Just as a seed cannot grow without soil and water to nourish it, your anxiety cannot grow without you feeding it.

Every day we all experience some stress in our lives but if you find yourself worrying so much that you’re losing sleep and having a hard time concentrating at work, it’s time to act. Worry and fear are strong emotions that if left unprocessed, can often lead to anxiety and depression.

The first thing to remember is that just as a seed cannot grow without soil and water to nourish it, your anxiety cannot grow without you feeding it. Anxiety is caused by an intense fear or worry about a possible outcome. These are the thoughts that run unchecked through your mind. The only way to alleviate your anxiety is by controlling your thoughts.

You can begin by recalling other times when you worried about something. Did the fear come true or was the worry groundless? How much time have you wasted agonising over something that never came about? It’s okay to have a little anxiety, everyone does; It’s when the worry begins to control your life that it becomes a serious problem.

Worry is a form of fear and intense fear can paralyse us because anxiety intensifies the fear in us and prevents us from making a decision and solving the problem. Instead of focusing on viable solutions, we just keep running the same negative possible outcome over and over through our heads. We let our fear create additional fear.

The only way to overcome the anxiety is to overcome the fear and this is accomplished by changing your thought process. Rather than having a mind full of fear, fill it with hope and favourable outcomes. Events seldom turn out as terrible or as wonderful as we imagine them. Our thoughts tend to the extreme while life is usually somewhere in the middle.

Concentrate on the positives and when you feel any negativity creeping into your thought process, acknowledge it and then push it away and go back to the positives even if you are expecting a negative outcome. It is like a tug-of-war, you either control your anxiety or your anxiety will control you. Start with small issues and work your way up to larger ones, always picturing a positive outcome. Once you can keep these positive results in mind, you then need to begin taking positive action to make them come about. The cure for anxiety begins as a thought and then works its way into a positive action.
Elena Eleftheriadou is a therapist and coach working with healthcare professionals with a purpose and passion to help them communicate more effectively, diminish stress and prevent burnout to improve their work-life balance.
Follow Elena for tips on communication, stress management and bunrout.