How naive was I to think that anxiety just caused me to worry constantly.
I really did think, )years before my recovery journey) that anxiety only caused constant worry. Not regular worry like forgetting something off of your grocery list, but major worry. Many times about things that were highly unlikely to happen. I would worry about romantic relationship problems, when I was not even in a relationship. Or another example would be to worry about a conflict that had not happened. I thought about what the conversation would sound like with the other person, and then on top of all of that, I would be upset by the outcome of the imaginary conflict. I just came up with scenario after scenario and over and over I would worry so much about things that were not even a problem.
Now, I do have quite an imagination, but these thoughts were always unpleasant and I ended up upsetting myself after having these thoughts. There was a time when the harder I thought the more upset I would get and I would display physical symptoms because of this. I would feel nauseous, have headaches and things like that. It was pretty out of control. Little did I know that for all of those years I was ruminating. According to Psychology Today ruminating is “simply repetitively going over a thought or problem without completion. The repetition and feelings of inadequacy raises anxiety and anxiety interferes with solving the problem.” In other words, I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Ruminating is exhausting.
I was caught in a loop of stress and anxiety and would focus on the negative, instead of the positive. I say it all of the time and I am going to say it again. Maintaining a mental illness is a lifestyle change. One of the major lifestyle changes is mindset which is so important. When we change our thoughts, we train our brains to look for the positive as well as seek out solutions.
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