“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.”
If you are truly a happy person, I think there is a good chance you have paid attention to your your thoughts to help you feel this way. You have done some work so that anxiety and negative thinking (even pain) does not get the best if you. If you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, hopeless, frustrated or angry, this may be a clue as to how negative thinking causes anxiety.
A placebo is a good example. How is it that a simple pill with no medication can make some people feel better just because they thought it would?
What will you do with your thought?
You have the ability to think any thought. Then it’s up to you to decide what you will do with that thought. If you say to yourself, “I’m trying my best, eventually I will get this!” You will feel hopeful. If you say, “This is impossible, I’ll never feel better.” This could ruin your day- your week- month- year, depending on what your situation is.
You can feel good
If you are a negative thinker and you often feel frustrated, angry, anxious, or depressed, you have the ability to change your thinking. Negative thinking can also cause pain in your body. When you have anxiety, it doesn’t seem possible to actually feel good most the time. But it is.
You make stuff up
How other people act will annoy you, because you expect them to treat you in a certain way. Or you may have done some mind reading and made up thoughts in your head about what you “thought” they were thinking.
This could ruin your day or your week too, because you make up your own story about what you think happened.
An example: Someone is not answering your phone call. You automatically get upset and make up a reason why she isn’t answering.
Other negative things you say to yourself:
- What if they think I’m crazy?
- What if I am crazy?
- I can’t handle this.
- I can’t be alone.
- What if I never feel better?
More negative things that cause you to worry or make you mad:
- What he said
- What I said or did
- The weather
- What she did
- My health
You can spend hours spend ruining your day, versus saying to yourself, “It’s no big deal, I just have anxiety. I deserve to feel happy”.
You can change your life by changing the way you think.
Whatever you experience really doesn’t have a positive or negative value. You are the one who gives it the value.
Example: It’s raining
- Negative thought: “Great, another ruined day.”
- Positive thought: “I can’t do a darn thing to change the weather. I won’t melt. I actually love the rain.”
Example: Your new car is stuck in a ditch and you are standing in mud
Negative thought: “Well that’s just great. My shoes are ruined. My day is ruined. I don’t want to %&$#?@! pay for this! Now what?” (This bothers you all day/week).
Positive thought: I’m standing in the %&$#?@! mud! (I can’t not swear in this situation ) My car is stuck, and I’m not going anywhere until I do something. What is my plan?” I’ll call AAA first (without the negative attitude).
There’s that familiar saying, “It is what it is.”
You get into trouble when you are not happy with “what is”
Because you are trying to change something “that is.”
Your negative thinking is out of control
Instead of thinking like you are helpless, or hopeless, try seeing the anxiety (negative thinking) as a wake up call. Your pessimistic attitude has worked its way up to an anxiety disorder. This is your opportunity to do something!
20 years ago I was an overly sensitive person who was a negative thinker and a worrier. When the worrying turned into generalized anxiety disorder, I knew I had to do something. The anxiety forced me to change my attitude. My 3 sons were young, I ran a home daycare, and was working towards a second degree in Education. No wonder my anxiety got worse.
Cognitive behavioral therapy taught me how to stop worrying and change my attitude. This was the most important skill I learned to counter how negative thinking causes anxiety.
I lacked assertiveness, self esteem, and obsessed about getting cancer. I remember watching my boys at the soccer field and that adorable way they run in packs around the ball. Consumed with awful, helpless, worry instead of enjoying the moment – I was afraid they would be without their mommy. The thoughts I made up about getting sick were not true. I had to learn how to change my bad habit of thinking.
Good things come from doing the work
I did the work to change my negative thinking. It takes some time and you have to be willing to do it. I learned a lot about myself and I changed my life.
The alternative was to always have anxiety disorder, and that was not going to happen.
I learned and practiced the life skills that I needed to overcome the disorder.
Don’t get comfortable being uncomfortable
Think of the anxiety disorder as hitting rock bottom, or the straw that broke the camel’s back. Here you are. What are you going to do about it? You’re extremely uncomfortable because of your negative thinking.
Don’t settle for uncomfortable .
Millions of people have overcome anxiety with cognitive behavioral therapy.
“It’s easy to be heavy and hard to be light”.
It takes some work to be happy. It’s easier to not do the work because it can be scary. What if you do the work and you don’t get better? We always follow up the “what if” with a negative thought. “What if” I do the work and I DO get better? If you choose not to, the result might be more stress, anxiety, depression, or pain. This is how negative thinking causes anxiety.
If you learn how to pay attention to your thoughts, you can change them into thoughts that are true, and will make you feel better. This concept is so simple, yet it took me some time to believe it. I looked at many other solutions to this problem to the point where it was preventing me from getting better. Over – intellectualizing what was causing my anxiety kept me stuck. After circling back to the beginning, I decided to believe that it was my own negative thinking.
What false thought do you make up and believe?