It’s easy to believe that everything you feel is life threatening when you are an anxiety sufferer. A racing heart is seen as a sign of a heart attack. A headache becomes a brain tumour, numbness becomes a stroke, a stomach ache becomes cancer and so forth. No matter how many times your doctor tells you that there is nothing wrong with you, you may never be quite convinced. All the thoughts you are having are a result of a tired mind. Your mind is tired of trying to protect you from what is not happening. When your mind is tired, it grasps every thought that comes into your awareness, pulling it in and creating something out of nothing.
It’s hard to control your thoughts when you are suffering from anxiety. These thoughts seem to come at any time and without any warning. The harder you try to control them, the worse it gets. One of the strategies that helped me when I was suffering from anxiety was not to fight these thoughts, but to question them. I realized I was trying too hard to get rid of all my unwanted thoughts and these thoughts were not going anywhere. So I decided to change my strategy. Instead of resisting these thoughts, I started welcoming them. But most importantly, I also started questioning these thoughts. When you question your thoughts, you realize these thoughts have nothing to offer.
Here is an example. A scary thought comes into your awareness: “What if there is something else wrong with me, like a brain tumor or mental illness?” Instead of getting worked up by this thought, question it. Say to the thought, “Who are you, and what proof do you have to support your argument?” What’s the worst thing that could happen? When you get into the habit of questioning your thoughts logically, you will realize that most of your worries are completely unfounded and what you are afraid of is not going to happen.
About Tawanda Chirenda
Tawanda Chirenda is an anxiety-transformation and resilience-building coach, speaker and founder of The Willing Student Method, a program that helps individuals overcome anxiety, build resilience and live a happier, more purpose-filled life as a result. Although Tawanda is now a resilience-building coach, he came to it the long, hard way, through many years of struggling with anxiety, failure, and helplessness. At the age of 25, Tawanda was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder that drastically affected his normal functioning and everyday life. Through a willingness to learn, grow and change, Tawanda was able to successfully recover from this condition and regain his healthy and productive life. Tawanda has been fully recovered for more than 7 years now and he is a much stronger person than before. You can connect with Tawanda on Twitter and Facebook or visit his website, www.thewillingstudent.com, to learn more about his work.