This afternoon I have had a strange thought. What if I were to visualize all the times I have been anxious about something (like in a bar graph) and compare that with the number of occasions that something that I was anxious about really occurred.
I have not done this exercise before, but I would guess every day I have an anxiety bar graph of at least a 5 or 6 or 7 or an 8 on a scale of one to ten (ten being the worst). I would also bet that there is a one in fifty chance that something I was/am concerned about will present itself as a reality. And that reality if it presents would probably be a one or a two on that same scale from one to ten.
By choosing to create a numeric or visual graph of my anxiety, I am not trying to minimize the anxiety I experience at all, because it can be quite debilitating. What I am trying to do is give myself a visual of how severe the anxiety is as contrasted with whether that anxiety I experience is ever tied with an actual anxiety-premeditated outcome.
I guess you could say I am trying to rationalize my anxiety and put it into perspective in terms of how often the incident I am worried about actually occurs. I hope the result will be that I am able to talk down myself from a high anxiety event by recalling how many times my anxiety is NOT tied with an actual stress induced event. Ie. I would like to keep myself honest as to what percent of the time that I am worried actually results in a prior perceived stress event.
Just out of curiosity, what techniques do you use to talk yourself out of anxiety? Is that working for you? What else is important to consider in trying to mitigate your anxious feelings?
3 thoughts on “I Wonder”
That sounds very cognitive behavioural therapy-ish, using real-world evidence to recognize that what your head is predicting is an overestimation compared to what really happens.
Not sure I know enough about cognitive behavioral therapy to comment. But my therapist is always suggesting that I talk myself out of my anxiety. Knowing and recognizing that anxiety is my go-to emotion, even though in reality most everything I am anxious about never happens. Thankfully.
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