9 WAYS TO CONTROL ANXIOUS THOUGHTS
From an evolutionary perspective, anxiety serves an important, protective function. Healthy levels of anxiety are what helped our ancestors detect, prepare for, and respond to threats in their environment, from predators to preparing for a heavy storm. In today’s modern world, healthy anxiety is what makes a mother double-check her baby’s car seat, making sure it is properly situated; healthy anxiety is what motivates a student to study extra hard for an important exam. At times, however, anxiety can become overwhelming and counterproductive. An anxious mind can lead to rumination—a compulsively focused thought on one’s distress or worry. Rumination is a nonproductive overthinking that leads to more overthinking and ever-increasing anxiety. Ultimately, rumination leads people to avoid taking action, making decisions, or moving on from negative experiences. It can lead to the feeling of being stuck in the present circumstance, making you feel helpless and out of control. Here are nine helpful tips to calm your mind from Dr. Melanie Greensburg, an expert in mindfulness-based cognitive-behavioral therapy.
- Cognitive Distancing