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  • Writer's pictureAmy Salgado

For When You Feel Anxious: A Practical Guide

When you're feeling anxious, it can be helpful to ask yourself specific questions to understand your anxiety better and manage it effectively. Here are some questions to consider:

  1. What Is the Source of My Anxiety? Identify the specific event, thought, or situation that is causing your anxiety. Understanding the source can help you address it more directly.

  2. Is My Anxiety Based on Facts or Assumptions? Distinguish between facts and assumptions in the situation causing anxiety. Sometimes, anxiety is rooted in irrational beliefs or fears.

  3. What Physical Sensations Am I Experiencing? Pay attention to the physical sensations associated with your anxiety, such as increased heart rate, shallow breathing, or muscle tension. Recognizing these symptoms can help you manage them.

  4. What Thoughts Are Fueling My Anxiety? Identify the specific thoughts or beliefs that are contributing to your anxiety. Are they realistic, or are they distorted by catastrophic thinking?

  5. Is My Anxiety Proportional to the Situation? Evaluate whether your level of anxiety is proportionate to the actual risk or importance of the situation. Sometimes, anxiety can be disproportionate.

  6. What Can I Do to Ground Myself in the Present Moment? Explore grounding techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or mindfulness, to help you stay present and reduce anxiety.

  7. Have I Successfully Managed Anxiety in the Past? Reflect on times when you've effectively managed anxiety. What strategies did you use, and can you apply them now?

  8. Am I Engaging in Catastrophic Thinking? Ask yourself if you are engaging in catastrophic thinking, imagining the worst possible outcome. Challenge these thoughts with more rational perspectives.

  9. Can I Reframe My Anxiety as Excitement? Consider reframing your anxiety as excitement or anticipation, especially if the situation involves a new opportunity or challenge.

  10. Am I Taking Care of My Physical and Emotional Well-Being? Consider whether you are practicing self-care, including getting enough rest, eating well, and engaging in activities that promote your emotional well-being.

  11. What Coping Strategies Can I Use Right Now? Identify healthy coping strategies that work for you, such as relaxation exercises, journaling, or talking to a friend.

  12. Is There a Support System I Can Turn to? Reach out to friends, family, or a therapist for support and a listening ear. Sharing your feelings can provide comfort and perspective.

  13. Do I Need More Help? Assess whether your anxiety is persistent, overwhelming, or interfering significantly with your daily life. Seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor may be beneficial.


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