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Archive for February, 2013

Words are powerful things especially when it comes to anxietyPanic attacks and high anxiety is often perpetuated by the ongoing dialogue we have in our minds about what the anxiety symptoms might be, or what might happen, or what we should have done, or what we should be doing.  Often we are beating ourselves up with words; calling ourselves names.I have used words in my head to do all of these things.  If I ever said them out loud and people disagreed with me, I would just continue the dialogue in my head with “but you don’t understand…” or “but you don’t see the truth..” or “but you’re just saying that…”

However, the fact that words are so powerful in a negative way means they can also be powerful in a positive way.  One of the ways you can tap into this is affirmations.  I know, they are often portrayed as being said by high flying business people who already have an inflated ego but they really did help me!

I didn’t just pick a phrase and say it though, it needs to counteract the negative things you are already saying.  The first thing I did was spend a week catching all the negative things I said to myself.  This can be easier said than done because sometimes we don’t even know we are doing it and we can also do it a lot.  But I wrote it all done in a notebook.  At the end of each day put them into categories and by the end of the week you should have some themes about what you are saying.  Some of my negatives were: “I not good enough”, “It is my fault”, “I’m always going to be like this”.  There was also lots of ‘should’ statements and the biggy was that I didn’t deserve to get better and live normally.

Once you have these you can start making counter statements for them.  You need to at least partly believe them so begin to look for evidence that these statements are not true then write a positive statement.  For example to counteract “I’m not good enough” I wrote “I do the best I can every day.  This is good enough for the important people in  my life.  The better I get, the more I will be able to do.”  This may not seem the most positive statement ever but at the time it was the most I could believe.

I did this for about 20 different statements.  I then copied them out every day for two weeks and after that read them.  If I heard myself arguing against this, I tried as much as possible to find evidence to prove my positive statement.

It did get easier, particularly as I felt better and I recommend that if you are struggling with anxiety you give it a go.  It alone will not stop it but this, along with other things I have talked (more…)

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