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Just wanted to come on and share my story and how I try and deal with my own anxiety. My anxiety stemmed from having emetaphobia when I was younger which made me scared of being sick infront of people and thus made me anxious all the time. I no longer have emetaphobia but I do have anxiety. I have always carried on with my day and not let my anxiety take control of my life but since December it has been absoloutely constant. I was given Propanolol to calm the symptoms down and it helped but it didn't mentally help me so whenever it wore off I was back to square one. So I came off the meds and I went to therapy.
I am only half way through my sessions but I have learned so much already.
It is true that your imagine will 99% of the time win over fact in your anxious situation (it's called coues law). So when you are in a situation that you are anxious, what makes you anxious in the first place is you imagining the worst possible thing that could happen to you in that situation. For us, it tends to be anxiousness itself. What I mean is you wake up and think about anxiety, you go about your day and think about anxiety, you go to bed and think about anxiety, so your imagination is winning over fact. The fact of the matter is, you don't need to be anxious, what is there to be anxious about? Whenever you are anxious, ask yourself why you are anxious and most of the time it will be you imagining your fears, so hit it back in the face with the facts! You probably fear a lot of things when anxious, e.g. passing out, feeling sick, not eating, not sleeping, but all these things happen becuase you imagine them not happening so tell yourself the facts - you can do all these things because really theres no reason for you not to be doing these things. The big fact is that you make yourself anxious!
I have good days and bad days myself, but what has really helped me is measuring up the facts when I am anxious, counteracting all the negative thoughts in my head with positive (literally every little negative thing, I say something positive), and writing a positive list of things I achieved that day at night and reading it regularly.
It is so important that you remind yourself that you are a powerful person, and that you have the ability to control your anxiety when you are feeling powerless. It's about telling yourself "I can do this", "I am in control", "I am powerful" and BELIEVING IT.
There is always light at the end of the tunnel, but you have to walk to the end of the tunnel to see it.
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