Anxiety Support

46,174 members46,614 posts





People with anxiety tend to think of the worst possible thing that can happen, so that they can prepare for that event if it SHOULD happen. However, this type of thinking can cause a lot of unnecessary stress, and usually, the awful thing they’ve conjured up in their minds doesn’t happen anyway. Constantly worrying about perceived or real threats means you’ll probably avoid those things with all your power, but in the process, your mind suffers greatly.

The solution: Mental health expert Alicia Boyes says, “I use suddenly feeling overwhelmed as a cue to hunt for thinking errors. If ever feel overwhelmed by an email, I tell myself, ‘There’s a ninety percent chance my reaction is just my good old anxiety brain, and that the request will seem easy when I look at it with fresh eyes tomorrow.’ I’ve had enough experiences of this alternative thought being true, to believe it!”


People with anxiety, particularly those with social anxiety, have a very real fear of what people think. This translates into them either being people-pleasers, or taking extreme measures to avoid contact with people to sidestep any negative interactions. At its core, anxiety causes the sufferer to think of the worst case scenario at all times, which means the person will attempt to avoid the perceived threat, therefore, avoiding the anxiety.

However, modern life requires us to face certain obstacles daily, such as dealing with people, that might trigger an anxiety response. Unfortunately, many people with anxiety are very hard on themselves, and constantly second-guess their own work.

The solution: Alicia says “If the occasional reaction or feedback I get is negative, it’s not the end of the world and is typically something I can learn from. I also remind myself that when something I’ve done wrong is pointed out, it’s usually fixable rather than a catastrophe.”


In other words, second-guessing themselves. Anxiety makes one think and rethink about what was said, what was done, what wasn’t said or done, and plays in a loop in one’s mind until it drives a person crazy. Self-doubt easily takes over, especially when faced with a big work project or anything where a person’s abilities are put on display.

The solution: Remember to use self-compassion and self-love, and keep in mind that you’re doing the best you can. Don’t be so hard on yourself, because everyone else in the same boat, just trying to survive and do what they can to stay afloat. Make sure to intercept any negative thinking by using positive self-talk such as: “You’re awesome, and I think you’re doing a great job! You’re stronger and more capable than you think.”


Basically, this means you think and rethink of every possible route you could take and every outcome that could result from taking those routes but never end up making a decision. You just sit and ruminate, which paralyzes you from taking any action. This can result in missed opportunities and only increases self-doubt because you can’t trust yourself to move forward with life.

The solution: While there isn’t a clear-cut answer to this problem, we can offer a couple pieces of advice. For starters, write down all the options you have for the problem at hand, and then write down the pros and cons for taking any of those paths. Then, you can start narrowing it down once you have a visual right in front of you. Another way to combat analysis paralysis might be to just try out a few of the outcomes first-hand, before even writing them down. If you don’t like something, you don’t have to continue doing it, but at least you can say you tried it out!

2 Replies

This is very true. Especially number 1. I am always thinking the worst case scenario. I have been this way since a kid. Dont know what brought that pessimistic personality in me. And now with anxiety, its works out for the worst being a pessimist and having anxiety. Becuase every feeling, every thought keeps me trapped and I can't focus. Yes i definitely have a wild catastrophic imagination that works against me.

What you write is very interesting, acc-stressed, but may I suggest in your point one it's really the other way round.

Thinking the worst case scenario in every situation isn't the cause of our anxiety, our anxiety is the cause of us thinking the worst case scenario. Big difference.

Anxiety disorder whether general, health or social is the result of our nervous systems becoming over sensitised due to us experiencing a period of worry, over-work or excessive stress.

Once our nerves are sensitised every normal concern becones magnified ten fold. Small concerns easily solved appear to be huge unsolvable problems. Small muscular aches become cancer or heart disease. The slight worry of losing our job become obsessive. And the normal concern not to die before our time becomes a fear of impending death.

After having physical symptoms checked by a doctor who then tells us 'nothing wrong' we must constantly remind ourselves that all our symptoms are caused by anxiety disorder, they are not real organic illness.

So there's little point in trying to cure ourself of these fake illnesses because you can't cure yourself of an illness you don't have no matter how hard you try.

I suggest that our time is better spent healing ourselves of the cause of our symptoms, which is anxiety/over-sensitised nerves, rather than these fake symptoms which never show up on scans or in blood tests because they are tricks that our nervous systems are playing on us.

The way to recover from over-sensitised nerves is to break the vicious circle of symptoms causing fear causing more nervous sensitisation causing more symptoms causing more fear and so on. We need to lose our fear, and our fear of fear, and so stop bombarding our over wrought nervous systems with constant fear hormone.

We achieve this by refusing to fight our anxiety symptoms (fighting only causes more tension and stress) and accepting for the time being all the bad feelings and symptoms of anxiety calmly and with the minimum of fear. This givrs our nervous system a chance to recover since we are no longer subjecting it to constant fear hormones. Acceptance is the key to recovery but that's another story.

You may also like...