Feeding your worry.

By David Joel Miller.

Are you feeding the anxiety monster?

Scary fearful monster

Anxiety Monster.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The more you feed your anxiety, the larger grows. It’s easy to miss the connection between worry and anxiety.

Some dictionary definitions of worry are:  to give in to anxiety or decrease, to let your mind dwell on your troubles and difficulties.

Continuing to worry increases your uncertainty and grows your anxiety until it takes over your life. How many of these ways are you feeding the anxiety monster with your worry?

Stay up all night keeping worry company.

When there is lots of uncertainty, potential problems ahead, many people hold on tightly to their worries. Often after a good night sleep, things look differently in the morning. A certain way to expand your anxiety is to sit up as long as possible, thinking through every possible negative outcome. Ruminating about low probability bad outcomes is just the sort of worry-food the anxiety monster craves.

You won’t let anyone else babysit your worry.

People who have their anxiety under control learn to use experts to manage their risks. One way to increase your anxiety is to keep all your worries to yourself, and never share them with anyone who might be able to put your mind at ease. Have financial challenges? You should talk to a financial professional. If you have medical issues, you need to see your doctor. For emotional issues, a good counselor can be helpful.

Some people become so attached to their anxiety that they would never consider allowing anyone else to babysit their anxiety monster. If you become unwilling to share your worry with anyone who might be able to help reduce the risks, you’ve taken on the care and feeding of an anxiety monster.

Every morning pick worry back up.

Should you ever get a good night’s sleep, make sure you pick up where you left off worrying the night before. Mentally healthy people can set aside their worries and engage in work and play and positive social relationships with others.

Some people come to view anxiety as their best friend. Their hope is that by worrying enough, they might be able to prevent something bad happening. If you’ve adopted this thought, you’re likely to find that even when the danger is past, after being able to do something enjoyable with others, as soon as you can, you will pick your worries back up and cuddle them tightly.

Stay angry to grow anxieties.

When you’re angry at someone, you’re likely to expect the worst from them. If you’re angry at others, you expect them to be angry back. Your anger at others and your anticipation of their retaliation are certain to feed your anxiety monster.

Indulge negative feelings.

Negative feelings are a super food for anxiety monsters. Indulging yourself in every possible negative feeling is guaranteed to increase your worry and anxiety. Should you ever chance to spot a silver lining, search carefully for the black cloud behind it.

People who are high in the ability to worry and make themselves anxious, are often skilled at seeing the worst in every person, place, or situation.

Remind yourself that it is your fault.

If you want to stay anxious and fearful all the time, take on the responsibility for the whole world. Tell yourself that you should have foreseen that earthquake and moved somewhere else. If something breaks, believe that it’s your fault. When others treat you badly, look for what you must’ve done wrong to create their bad behavior.

If someone you know abuses drugs or alcohol or gets in trouble with the law, ask yourself what you must have done wrong to make them misbehave. This constant believing that everything that goes wrong in the world must somehow have been the result of your failure to foresee it is guaranteed to keep you unhappy and anxious.

Search for evidence to grow your fears.

Whenever there is a doubt, do your best to find evidence to prove that the thing you’re afraid of is dangerous. If you can’t find reliable scientific evidence, post you worry on social media and ask people to tell you why you should be afraid of something. When there’s no evidence, believe that your fear is justified just because it feels scary to you.

The human brain has a bias towards negative information. Let ten good things happen, followed by one bad thing, most people will remember only the one problem. Say you get a job interview, and the interview goes well, you get the new job at a very good salary, but on the way home, you get a flat tire. Continue for the rest of your life to remind yourself nothing good ever happens to you “every time” you try to drive; you get a flat tire.

Especially worry about things you can’t change.

People with a well-developed anxiety monster rarely think about things they might be able to control. Nothing expands anxiety like focusing exclusively on things that are out of your control. To maximize anxiety don’t worry about working overtime and paying your electric bill, focus your worry on the possibility this will be an unusually cold winter, and there might be a worldwide shortage of fuel.

Have you had enough anxiety?

I tried to exaggerate all these ways in which people can increase their anxiety. I hope you can see that there may be thoughts you are practicing which are increasing your anxiety. Consider trying to have more helpful thoughts. Change some of the ways you’ve been dealing with life’s challenges and see if you can’t reduce your anxiety.

