anxiety test that you can take on their website to see if you’re perhaps experiencing too much anxiety.