This is the 12th in a series of blogs, using answers to pass Mental Health qualifications. This short blog helps describe how different ways of thinking and behaving affect anxiety.
This blog follows on from how anxiety has an effect on people. The next blog will give some ideas and suggestions about how to manage Anxiety.
What happens in a cycle of negative thinking.
A cycle of negative thinking can be quite easy to slip into, if a persons’ thoughts are not adequately controlled, and the cycle be extremely difficult to break.
In my experience, one thought at a time needs to be worked upon, as trying to work on them all, can also cause overwhelm and stress.
The cycle of negative thinking can be described as the person thinking ‘what if ..?’ but with no positive answers to the question.
The only way I can describe this is using an example of someone I know, who had moved to a new area after a divorce. The divorce had obviously, and clearly, caused some upset and trauma and so the person was already suffering some form of depression and low self-esteem, reducing their confidence. They knew the only way to meet people was to go out, potentially to be involved in clubs and community events but the negative cycle can be along the lines of:
“What if no-one talks to me?” and “What if, if someone talks to me, I cannot communicate well with them?”
The negative thought cycle has started.
The person may go to a club or event but find it difficult to start communicating with a stranger, or when they do, the other person does not reciprocate the communication. Instead of thinking they may just have been the worse person to try and communicate with (perhaps for their own concerns) the person will think that everyone will be like that towards them, so they must have done something wrong or being unable to be liked (clearly forgetting they have friends in the old area they lived in).
The negative thoughts can continue to the point of thinking that there is no point in trying to be part of the community, reducing their own self-esteem and confidence. This can cause the person to consider themselves as useless, pointless and unworthy to the point where they see no point in trying.
Being able to see the good in anything becomes depressed and life becomes harder to face.
Taking this into account, we can see how it could prevent a person from moving forward and taking on new challenges in life. Specific memories can become attached to certain emotions; a feeling of sadness can be associated with a past relationship breakup, which makes any attempt at a new relationship to be linked with negative thoughts from the beginning.
How an individual’s personality and positive outlook on life could help or hinder anxiety.
Having a positive mind-set means your positive thoughts can overpower the negatives ones, changing the self-talk from ‘what if it goes wrong’ to ‘what if it goes right’. With enough practise, it is harder for the negative thoughts to enter the sub-conscious and conscious minds.
Tracey of PlumEssence Therapies and Training is a qualified stress management consultant, mental health first aider, hypnotherapist and body work therapist focusing on helping reduce and alleviate concerns connected to both physical and emotional pain. Tracey is also a teacher and trainer, delivering workshops and accredited mental health courses.
Tracey is available for a no-obligation chat to see how we could work together on 01889 808388 or [email protected]