Anticipatory Anxiety: Learning New Thought Patterns Can Help Alleviate Anxious Feelings

Anxiety is a rather simple term for an often complex problem. Anxiety can be in the moment, or because of a situation. You can experience anxiety on a regular basis at a variety of levels. If you get nervous or anxious when thinking about something you have to do in the future, this is called anticipatory anxiety. People who have difficulty with anticipatory anxiety struggle with knowing they have to get up in the morning to go to work, anticipating that work will be difficult. 

When Anticipatory Anxiety is Fleeting

Most people have experienced anticipatory anxiety at some point in their lives. Consider when you have to do something out of the ordinary, like giving a speech. Knowing that you have to give a speech in a week, a day or a few hours, may cause you a tremendous amount of anxiety. This is a normal feeling that will go away once your speech is done and not a sign that you suffer from overall anxiety.

When Anticipatory Anxiety Controls Your Life

When you experience chronic or constant anticipatory anxiety, you have the same feeling that a person does when they are about to do something out of the ordinary. The difference is, this feeling happens over the most mundane tasks. You may experience anxiety when you have to do just about anything, and this anxiety can cripple your life. When you begin to get anxious about going out to the store, attending an appointment, or even taking a shower, anticipatory anxiety has taken over your thoughts. Learning new thought patterns with the assistance of a therapist can help alleviate the feelings associated with anticipatory anxiety.

Breaking the Thought Patterns Through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is used to help clients change their thought patterns that have created a tremendous amount of anxiety in their lives. This is done carefully with a therapist that will talk with you about situations that make you anxious, and the two of you will discuss your thought process during situations that make you anxious. This is a step by step process, and one that can take a while to learn effectively. CBT will address negative thought patterns that feed your anxious thoughts, and help you learn new thought patterns that will help get you through anxiety producing situations.

When you are dealing with anticipatory anxiety, working closely with a therapist, such as Carol Vinson PhD, that can help change these thought patterns will help you live a less stressed life.