If you’re someone who deals with anxiety on a daily basis, at any level, you’re arguably aware of how frustrating, debilitating, and stressful its influence can be. It’s sort of like hearing a constant nagging voice in the back of your mind that causes you to feel doubt and insecurity about anything and everything, so if you don’t struggle with anxiety, you can imagine how irritating it can be.
Because so many of us deal with anxiety at all different levels, I thought it might be useful to discuss how to challenge anxious thoughts. I attended a 12-week course last summer that focused on understanding how anxiety works in order to oppose it, and being enrolled in this program proved to be beneficial for me, personally.
One key thing when it comes to challenging anxious thoughts is to refrain from letting them win. I know, much easier said than done, but the significance of this statement reigns true. Anxiety is a very manipulative form of mental illness, therefore choosing to ignore the thoughts it presents and forcing ourselves not to give into them is a very effective means of controlling its influence over us.
Another important aspect of challenging anxiety is the ability to think rationally and reasonably. For me, a lot of my anxiety-ridden thoughts are associated with self-doubt, for example, whether or not I did something properly, like closing a door. My anxiety tells me to go back and triple check that I did, in fact, close the door, but recalling the act of doing it in my head helps me resist the temptation to go back and check again. Being realistic and logical is a highly effective defence against anxious thoughts.
There isn’t a guaranteed method of challenging anxiety for anyone, but there are strategies we can try to implement that may prove to be useful.