Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

New Beginnings with Gayla – Anxiety Series Part 7: Obsessive and 'What If' Thoughts

newbeginnings 300KENTUCKY (12/8/12) – As stated in my last article about panic attacks, according to MedicineNet, over 60 million people will suffer with anxiety at one point in their life. Over four million people experience generalized anxiety each year. Panic attacks can start as early as 15 years of age.
 
Most people who know me and/or have been reading my column knows that I was one of the 60 million. I struggled with anxiety daily for 18 years. Within the next several weeks, I want to share with you about my life with anxiety and the road I took to find myself again. I feel it necessary to share my story, especially due to the staggering numbers of people who are suffering with this in silence. My hope is to help others just like myself, people who are drowning in worry daily.
 
I know that change and trying something new can be very scary. If your anxiety gets worse while reading these articles – it is normal and okay. Just feel the fear and do it anyway. The techniques I am sharing with you in these articles are the same techniques I used to overcome my anxiety. They work – if you work. Remember, what are you really gaining from staying where you are? Picture yourself how you would like to be – the person you can be without the anxiety. Write a description of him or her down and read it regularly. Let that be your motivation for change. Let it motivate you to feel the fear and do it anyway. I believe in you! If I can do it, so can you!
 
Obsessive thinking - there is no way to have anxiety without dealing with worrisome thoughts that play over and over again in your mind, like a broken record. Like I said earlier, I would go to bed, wake up in the middle of the night and then get up in the morning with the same thoughts dwelling in my mind.
 
I learned that obsessive thoughts were really my minds way of distracting itself from something I didn’t want to deal with. It was my mind’s way of preoccupying itself. Obsessive thinking is also a way to try to control a situation. We believe if we can think of every possible scenario then maybe we can control the outcome.

The next time you start having these nagging, racing thoughts that play over and over again in your mind, I want you to ask yourself this question:
 
“What is it that I’m trying to avoid here?”

Then listen for the answer.
 
I learned the key to gaining control of my thoughts was not to let them spiral out of control. This is what happens when we don’t literally stop the thought the moment it starts. It takes time to get used to this, but it will happen, and I feel it is so worth the time and effort. Practice makes perfect.
 
The “what if” thought - what if I lose control? What if I can’t do this correctly? What if they don’t like me? Here’s a thought - what if you don’t lose control? What if you do this correctly? I learned to turn the “what if” thought around to its opposite. We always have a choice. We can choose to look at the possible negative outcome or the possible positive outcome of any given situation. It’s just as easy to choose to look for the positive rather than the negative.
 
Another helpful technique I learned in counteracting “what if” thoughts is to look at what the worst possible outcome is to every situation and then accepting it. In doing this you can even go a step further, look at the best possible outcome, and every time your mind wants to scare itself with the worst possible outcome, look at what you may lose out on with the best possible outcome.*
 
To give you an example of how this works, there was a lady that I read about in a book that lived in Europe. She decided that she wasn’t happy where she was and wanted to move to Canada. Of course, she started having all these “what if” thoughts – what if I fail? She looked at the worst case scenario – she’d move to Canada and couldn’t make ends meet. Well, if this happened she could always move back home. Then she flipped it and looked at the best case scenario – she’d move to Canada, get a job she loved, make new friends, start a new life and create a family for herself there. She chose to concentrate on the best case scenario (besides it was far more appealing than the worst case scenario). She eventually moved to Canada and never regretted it! Again we always have a choice, why not choose to look for the silver lining? What can we really lose?
 
When I suffered with anxiety, my “what if” thoughts were very crippling. Now looking back, I realize that those “what if” thoughts rarely, if ever, happened. I also realize that they kept me from enjoying some rare opportunities that were given me. I regret this deeply. I believe that the things in life we regret are not the things we tried and didn’t turn out the way we had hoped – but the things we never tried at all. We regret things we never tried because of fear – anxiety and worry are fear based. The time has come to stop hiding from life experiences and start living them.
 
My next article will be about a technique I learned that was vital to my recovery.
 
Gayla
www.newlifebeginnings.us
 
If you are interested in learning more about the program that helped my anxiety go to: https://store.midwestcenter.com/takeyourlifeback
 
DISCLAIMER: This article is meant to support your overall well-being. This article is not meant to replace professional healthcare. I (Gayla Miller) am not a psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, therapist, social worker or any other trained health professional. When you try the techniques outlined in these articles, you understand all of the above and you are participating by your own free will.
 
*This works if what you are dealing with isn’t a very big catastrophic situation.
 
 
SurfKY News Disclaimer - Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

In Other News...

Bend Gate Hosts Leader in Me Parent Night

HENDERSON, Ky. (9/23/14) — Bend Gate Elementary is a recipient of a grant from the 'I Am a Leader Foundation,' and is… Read More

City of Nortonville Special Called Meeting Sept. 23

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (9/22/14) — The City of Nortonville will hold a special called meeting scheduled at 6 p.m. Tuesday… Read More
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

September 19, 2014 4874

Madisonville Man Among Three Arrested for…

in Top Stories by Muhlenberg Sheriff Curtis McGehee
September 20, 2014 3752

Large Cache of Drugs, Cash, Gun Seized;…

in Top Stories by MCSO PIO Alex Piper
September 19, 2014 2888

Five Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision at…

in Top Stories by MPD Officer Russell Nichols
September 22, 2014 2670

Medical Emergency Ends in Drug Arrest at…

in News by Madisonville Police Department
September 19, 2014 2565

Focus on Hopkins County: Crossfire

in News by Focus on Hopkins County

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

September 19, 2014 2888

Five Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision at…

in Top Stories by MPD Officer Russell Nichols
September 22, 2014 1938

Man Arrested for Slashing Tires

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 22, 2014 1705

Man Strikes Tree, Arrested for DUI,…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 19, 2014 1528

My Kentucky Roads - Twin Maples Farm in…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
September 20, 2014 1223

Teams Race to Benefit Hopkins County…

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

September 20, 2014 1160

Man Charged with Theft After KSP…

in Top Stories by Alexis McGee
September 19, 2014 928

STREET CLOSINGS FOR MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

in Top Stories by Abby Shelton
September 19, 2014 914

Police Searching for Hit-And-Run Driver

in Top Stories by Jennifer Smith, DCSO
September 22, 2014 492

Buffalo Paint Out Brings Regional Artists…

in Top Stories by Owensboro Museum of Fine Art
September 19, 2014 416

Owensboro Museum of Fine Art News

in Top Stories by Owensboro Museum of Fine Art

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

September 20, 2014 3752

Large Cache of Drugs, Cash, Gun Seized;…

in Top Stories by MCSO PIO Alex Piper
September 20, 2014 1813

Paradise NRA Banquet Promises Food, Fun,…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 22, 2014 1809

Third Suspect Charged in Greenville Home…

in Top Stories by MCITF PIO Wes Miller
September 22, 2014 1170

Muhlenberg Bass Team Members Score…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 22, 2014 1133

Hundreds Turn Out for Greenville Festival

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06