How Positivity and Anxiety Relate
(Guest Blog by Ryan Rivera)
Anxiety is a fascinating condition. It genuinely changes chemicals in your brain that can affect the way you think and the way you feel to such a degree that each thought feels natural. Those with anxiety struggle to tell themselves that they’re worrying for no reason, because anxiety tells them that their worry makes sense. Anxiety makes them genuinely feel there are issues to worry about.
Anxiety does this by creating a feeling of negative thinking – disaster thinking, if you will. It’s the act of genuinely believing that something negative is going to occur because of the way anxiety affects your brain.
The Less Scientific Focus
In addition, as someone that has struggled with anxiety, I can tell you firsthand that this negativity bled into everything. It was difficult to believe the future was brighter, and difficult to believe that there was a lot to look forward too. Even without depression, there was a consistent amount of negative thinking in every aspect of my life, from relationships to work to home and more.
That’s why creating positivity is so important. Positivity counters negative thinking, and thus counters one of the most damaging effects of anxiety. Even though anxiety changes your brain chemistry, the power of your own mind and the power of positivity can overcome it.
How to Become More Positive
Positivity is something that can genuinely be learned. Some examples of how to overcome positivity include:
Writing Positive Thoughts in a Journal – Writing out only the positive thoughts you have every day is a good way to make sure that you focus on more positive thoughts. Your brain will focus on positive things in order to have something to write in the journal. You must do it every day for it to work, however.
Jogging/Exercise – Exercise also creates positivity. When your body feels healthy, your mind releases more “good mood” neurotransmitters that help you deal with some of the symptoms of anxiety.
Positive People – Friends have a profound influence on your mental health. Find friends that act the way you want to feel. If you find positive friends, you’ll become more positive in their presence.
Goal Setting – Achievement is also a great tool for positivity. Set many different attainable goals for yourself, ideally using the SMART goal system. Reaching these goals shows you that you worked for something, which is a great way to combat anxiety.
Ideally, you should pair these approaches with an effective anxiety coping strategy, because if you’re able to overcome anxiety you’ll be able to overcome negative thinking. But in the meantime, focusing on becoming a more positive person can have profound results for your day to day happiness.
About the Author: Ryan Rivera struggled with anxiety for years and negative thinking was the consequence. Now he provides information about living with anxiety at www.calmclinic.com.
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Dr. Chantal Marie Gagnon, Ph.D., LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist, relationship counselor, and life coach in Plantation, Florida. Dr. Gagnon provides individual therapy, family counseling services, and couples therapy in her Plantation, FL office. Coaching services are available nationwide.
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