The fearful, stressed state known as anxiety can be triggered by our thoughts and emotional reactions to events, as well as by food, environment, and medications. It takes the form of emotional and physical tension, fearful thoughts, and often, avoidance of life situations. However, anxiety is not an all-or-nothing condition; there are different types, activated by different conditions.
Stress hormones, which contribute to anxiety, can be triggered by how your body reacts to inflammatory substances such as alcohol, sugar, or caffeine. Hormonal and blood sugar imbalances may also affect this feeling.
Getting stuck in the “but what if” cycle of thoughts can generate feelings of worry and stress. Fearing outcomes that may or may not happen creates self-generating anxiety, as your stress has no viable outlet. Many turn to distraction or addictive substances to dull the feelings of fear, yet these create their own burdens of anxiety.
When you do not have healthy outlets or tools to deal with life’s uncertainties, anxiety can build on itself, making you hyper-aware and fearful of such feelings happening again.
There are many ways to learn to prevent anxious thoughts. Begin with living in as healthy a way as possible, with moderate exercise, a nutritious diet, and regular inward reflection like prayer or meditation.
You can create deliberate relaxation practices to be used when you notice you feel anxious or fearful such as progressive muscle relaxation or deep belly breathing. You can write down your successes, rewarding yourself for each time you prevent anxious thoughts. A review of these successes allows you to focus on what is going right, rather than continual thoughts of what is (or may be) going wrong. Another helpful process to take you out of anxious thoughts is to also create a list of gratitude statements.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the forms of psychotherapy that is very useful in helping you to work through your own anxiety triggers and live a more balanced life. Soul Wisdom Therapy can help you learn to create solutions to the “what if” scenario, and allow you to accept life’s changes with peace. Read more about it here.