If your anxiety, worries, and fears have grown so large, that they are taking over your life, consider that now be might be the time to seek professional help. A good counselor or therapist can help you learn to manage and reduce your anxiety and fear.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

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Has Negativity take over your life?

By David Joel Miller.

How can you tell that negativity has taken over your life?

Negativity

Is Negativity taking over your life?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Negativity is a trap. If you are around others who are negative they can sap you of all your strength. Your own negativity can undermine your life goals. Sometimes that negativity beast creeps in without you noticing. If negativity has taken up living in your family, your home or in you, then you need to recognize it and banish it from your life.

Here are the top 14 ways to spot negativity camped out in your life.

1.You can’t stop worrying.

If you find that you are worrying all the time and about everything your world has turned negative. A little worry may protect you, but only if after considering the possible problems you take action. Constant ongoing rumination about what could go wrong is guaranteed to keep you living negatively.

2. Your life is run by should and have to’s.

A life ruled by the “should’s” and the “have-to’s” is a life drained of joy. Take another look at all these rules you are living by. Where did the “should’s” come from? Consider if you reached a point in your life where you have outgrown living by others rules.

3. You’re always on high alert – hypervigilant.

People who are ruled by negativity are often excessively jumpy. Do you startle at the least little noise? Do you frequently find that you have been startled by something that others would ignore? It is likely that you are on the high alert for the things that can go wrong in life.

This hyper-vigilance, rather than keeping you safe is misdirecting your attention away from the good and the beautiful to the scary and the negative. Work on becoming a happiness expert.

4. You are afraid to let people know the real you.

In negativity land, people hide their real selves, constantly afraid that if others knew who they really were they would be rejected or attached. Hide the real you from others long enough and you may discover you have lost you.

5. You are always expecting the worse.

Are you the person who can always see the gray part of every cloud? Once negativity moves into your life it obscures every positive thing. If you are always looking for the negative you will find it. When the good things walk by, you will neglect to invite them in.

6. You are always looking for the bad news.

People who have become slaves to negativity are always looking to see what other misery they can find. Misery not only loves company it goes out of its way to create it in every life. When you spend all your time looking for the bad news you are sending the good news down the block to visit someone else.

7. You are very sensitive to criticism.

If you are mistaken about something and someone points that out you can take this as helpful, you now know something you didn’t know before. Negative people think that if they do not know everything they are failures. Being wrong about a fact makes them a “wrong” person.

If criticisms are valid, then take it to heart and use this as an improvement opportunity. If it is incorrect let it go and find the home it needs to live in. Do not adapt every critical comment and make it a permanent part of your emotional family.

8. You can’t accept a compliment.

Related to being overly sensitive to criticism is the converse behavior, rejection compliments. If you are so negative you can’t allow a positive feeling in your life you will reject any compliment offered to you.

Rejecting compliments does not make you modest. Accepting compliments does not make you arrogant. Constantly rejecting others compliments does make you insufferable.

9. Everything is yes-but, no-but.

If you are one of these people who sneaks a yes-but or a no-but into every conversation what you are doing is making excuses for why you want things to stay in the negative realm.

10. Any change is undesirable.

Negative people are terrified of change. They will assert that no matter how horrific things are now if they were to change then things will only get worse. Intractable people are in love with their misery and afraid that they do not deserve for things to get better.

Which do you prefer, the misery you have now or the risk of taking an action and having your life become unpredictably happy?

11. You don’t try because you might fail.

Negativity tells you don’t try you might fail. Negativity lies to you. Not trying does not protect you from failure, it guarantees you will not accomplish anything. You miss all the shots you do not take.

12. Nothing gets you excited.

Live without passion is life in the negativity zone. Caring about something, anything brings positivity into your life.

13. You’re afraid of good news because something will go wrong.

Negativity tells you to be skeptical of anything positive because good things come to an end. Negative things in life can be dragged out for as long as you want them to last. Letting go is the first part of moving on.

14. You have stopped caring about others.

Negative people can’t care about others. People who genuinely care about others find themselves becoming less negative. One of the fastest ways of getting out of the self-negativity is to do something for someone else.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books