Are Anxious Thoughts Magnifying Your Problems?
If you struggle with anxious thoughts, there's a chance that you tend to magnify your problems. I've been there before, and sometimes it's hard to catch yourself doing it. However, once you master identifying this problem, you can decrease your anxiety (and anxious thoughts) by problem-solving quicker.
Anxious Thoughts About Problems Are Often Worse than the Problem
When your anxious thoughts magnify your problems, you place more stress on what's happening than you need to. Stress is normal, but sometimes we take it to the next level by dwelling on it, overcomplicating it, and blowing it out of proportion.
This is a habit for a lot of us who struggle with anxiety. Most of the time, our anxious thoughts about the problems we have are worse than the problem is itself.
Signs that Anxious Thoughts Are Magnifying Problems
Since it can sometimes be difficult to remove yourself from anxious thoughts and see that you're magnifying your problems, here are a few things to look out for.
You Assume the Worst Case Scenario Will Happen
Something happens, your brain immediately jumps to the worst case scenario, and soon that's the only scenario you can see.
We take this negative scenario and replay it over and over in our heads. This amplifies anxiety because instead of seeing all the good things that could end up happening or realizing we will be okay no matter what, we can only see the negative side.
You Feel Paralyzed
Because you are so discouraged, the anxiety becomes paralyzing and you struggle to focus on finding a solution.
This is when we become so overwhelmed that we choose to avoid the situation. Usually, the obsessive thoughts are worse than actually facing the problem.
You Obsessively Think About the Issue
All you can think about is this problem at hand. It starts becoming harder to handle everyday life due to the obsessive thought patterns.
You May Be Aware of the Anxious Thoughts but Unable to Stop
While you may be aware you're overreacting, you struggle to stop. This can be frustrating to face.
With anxiety, we often know that we are blowing things out of proportion yet it's hard to stop ourselves from overthinking.
What to Do If You Magnify Problems Because of Anxious Thoughts
- Is this something I can control? What parts can I control?
- What is something good that could end up happening?
- What step(s) can I take today to start facing this problem?
- How much relief will I feel once this problem is resolved?
For techniques on keeping anxious thoughts from magnifying your problems, watch the video below.
Eaklor, B. (2018, March 25). Are Anxious Thoughts Magnifying Your Problems?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, December 2 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2018/03/are-you-magnifying-your-problems
Author: Brandy Eaklor
I love this read! I so appreciate you acknowledging that it can sometimes be difficult to recognize when we're magnifying so I think the signs are wonderfully helpful. Just as helpful are your suggestions for what to do when you catch yourself. This reminds me of the 4 questions from Katie Byron. Anxiety is like a snowball rolling down hill, it can get gain serious speed very quickly "going zero to sixty" in no time flight. Often times one of the most beneficial things we can do is press pause, stop the cycle and question the thoughts. Thank you for sharing!
I'm so glad that you got value from this topic! That analogy is so true, it doesn't take much for the snowball effect to occur. Thank you for your comment!